27.0903 Prohibited unfair pricing practices.

Cite as [A.S.C.A. § 27.0903]

(a) Upon a declaration of a state of emergency, and for a period of thirty (30) days following that declaration, it is unlawful for any person, contractor, business, or other entity to sell, rent or offer to sell or rent any consumer food items or goods, emergency supplies, medical supplies, building materials, housing, gasoline, or any other goods or services necessary in an emergency response for a price of more than ten percent (10%) above the price charged by that person, contractor, business or other entity for those goods or services immediately prior to the declaration of a state of emergency. However, a greater price increase shall not be unlawful if that person can prove that the increase in price was directly attributable to additional costs imposed on it by the supplier of the goods, or directly attributable to additional costs for labor or materials used to provide the services, provided that in those situations where the increase in price is attributable to additional costs imposed by the supplier or additional costs of providing the goods or services during the state of emergency, the price represents no more than ten percent (10%) above the total of the cost to the seller plus the markup customarily applied by the seller for that good or service in the usual course of business immediately prior to the onset of the state of emergency.

(b) Prior to the occurrence and upon a declaration of a state of emergency, and for a period of one hundred eighty (180) days following that declaration, it is unlawful for any person, contractor, business, or other entity to sell or offer to sell any repair or reconstruction services or any other services used in emergency cleanup for a price of more than ten percent (10%) above the price charged by that person, contractor, business or other entity for those goods or services immediately prior to the declaration of a state of emergency. However, a greater price increase shall not be unlawful if that person can prove that the increase in price was directly attributable to additional costs imposed on it by the supplier of the goods, or directly attributable to additional costs for labor or materials used to provide the services, provided that in those situations where the increase in price is attributable to additional costs imposed by the supplier or additional costs of providing the good or service during the state of emergency, the price represents no more that ten percent (10%) above the total of the cost to the seller plus the markup customarily applied by the seller for that good or service in the usual course of business immediately prior to the onset of the state of emergency.

(c) the amount charged represents a gross disparity between the price of the commodity or rental or lease of any dwelling unit that is the subject of the offer or transaction and the average price at which that commodity or dwelling unit was rented, leased, sold or offered for rent or sale in the usual course of business during this period immediately prior to a declaration of a state of emergency, and the increase in the amount charged is not attributable to additional costs incurred in connection with the rental or sale of the commodity or rental or lease of any dwelling unit, or national or international market trends.

(d) The provisions of this section may be extended for additional thirty (30) day periods by the Governor of American Samoa if deemed necessary to protect the lives, property, or welfare of the citizens.

(e) Any business offering an item for sale at a reduced price immediately prior to the declaration of a state of emergency may use the price at which they usually sell the item to calculate the price pursuant to subsection (a) or (b).

History: 2006, PL 29-22.