Chapter 06 - Weights and Measures

Chapter 06 - Weights and Measures

27.0601 Definitions.


As used in this chapter:

(a) “Correct” as used in connection with weights and measures means conformance to all applicable requirements of this chapter.

(b) “Director” means the Director of the Consumer Protection Bureau or his designated representative.

(c) “Package” means any commodity put up or packaged in any manner in advance of sale in units suitable for either wholesale or retail sale.

(d) “Person” means both plural and the singular, as the case demands, and includes individuals, partnerships, corporations, companies, societies, and associations.

(e) “Primary standards” means the physical standards of the Territory which serve as the legal reference from which all other standards and weights and measures are derived.

(f) “Sale from bulk” means the sale of commodities when the quality is determined at the time of sale.

(g) “Samoan” or “Samoan descent” includes American Samoans of at least one-half Samoan blood and persons born on other islands of the Pacific Ocean who are of at least one-half Polynesian, Melanesian or Micronesian blood and reside in American Samoa.

(h) “Secondary standards” means the physical standards which are traceable to the primary standards through comparisons, using acceptable laboratory procedures, and used in the enforcement of weights and measures laws and regulations.

(i) “Weight” as used in connection with any commodity means net weight.

(j) “Weights or measures” means all weights and measures of every kind, instruments, and devices for weighing and measuring, and any appliance and accessories associated with any or all such instruments and devices.

27.0602 Systems of weights and measures-Generally.


The system of weights and measures in customary use in the United States and the metric system of weights and measures are jointly recognized, and either one or both of these systems must be used for all commercial purposes in the Territory. The definitions of basic units of weight and measure, the tables of weight and measure, and weights and measures equivalents as published by the National Bureau of Standards are recognized and shall govern weighing and measuring equipment and transactions in the Territory.

27.0603 Physical standards.


Weights and measures that are traceable to the United States prototype standards supplied by the federal government, or approved as being satisfactory by the National Bureau of Standards, shall be the Territory primary standards of weights and measures, and shall be maintained in such calibration as prescribed by the National Bureau of Standards. All secondary standards may be prescribed by the Director.

27.0604 Technical requirements for commercial device.


The specifications, tolerances, and other technical requirements for commercial weighing and measuring devices as adopted by the National Bureau of Standards Handbook 44, “Specifications, Tolerances, and Other Technical Requirements for Commercial Weighing and Measuring Devices”, and supplements thereto or revisions thereof, shall apply to commercial weighing and measuring devices in the Territory, except insofar as modified or rejected by regulation of the Director.

27.0605 Director-Powers and duties.


The Director may:

(1) maintain traceability of the Territory standards to the National Bureau of Standards;

(2) enforce the provisions of this chapter;

(3) issue reasonable regulations for the enforcement of this chapter, which regulations shall have the force and effect of law;

(4) establish standards of weight, measure, or count, reasonable standards of fill, and standards for presentation of cost per unit information for any packaged commodity;

(5) grant any exemptions from the provision of this chapter or any regulations promulgated pursuant thereto, when appropriate to the maintenance of good commercial practices and existing local customs within the Territory;

(6) conduct investigations to ensure compliance with this chapter;

(7) delegate to appropriate personnel any of these responsibilities for proper administration of his office;

(8) inspect and test weights and measures kept, offered, or exposed for sale;

(9) inspect and test to ascertain if they are correct, weights and measures commercially used:

(A) in determining the weight, measure, or count of commodities or things sold, or offered or exposed for sale, on the basis of weight, measure, or count; or

(B) in computing the basic charge or payment for services rendered on the basis of weight, measure, or count;

(10) test all weights and measures used in checking the receipt or disbursement of supplies in every institution, for the maintenance of which funds are appropriated by the Legislature of the Territory;

(11) approve for use, and mark, such weights and measures as he finds to be correct, and reject and mark as rejected such weights and measures as he finds to be incorrect; weights and measures that have been rejected may be seized if not corrected within the time specified or if used or disposed of in a manner not specifically authorized; the Director shall condemn and may seize weights and measures found to be incorrect that are not capable of being made correct;

(12) weigh, measure, or inspect packaged commodities kept, offered, or exposed for sale, sold, or in the process of delivery, to determine whether they contain the amounts represented and whether they are kept, offered, or exposed for sale in accordance with this chapter or regulations promulgated pursuant thereto; in carrying out the provisions of this section, the Director shall employ recognized sampling procedures such as designated by the National Bureau of Standards or other recognized system;

(13) prescribe, by regulation the appropriate term or unit of weight or measure to be used, whenever he determines in the case of a specific commodity that an existing practice of declaring those caused by loss or gain of moisture during the course of good distribution practice or by unavoidable deviations in good manufacturing practice only after the commodity has entered intrastate commerce;

(14) allow reasonable variations from the stated quantity of contents, which shall include the quantity by weight, measure, numerical count, or combination thereof, does not facilitate value comparison by consumers, or offers an opportunity for consumer confusion;

(15) establish fees for inspection of weights and measures.

27.0606 Inspections and seizures.


(a) When necessary for the enforcement of this chapter or regulations promulgated pursuant thereto, the Director may:

(1) enter any commercial premises during normal business hours, except that in the event the premises are not open to the public, he shall first present his credentials and obtain consent before making entry thereto unless a search warrant has previously been obtained;

(2) issue stop-use, hold, and removal orders with respect to any weights and measures com-mercially used, and stop-sale, hold, and removal orders with respect to any packaged commodities or bulk commodities kept, offered, or exposed for sale;

(3) seize, for use as evidence, without formal warrant, any incorrect or unapproved weight, measure, package, or commodity found to be used, retained, offered, or exposed for sale or sold in violation of the provisions of this chapter or regulations promulgated pursuant thereto.

(b) With respect to the enforcement of this chapter, the Director has special police powers, and may arrest, without formal warrant, any violator of this chapter.

27.0607 Misrepresentation of quantity prohibited.


No person may sell, offer, or expose for sale less than the quantity he represents, or take any more than the quantity he represents when, as buyer, he furnished the weight or measure by means of which the quantity is determined.

27.0608 Misrepresentation of pricing prohibited.


No person may misrepresent the price of any commodity or service sold, offered, exposed, or advertised for sale by weight, measure, or count nor represent the price in any manner calculated or tending to mislead or in any way deceive a person.

27.0609 Measurement of commodities.


Except as otherwise provided by the Director, commodities in liquid form must be sold by liquid measure or by weight, and commodities not in liquid form may be sold only by weight, or by measure, or by count, so long as the method of sale provides accurate quantity information.

27.0610 Bulk sales.


Whenever the quantity is determined by the seller, bulk sales in excess of $20 and all bulk deliveries of fuel shall be accompanied by a delivery ticket containing the following information:

(1) the name and address of the vendor and purchaser;

(2) the date delivered;

(3) the quantity delivered and the quantity upon which the price is based if this differs from the delivered quantity;

(4) the identity in the most descriptive terms commercially practicable, including any quality representation made in connection with the sale;

(5) the count of individually wrapped packages if more than one.

27.0611 Labelling-Generally.


Except as otherwise provided in this chapter or by regulations promulgated pursuant thereto, any package kept for the purpose of sale or offered or exposed for sale must bear on the outside of the package a definite, plain and conspicuous declaration in English or Samoan of:

(1) the identity of the commodity in the package unless the same can easily be identified through the wrapper or container;

(2) the quantity of contents in terms of weight, measure, or count;

(3) the name and place of business of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor, in the case of any package kept, offered, or exposed for sale, or sold in any place other than on the premises where packed.

27.0612 Labelling-Unit pricing.


In addition to the declarations required by 27.0611, any package being one of a lot containing random weights of the same commodity and bearing the total selling price of the package must bear on the outside of the package a plain and conspicuous declaration of the price per single unit of weight.

27.0613 Labelling-Declaration of quantity.


Whenever a packaged commodity is advertised in any manner with the retail price stated, there must be closely and conspicuously associated with the retail price a declaration of quantity as is required by law or regulation to appear on the package. Where a dual declaration is required, only the declaration that sets forth the quantity in terms of the small unit of weight or measure need appear in the advertisement.

27.0614 Prohibitions-Penalty.


(a) No person may:

(1) use or have in possession for use in commerce any incorrect weight or measure;

(2) remove any tag, seal, or mark from any weight or measure without specific written authorization from the proper authority;

(3) hinder or obstruct any weights and measures official in the performance of his duties.

(b) Any person who violates the provisions of subsection (a) or any provision of this chapter or regulations promulgated pursuant thereto, for which a specific penalty has not been pre-scribed, is guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon a first conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not less than $50 or more than $500, or by imprisonment for not more than 3 months, or both. Upon a subsequent conviction thereof, he shall be punished by a fine of not less than $100 or more than $1,000, or by imprisonment for up to one year, or both.

27.0615 Presumptive evidence.


Whenever there exists a weight or measure or weighing or measuring device in or about any place in which or from which buying or selling is commonly carried on, there shall be a rebut-table presumption that such weight or measure or weighing or measuring device is regularly used for the business purposes of that place.

27.0616 Injunctions.


The Director may apply to the High Court of American Samoa for a temporary or permanent injunction restraining any person from violating any provision of this chapter.