Chapter 05 - Alcoholic Beverage Control

Chapter 05 - Alcoholic Beverage Control

27.0501 Definitions.


Unless the context clearly requires otherwise:

(1) “Alcoholic beverage” means beer, distilled spirit, wine, or liquor which contains eight percent or more of alcohol by weight and which is fit for beverage purposes either alone or when combined with other substances.

(2) “Alcoholic beverage importer’s license” means a license to import alcoholic beverages from without the Territory into American Samoa for sale to alcoholic beverage licensees and alcoholic beverage vendors.

(3) “Alcoholic beverage license” means a license to sell all alcoholic beverages at retail by the drink on the premises under license conditions prescribed by the Board for the particular premises.

(4) “Alcoholic beverage permit” means a permit issued by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to purchase and have in possession alcoholic beverages.

(5) “Alcoholic beverage vendor’s license” means a license to sell alcoholic beverages other than beer for consumption off the licensee’s premises.

(6) “Beer” means any beverage obtained by the alcoholic fermentation of an infusion or decoction of barley or other grain, hops and malt in water, and having an alcoholic content of less than eight percent by weight.

(7) “Beer importer’s license” means a license to import beer from without the territory into American Samoa for sale to beer taverns, beer vendors or clubs.

(8) “Beer tavern license” means a license to sell beer for consumption on the licensee’s premises.

(9) “Beer vendor’s license” means a license to sell beer for consumption off the licensee’s premises.

(10) “Board” means the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

(11) “Club” means an organization which operates an establishment for objects of an athletic, patriotic or social nature and not for pecuniary gain, having bylaws or a constitution, regularly elected officers and a bona fide membership list, the members of which pay dues at least once each year, and includes establishments operating for pecuniary gain in Board approved hotels, in port or airport terminals and in Board approved taverns. The licensee shall hire a special attendant who shall remain on the premises during hours required by regulations issued by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board and shall maintain peace and order. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, establishments holding a “club” license may sell and serve beer and alcoholic beverages at hours established by the Board.

(12) “Licensee” means a person holding a license to sell beer or alcoholic beverages or both, and includes employees of the licensee.

(13) “Package store” means the retail outlet or outlets established by the government, operating pursuant to regulations of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

(14) “Person” includes an association, business trust, copartnership, corporation, estate, firm, joint venture, receiver, syndicate or any other group or combination acting together or as a unit.

(15) “Sealed container” means any container of any alcoholic beverage or beer on which the stamp has not been broken or removed, or the flanges of the cap not lifted, or the can not punctured in any manner.

(16) “Sell” includes the transferring of title to alcoholic beverages or beer from one person to another, either with or without consideration, soliciting or receiving orders for alcoholic beverages or beer, and keeping, offering or exposing alcoholic beverages or beer for sale.

27.0502 Board-Established-Appointment-Terms.


(a) There is established within the government an Alcoholic Beverage Control Board which shall consist of 7 members appointed by the Governor of American Samoa for terms of 2 years, except that the fifth, sixth and seventh initial appointees shall serve for one year only in order that thereafter there will be staggered terms.

(b) Officials of the government may be appointed to the Board.

(c) All appointees may be reappointed to the Board.

(d) Appointees may be removed from the Board by the Governor for cause, provided the majority of the Board concurs in the cause or causes offered.

(e) Appointees may not be licensees under this chapter.

27.0503 Board-Powers and duties.


The Board has the following duties and responsibilities:

(1) pursuant to the provisions and procedures of 4.1001 et seq.;

(A) to promulgate rules necessary for control of the importation, sale and use of beer and alcoholic beverages in American Samoa and for the administration of this chapter, including, but not limited to, rules regarding eligibility and qualifications for licensure and specifying the books and records to be kept by all licensees;

(B) to issue, renew, refuse, modify, suspend or revoke all licenses required by this chapter;

(2) to inspect the premises, books and records of any licensee at any reasonable time;

(3) to give advice and counsel to the government,

(4) to establish the number of alcoholic beverage vendor’s licenses throughout the Territory and in no case shall any county have more than 3 and these shall be equitably distributed geographically to accommodate the population density;

(5) to establish, at least once annually, a prescribed maximum price list for alcoholic beverages other than beer. The Board shall establish reasonable, uniform wholesale discounts for alcoholic beverage licenses purchasing in bulk volume for resale by the drink in clubs or other premises licensed as much by the Board; and

(6) to devise a government stamp for affixing to alcoholic beverages other than beer; to prescribe the manner in which the stamp shall be affixed as a seal; and to establish the conditions under which alcoholic beverages may be imported and retained without the American Samoa alcoholic beverage stamp.

27.0510 Prohibition of alcoholic beverage vendor’s establishments at county option.


The county council of any county may by regulation prohibit the establishment of alcoholic beverage vendor’s premises within the county. Any such regulation shall not take effect until it has been determined in writing by the Attorney General to be legally sufficient, has been approved by the Secretary of Samoan Affairs, and has been proclaimed publicly and posted in the approved full text in writing by the county chief.

27.0515 Compliance with rules and regulations.


No person may import or manufacture any alcoholic beverages or beer of any nature, or any malt syrup or malt extract, or have in his custody or possession, sell, give, receive or exchange any kind of beer or alcoholic beverage or keep such on any vessel or aircraft within the jurisdiction of American Samoa unless he has complied with the rules of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

27.0516 License required-Exemption.


(a) No person may import, manufacture, or sell beer or alcoholic beverages without a license, but this section does not prevent a recognized religious organization from importing into American Samoa sacramental wine for use in religious rites without a license.

(b) Beer vendor’s, beer tavern, beer importer’s, alcoholic beverage, alcoholic beverage importer’s and alcoholic beverage vendor’s licenses are valid for one location only.

27.0517 Application forms for license.


Application for alcoholic beverage importer’s, alcoholic beverage vendor’s, beer importer’s, beer vendor’s, beer tavern, and alcoholic beverage licenses must be made on forms prescribed by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

27.0518 Approval of license.


(a) No license for the sale or importation of beer and alcoholic beverages may be issued by the Treasurer unless the application for such license has been approved by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

(b) Before approving or disapproving of any license, the Board shall make a careful study of the character of the applicant and the building and area in which the beer or alcoholic beverage is proposed to be sold, and such other matters pertaining to the sale and importation of beer and alcoholic beverages under the license as may be reasonably required by the Board.

27.0525 Beer tavern license-Safety requirements.


(a) A beer tavern license shall authorize the licensee to operate a beer tavern and to sell beer for consumption on the premises only.

(b) The beer tavern may serve food to customers, provide music, and permit dancing, provided that if dancing and music constitutes a nuisance in the area the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board may order its discontinuance.

(c) Every beer tavern shall be adequately equipped with fire fighting equipment and readily accessible exits, and the beer tavern licensee shall hire a special attendant who shall remain on the premises during such hours as may be ordered by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board and maintain peace and order.

27.0526 Beer vendor’s license.


A beer vendor’s license shall authorize the licensee to sell beer for consumption off the premises, and at distances from the premises which the Board shall prescribe for each license.

27.0527 Beer importer’s license.


(a) A beer importer’s license shall authorize the licensee to import beer into American Samoa and to hold the same for sale to beer taverns, beer vending establishments or clubs.

(b) A beer importer may, in addition to the importer’s license, also hold either a beer vending or beer tavern license, or all 3 types of license, in which event he may also import beer for use in his own business.

27.0528 Alcoholic beverage vendor’s license.


An alcoholic beverage vendor’s license shall authorize the licensee to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption off the premises at distances from the premises which the Board shall prescribe for each license.

27.0529 Alcoholic beverage importer’s license.


(a) An alcoholic beverage importer’s license shall authorize the licensee to import alcoholic beverages into American Samoa for sale to alcoholic beverage vendors, alcoholic beverage licensees or clubs.

(b) An alcoholic beverage importer may in addition to the importer’s license, also hold either an alcoholic beverage vendor’s license or an alcoholic beverage license, or all 3 types of licenses, in which event he may also import alcoholic beverages for use in his own business.

27.0530 Alcoholic beverage license- Safety requirements.


(a) A person holding an alcoholic beverage license shall be authorized to sell any alcoholic beverage by the drink except beer.

(b) The licensee may serve food to the customers, provide music and entertainment, and permit dancing.

(c) Each establishment which holds an alcoholic beverage license shall be adequately equipped with fire fighting equipment and readily accessible exits, and the licensee shall remain on the premises during hours required by regulation issued by the Board and shall maintain peace and order.

27.0531 Restrictions on conduct of business.


The conduct of business authorized under this chapter by beer vendors, beer tavern licensees, alcoholic beverage vendors and alcoholic beverage licensees shall be subject to the following restrictions:

(a) No licensee may sell any alcoholic beverage to:

(1) any person under the age of 21 years,

(2) any person who is intoxicated at the time or who is known to the seller to be an habitual drunkard;

(3) any insane or feebleminded person.

(b) No licensee of any class may allow beer or an alcoholic beverage to be sold, served or consumed on the premises covered by the license at times other than in the hours permitted by his license.

(c) Beer tavern and alcoholic beverage licensees may sell or serve beer or alcoholic beverages only from 8:00 a.m. through 2:00 a.m. the following morning, Monday through Saturday inclusive, but not on Sunday, except that:

(1) duly licensed hotels and restaurants catering to tourists may sell beer or alcoholic beverages after 10:00 a.m. on Sunday and,

(2) duty free alcoholic beverage retail outlets may sell packaged alcoholic beverages Monday through Sunday.

(d) A beer vendor or an alcoholic beverage vendor may begin selling beer or alcoholic beverages at 8.00 a.m., Monday through Saturday inclusive, but may not sell any beer to any person after 10:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday inclusive. A beer vendor or alcoholic beverage vendor may not sell any beer or alcoholic beverages on Sunday.

(e) No beer tavern or alcoholic beverage licensee of any class may permit any person less than 21 years old on the premises where the business under the license is authorized unless such person is in the company of his parent or guardian.

(f) No licensee of any class may permit any intoxicated person to enter the premises where the business under the license is authorized, or to permit a person to become intoxicated therein.

(g) Licensees are responsible for the removal of all patrons from their premises within 15 minutes after the time permitted for the sale of beer or alcoholic beverages expires.

(h) No person, either male or female, under the age of 21 years, is allowed to sell beer or alcoholic beverages or be employed within any beer tavern, alcoholic beverage licensee premises, or club.

(i) No alcoholic beverage or beer may be sold or dispensed in any public place or places open to the public during such times as the polls may be open on the day of any general or special election.

27.0532 Prohibited places of consumption-Persons in possession-Penalty.


(a) It is unlawful to consume beer or an alcoholic beverage, or to be in possession of an unsealed container containing beer or an alcoholic beverage, in any of the following places in American Samoa:

(1) public roads;

(2) moving vehicles;

(3) on or within fifty (50) feet of the business premises holding a store license, other than establishments holding an alcoholic beverage, club or beer tavern license;

(4) any public place in any village in American Samoa which has by village regulation prohibited the consumption of beer or alcoholic beverages or the possession of unsealed containers containing beer or alcoholic beverages;

(5) in or around public school buildings or upon school grounds, which shall include school parking lots;

(6) public bus stops and shelter areas;

(7) public sidewalks adjacent to public highways.

(b) A person under the age of twenty-one (21) years may not possess or consume beer or any other alcoholic beverage.

(c) A violation of this section shall be punishable as a class B misdemeanor.

(d) The Department of Public Safety, in conjunction with the Attorney General’s Office shall adopt a pro-arrest, pro-prosecution policy for persons who violate this section, and shall cooperate with the Alcohol Beverage Control Board to enforce and prosecute violations of all other provisions of this chapter.

27.0533 Suspension and revocation of license.


In addition to the penalties prescribed in 27.0532, any licensee who is found in violation of the terms of his license shall have his license suspended for 30 days for a first offense, and 60 days for a second offense. His license shall be revoked on conviction of a third violation.

27.0534 Violation-Penalty.


Any person who violates any provision of this chapter, for the violation of which another penalty is not specified, or who violates any lawful order of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, shall be sentenced as for a class B misdemeanor.