Photos of Samoa

At the western end of the Samoan Island chain lies Savai'i. Stretching over 1,682 sq km (649 sq mi), Savai'i is one of the largest landmasses in Polynesia. The mountainous island is a shield volcano that reaches its highest altitude, 1,858 m (6,095 ft), near the center of the island. The region's tropical, humid climate sustains vegetation that carpets much of the island.
A jagged line of small, round volcanic craters extends east-west across the island (top of image). South of this uneven line, two deep, parallel valleys extend toward the south. The semicircular contours of the valleys suggest that they might be the remains of an ancient caldera or collapsed magma chamber that was modified by the later eruption of additional lava.
With the exception of a few brown crater rims, and a coastal settlement along the image's left edge, the landscape appears in varying shades of green. Dense rainforests cover the island's rugged interior, and thick vegetation also thrives along the coastal plains. 
Savai'i has remained volcanically active into historical times, with two eruptions occurring in the early 20th century. The eruptions sent big lava flows to the island's northern coast, destroying several villages. Photo courtesy of NASA.



The first Austronesian settlers arrived in Samoa around 1000 B.C., and early Samoans traded and intermarried with Fijian and Tongan nobility. The fa’amatai system of titles and nobility developed, which dominates Samoan politics to this day; all but two seats in the legislature are reserved for matai, or heads of families. A Dutch explorer was the first European to spot the islands in 1722. Christian missionaries arrived in the 1830s and were followed by an influx of American and European settlers and influence. By the 1880s, Germany, the UK, and the US had trading posts and claimed parts of the kingdom. In 1886, an eight-year civil war broke out, with rival matai factions fighting over royal succession and the three foreign powers providing support to the factions. Germany, the UK, and the US all sent warships to Apia in 1889 and came close to conflict, but a cyclone damaged or destroyed the ships of all three navies.  

At the end of the civil war in 1894, Malietoa LAUPEPA was installed as king, but upon his death in 1898, a second civil war over succession broke out. When the war ended in 1899, the Western powers abolished the monarchy, giving the western Samoan islands to Germany and the eastern Samoan islands to the US. The UK abandoned claims in Samoa and received former German territory in the Solomon Islands. 

New Zealand occupied Samoa during World War I but was accused of negligence and opposed by many Samoans, particularly an organized political movement called the Mau (“Strongly Held View”) that advocated for independence. During the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic, about 20% of the population died. In 1929, New Zealand police shot into a crowd of peaceful Mau protestors, killing 11, in an event known as Black Sunday. In 1962, Samoa became the first Polynesian nation to reestablish its independence as Western Samoa but dropped the “Western” from its name in 1997. The Human Rights Protection Party dominated politics from 1982 until Prime Minister FIAME Naomi Mata'afa's Fa'atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (FAST) party gained a majority in elections in 2021.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.



Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand

Geographic coordinates

13 35 S, 172 20 W


total: 2,831 sq km

land: 2,821 sq km

water: 10 sq km

comparison ranking: total 177

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than Rhode Island

Land boundaries

total: 0 km


403 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm


tropical; rainy season (November to April), dry season (May to October)


two main islands (Savaii, Upolu) and several smaller islands and uninhabited islets; narrow coastal plain with volcanic, rugged mountains in interior


highest point: Mount Silisili 1,857 m

lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m

Natural resources

hardwood forests, fish, hydropower

Land use

agricultural land: 12.4% (2018 est.)

arable land: 2.8% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 7.8% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 1.8% (2018 est.)

forest: 60.4% (2018 est.)

other: 27.2% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

0 sq km (2022)

Population distribution

about three-quarters of the population lives on the island of Upolu

Natural hazards

occasional cyclones; active volcanism

volcanism: Savai'I Island (1,858 m), which last erupted in 1911, is historically active

Geography - note

occupies an almost central position within Polynesia

People and Society


total: 208,853

male: 105,920

female: 102,933 (2024 est.)

comparison rankings: female 184; male 184; total 184


noun: Samoan(s)

adjective: Samoan

Ethnic groups

Samoan 96%, Samoan/New Zealander 2%, other 1.9% (2011 est.)

note: data represent the population by country of citizenship


Samoan (Polynesian) (official) 91.1%, Samoan/English 6.7%, English (official) 0.5%, other 0.2%, unspecified 1.6% (2006 est.)


Protestant 54.9% (Congregationalist 29%, Methodist 12.4%, Assembly of God 6.8%, Seventh Day Adventist 4.4%, other Protestant 2.3%), Roman Catholic 18.8%, Church of Jesus Christ 16.9%, Worship Centre 2.8%, other Christian 3.6%, other 2.9% (includes Baha'i, Muslim), none 0.2% (2016 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 26.9% (male 28,952/female 27,173)

15-64 years: 65.9% (male 70,225/female 67,427)

65 years and over: 7.2% (2024 est.) (male 6,743/female 8,333)

2023 population pyramid:
2023 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 74.9

youth dependency ratio: 66

elderly dependency ratio: 8.9

potential support ratio: 11.2 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 27.4 years (2024 est.)

male: 27 years

female: 27.8 years

comparison ranking: total 158

Population growth rate

0.65% (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 134

Birth rate

18.8 births/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 75

Death rate

5.4 deaths/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 184

Net migration rate

-6.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 216

Population distribution

about three-quarters of the population lives on the island of Upolu


urban population: 17.5% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: -0.03% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Major urban areas - population

36,000 APIA (capital) (2018)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.07 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female

total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2024 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

59 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 93

Infant mortality rate

total: 17.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2024 est.)

male: 20.9 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 13.6 deaths/1,000 live births

comparison ranking: total 87

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 75.7 years (2024 est.)

male: 72.8 years

female: 78.7 years

comparison ranking: total population 124

Total fertility rate

2.33 children born/woman (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 77

Gross reproduction rate

1.14 (2024 est.)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 98% of population

total: 98.4% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 2% of population

total: 1.6% of population (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure

5.3% of GDP (2020)

Physician density

0.6 physicians/1,000 population (2020)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 99.5% of population

rural: 99.5% of population

total: 99.5% of population

unimproved: urban: 0.5% of population

rural: 0.5% of population

total: 0.5% of population (2020 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

47.3% (2016)

comparison ranking: 8

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 2.18 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 2.01 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 0.17 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total 127

Tobacco use

total: 25.3% (2020 est.)

male: 36.1% (2020 est.)

female: 14.5% (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 49

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

3.4% (2019/20)

comparison ranking: 84

Child marriage

women married by age 15: 0.9%

women married by age 18: 7.4%

men married by age 18: 2% (2020 est.)

Education expenditures

4.8% of GDP (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 85


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 99.1%

male: 99%

female: 99.3% (2021)


Environment - current issues

soil erosion, deforestation, invasive species, overfishing

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements


tropical; rainy season (November to April), dry season (May to October)

Land use

agricultural land: 12.4% (2018 est.)

arable land: 2.8% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 7.8% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 1.8% (2018 est.)

forest: 60.4% (2018 est.)

other: 27.2% (2018 est.)


urban population: 17.5% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: -0.03% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Revenue from forest resources

0.27% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 84

Revenue from coal

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 180

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 7.78 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 0.25 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 0.27 megatons (2020 est.)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 27,399 tons (2011 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 9,864 tons (2013 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 36% (2013 est.)

Total renewable water resources

0 cubic meters (2017 est.)


Country name

conventional long form: Independent State of Samoa

conventional short form: Samoa

local long form: Malo Sa'oloto Tuto'atasi o Samoa

local short form: Samoa

former: Western Samoa

etymology: the meaning of Samoa is disputed; some modern explanations are that the "sa" connotes  "sacred" and "moa" indicates "center," so the name can mean "Holy Center"; alternatively, some assertions state that it can mean "place of the sacred moa bird" of Polynesian mythology; the name, however, may go back to Proto-Polynesian (PPn) times (before 1000 B.C.); a plausible PPn reconstruction has the first syllable as "sa'a" meaning "tribe or people" and "moa" meaning "deep sea or ocean" to convey the meaning "people of the deep sea"

Government type

parliamentary republic


name: Apia

geographic coordinates: 13 49 S, 171 46 W

time difference: UTC+13 (18 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: name derives from the native village around which the capital was constructed in the 1850s; the village still exists within the larger modern capital

Administrative divisions

11 districts; A'ana, Aiga-i-le-Tai, Atua, Fa'asaleleaga, Gaga'emauga, Gagaifomauga, Palauli, Satupa'itea, Tuamasaga, Va'a-o-Fonoti, Vaisigano


1 January 1962 (from New Zealand-administered UN trusteeship)

National holiday

Independence Day Celebration, 1 June (1962); note - 1 January 1962 is the date of independence from the New Zealand-administered UN trusteeship, but it is observed in June


history: several previous (preindependence); latest 1 January 1962

amendments: proposed as an act by the Legislative Assembly; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote by the Assembly membership in the third reading - provided at least 90 days have elapsed since the second reading, and assent of the chief of state; passage of amendments affecting constitutional articles on customary land or constitutional amendment procedures also requires at least two-thirds majority approval in a referendum; amended several times, last in 2020

Legal system

mixed legal system of English common law and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts with respect to fundamental rights of the citizen

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Samoa

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years


21 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: TUIMALEALI'IFANO Va’aletoa Sualauvi II (since 21 July 2017)

head of government: Prime Minister FIAME Naomi Mata’afa (since 24 May 2021)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the chief of state on the advice of the prime minister

elections/appointments: chief of state indirectly elected by the Legislative Assembly to serve a 5-year term (2-term limit); election last held on 23 August 2022 (next to be held in 2026); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party is usually appointed prime minister by the chief of state, approved by the Legislative Assembly

election results: TUIMALEALI'IFANO Va’aletoa Sualauvi II (independent) unanimously reelected by the Legislative Assembly

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Legislative Assembly or Fono (53 seats statutory, 54 (2021-25 term); members from single-seat constituencies directly elected by simple majority vote, with a minimum 10% representation of women in the Assembly required; members serve 5-year terms)

elections: election last held on 9 April 2021 (next election to be held in 2026)

election results: percent of vote by party - HRPP 55%, FAST 37%, TSP 3%, independent 5%; seats by party – 35 FAST, HRPP 18, independent 1; composition - men 47, women 7, percentage women 13%

note: on 29 November 2021, the Election Commissioner added two seats for women to the Legislative Assembly, bringing the HRPP’s total from 20 to 22 seats

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Court of Appeal (consists of the chief justice and 2 Supreme Court judges and meets once or twice a year); Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and several judges)

judge selection and term of office: chief justice appointed by the chief of state upon the advice of the prime minister; other Supreme Court judges appointed by the Judicial Service Commission, a 3-member body chaired by the chief justice and includes the attorney general and an appointee of the Minister of Justice; judges normally serve until retirement at age 68

subordinate courts: District Court; Magistrates' Courts; Land and Titles Courts; village fono or village chief councils

Political parties and leaders

Fa'atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi or FAST [FIAME Naomi Mata'afa]
Human Rights Protection Party or HRPP [TUILA'EPA Sailele Malielegaoi]
Tautua Samoa Party or TSP [Afualo Wood Uti SALELE]

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Pa’olelei LUTERU (since 7 July 2021); note - also Permanent Representative to the UN

chancery: 685 Third Avenue, 44th Street, 11th Floor, Suite 1102, New York, NY 10017

telephone: [1] (212) 599-6196

FAX: [1] (212) 599-0797

email address and website:

About | Samoa Permanent Mission to the United Nations

consulate(s) general: Pago Pago (American Samoa)

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: the US Ambassador to New Zealand is accredited to Samoa

embassy: 5th Floor, Accident Corporation Building, Matafele Apia

mailing address: 4400 Apia Place, Washington DC 20521-4400

telephone: [685] 21-436

FAX: [685] 22-030

email address and website:

Flag description

red with a blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side quadrant bearing five white, five-pointed stars representing the Southern Cross constellation; red stands for courage, blue represents freedom, and white signifies purity

note: similar to the flag of Taiwan

National symbol(s)

Southern Cross constellation (five, five-pointed stars); national colors: red, white, blue

National anthem

name: "O le Fu'a o le Sa'olotoga o Samoa" (The Banner of Freedom)

lyrics/music: Sauni Liga KURESA

note: adopted 1962; also known as "Samoa Tula'i" (Samoa Arise)


Economic overview

ower middle-income Pacific island economy; enormous fishing and agriculture industries; significant remittances; growing offshore financial hub; recently hosted Pacific Games to drive tourism and infrastructure growth

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$1.147 billion (2022 est.)
$1.211 billion (2021 est.)
$1.303 billion (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 206

Real GDP growth rate

-5.31% (2022 est.)
-7.08% (2021 est.)
-3.11% (2020 est.)

note: annual GDP % growth based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 211

Real GDP per capita

$5,200 (2022 est.)
$5,500 (2021 est.)
$6,100 (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 171

GDP (official exchange rate)

$832.945 million (2022 est.)

note: data in current dollars at official exchange rate

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

10.96% (2022 est.)
3.13% (2021 est.)
-1.57% (2020 est.)

note: annual % change based on consumer prices

comparison ranking: 167

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 10.4% (2017 est.)

industry: 23.6% (2017 est.)

services: 66% (2017 est.)

comparison rankings: services 90; industry 120; agriculture 87

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: NA

government consumption: NA

investment in fixed capital: NA

investment in inventories: NA

exports of goods and services: 27.2% (2015 est.)

imports of goods and services: -50.5% (2015 est.)

Agricultural products

coconuts, taro, bananas, tropical fruits, pineapples, mangoes/guavas, papayas, root vegetables, milk, pork (2022)

note: top ten agricultural products based on tonnage


food processing, building materials, auto parts

Industrial production growth rate

-0.18% (2022 est.)

note: annual % change in industrial value added based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 165

Labor force

75,000 (2022 est.)

note: number of people ages 15 or older who are employed or seeking work

comparison ranking: 187

Unemployment rate

10.04% (2022 est.)
10.62% (2021 est.)
10.37% (2020 est.)

note: % of labor force seeking employment

comparison ranking: 164

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 19.7% (2021 est.)

male: 16.7%

female: 24.5%

comparison ranking: total 83

Population below poverty line

21.9% (2018 est.)

note: % of population with income below national poverty line

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

38.7 (2013 est.)

note: index (0-100) of income distribution; higher values represent greater inequality

comparison ranking: 64

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.7%

highest 10%: 31.3% (2013 est.)

note: % share of income accruing to lowest and highest 10% of population


33.61% of GDP (2022 est.)
29.44% of GDP (2021 est.)
23.5% of GDP (2020 est.)

note: personal transfers and compensation between resident and non-resident individuals/households/entities


revenues: $313 million (2020 est.)

expenditures: $263 million (2020 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-4.7% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 165

Public debt

49.1% of GDP (2017 est.)
52.6% of GDP (2016 est.)

comparison ranking: 106

Taxes and other revenues

25.02% (of GDP) (2021 est.)

note: central government tax revenue as a % of GDP

comparison ranking: 51

Current account balance

-$78.203 million (2022 est.)
-$114.383 million (2021 est.)
-$75.732 million (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - net trade and primary/secondary income in current dollars

comparison ranking: 82


$171.278 million (2022 est.)
$97.774 million (2021 est.)
$116.519 million (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - exports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 206

Exports - partners

India 23%, US 19%, NZ 12%, Hungary 8%, Poland 6% (2022)

note: top five export partners based on percentage share of exports

Exports - commodities

coconut oil, integrated circuits, insulated wire, citrus, power equipment (2022)

note: top five export commodities based on value in dollars


$512.002 million (2022 est.)
$430.011 million (2021 est.)
$376.791 million (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - imports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 203

Imports - partners

China 25%, Singapore 16%, NZ 14%, South Korea 7%, US 7% (2022)

note: top five import partners based on percentage share of imports

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, coated flat-rolled iron, fish, poultry, ships (2022)

note: top five import commodities based on value in dollars

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$321.163 million (2022 est.)
$294.682 million (2021 est.)
$277.056 million (2020 est.)

note: holdings of gold (year-end prices)/foreign exchange/special drawing rights in current dollars

comparison ranking: 184

Debt - external

$447.2 million (31 December 2013 est.)

comparison ranking: 180

Exchange rates

tala (SAT) per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
2.689 (2022 est.)
2.556 (2021 est.)
2.665 (2020 est.)
2.649 (2019 est.)
2.587 (2018 est.)


Electricity access

electrification - total population: 98.3% (2022 est.)

electrification - urban areas: 100%

electrification - rural areas: 97.9%


installed generating capacity: 53,000 kW (2022 est.)

consumption: 177.279 million kWh (2022 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 17.175 million kWh (2022 est.)

comparison rankings: transmission/distribution losses 24; consumption 191; installed generating capacity 193

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 66.9% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

solar: 12.3% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

wind: 0.1% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

hydroelectricity: 20.6% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

biomass and waste: 0.1% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)


refined petroleum consumption: 2,000 bbl/day (2022 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

311,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2022 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 311,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: total emissions 197

Energy consumption per capita

20.949 million Btu/person (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: 130


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 5,000 (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 2 (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 203

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 134,000 (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 60 (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 189

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: Samoa was one of the first Pacific Island countries to establish a regulatory infrastructure and to liberalize its telecom market; the advent of competition in the mobile market saw prices fall by around 50% and network coverage increase to more than 90% of the population; Samoa also boasts one of the highest rates of mobile phone coverage in the Pacific region; the growth of fixed-line internet has been impeded by factors including the high costs for bandwidth, under investment in fixed-line infrastructure; Samoa’s telecoms sector has been inhibited by a lack of international connectivity; Samoa has had access to the Samoa-America-Samoa (SAS) cable laid in 2009, this cable has insufficient capacity to meet the country’s future bandwidth needs; this issue was addressed with two new submarine cables that became available in 2018 and 2019; combined with the Samoa National Broadband Highway (SNBH), have improved internet data rates and reliability, and have helped to reduce the high costs previously associated with internet access in Samoa; in April 2022, the Samoan government announced its decision to take over control of the Samoa Submarine Cable Company, looking to the cable to generate additional revenue for the state (2022)

domestic: fixed-line is 3 per 100 and mobile-cellular teledensity  32 telephones per 100 persons (2021)

international: country code - 685; landing points for the Tui-Samo, Manatua, SAS, and Southern Cross NEXT submarine cables providing connectivity to Samoa, Fiji, Wallis & Futuna, Cook Islands, Niue, French Polynesia, American Samoa, Australia, New Zealand, Kiribati, Los Angeles (US), and Tokelau; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean) (2019)

Broadcast media

state-owned TV station privatized in 2008; 4 privately owned television broadcast stations; about a half-dozen privately owned radio stations and one state-owned radio station; TV and radio broadcasts of several stations from American Samoa are available (2019)

Internet users

total: 171,600 (2021 est.)

percent of population: 78% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total 182

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 1,692 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 199


National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 1 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 4

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 137,770 (2018)


3 (2024)

comparison ranking: 186


total: 1,150 km (2018)

comparison ranking: total 183

Merchant marine

total: 13 (2023)

by type: general cargo 3, oil tanker 1, other 9

comparison ranking: total 155


total ports: 1 (2024)

large: 0

medium: 0

small: 0

very small: 1

ports with oil terminals: 1

key ports: Apia

Military and Security

Military and security forces

no regular military forces; Ministry of Police, Prisons, and Correction Services: Samoa Police Force (2024)

Military - note

informal defense ties exist with New Zealand, which is required to consider any Samoan request for assistance under the 1962 Treaty of Friendship

Samoa has a "shiprider" agreement with the US, which allows local maritime law enforcement officers to embark on US Coast Guard (USCG) and US Navy (USN) vessels, including to board and search vessels suspected of violating laws or regulations within Somoa's designated exclusive economic zone (EEZ) or on the high seas; "shiprider" agreements also enable USCG personnel and USN vessels with embarked USCG law enforcement personnel to work with host nations to protect critical regional resources (2023)