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Dealing with Construction Permits in

Samoa

Below is a detailed summary of the procedures, time and costs to build a warehouse in Samoa. This includes obtaining necessary licenses and permits, completing required notifications and inspections and obtaining utility connections.

This information was collected as part of the Doing Business project, which measures and compares regulations relevant to the life cycle of a small- to medium-sized domestic business in 190 economies. The most recent round of data collection was completed in June 2016. Read the methodology.

Compare Samoa to 189 other economies.

  • Measure of efficiency
    No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs
    1

    Obtain lot plan and ownership title from Land Registry

    Agency: Land Registry

    The Land Registry is fully computerized and Samoa moved from a deed system to a title system in 2009. There is no backlog at the Registry and documents can be obtained within minutes.

    1 day WST 5
    2

    Request and obtain development consent

    Agency: Planning and Urban Management Agency (PUMA) at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment

    The development consent application form is available at PUMA. An applicant pays the fee to the cashier and attaches the proof of payment to the application form. The following documents must be submitted along with the application:
    • Project design
    • Land deed
    • Development plan
    • Scope of development

    PUMA will review the application and decide whether or not an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is required. Full EIA (if deemed necessary) can take up to 2 -- 3 months and costs WST 12,000.00.

    15 days WST 70
    3

    Obtain endorsement of Compliancy Confirmation Form 1 by Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA)

    Agency: Fire and Emergency Services Agency

    A copy of the building plan for the placement of fire safety appliances must be submitted as well as the development consent obtained from FEMA.

    FESA will study the plan, issue a report and sign Compliance Confirmation Form 1.

    7 days WST 740
    * 4

    Obtain endorsement of Compliancy Confirmation Form 1 by Land Transport Authority (LTA)

    Agency: Land Transport Authority

    The Compliancy Confirmation Form 1 is given to the chief engineer for signature. Based on the type of building, a site visit may or may not be necessary.

    5 days WST 50
    * 5

    Obtain endorsement of Compliancy Confirmation Form 1 by Samoa Water Authority (SWA)

    Agency: Samoa Water Authority

    A site visit is necessary to check the land plot and the condition of the sewage and water pipes.

    5 days WST 20
    * 6

    Obtain endorsement of Compliancy Confirmation Form 1 by Electric Power Corporation (EPC)

    Agency: Electric Power Corporation (EPC)

    5 days no charge
    7

    Apply for building permit at the Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure

    Agency: Ministry of Works, Transport, and Infrastructure

    After obtaining the development consent, BuildCo must apply for a building permit with the Ministry of Works, Transport, and Infrastructure. The following documents must be provided:
    • Consent for development
    • 2 sets of building plans signed by the architect
    • Structural calculations and/or engineering certificate (for buildings of two stories or higher)
    • Valid builder's license
    • Compliancy confirmation form signed by all relevant authorities

    1 day no charge
    8

    Pay building permit fee and obtain building permit

    Agency: Ministry of Works, Transport, and Infrastructure

    Once all requirements are submitted and recommended for CEO's approval and BuildCo has paid the building permit fee to the Accounts Division, the CEO of the Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure issues the permit. The building permit is valid for only six months.

    7 days WST 2,500
    9

    Receive foundations work inspection

    Agency: Ministry of Works, Transport, and Infrastructure

    Building inspectors from the Ministry of Works, Transport, and Infrastructure (MWTI) can inspect on a random basis at any stage during construction. For larger projects, for example, most clients would employ a "clerk of works" to act on their behalf, carry out inspections, and make sure all necessary testing is done.

    1 day no charge
    10

    Receive steel work for slabs inspection

    Agency: Ministry of Works, Transport, and Infrastructure

    1 day no charge
    11

    Receive frame inspection

    Agency: Ministry of Works, Transport, and Infrastructure

    1 day no charge
    12

    Receive drainage inspection

    Agency: Ministry of Works, Transport, and Infrastructure

    1 day no charge
    13

    Receive sanitary inspection

    Agency: Ministry of Works, Transport, and Infrastructure

    1 day no charge
    14

    Request an inspection certificate from the Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure

    Agency: Ministry of Works, Transport, and Infrastructure

    1 day no charge
    * 15

    Request inspection certificate from the Fire and Emergency Services Authority

    Agency: Fire and Emergency Services Agency

    BuildCo requests an inspection from FESA. After the inspection, FESA issues a report within one week.

    1 day no charge
    * 16

    Receive final inspection and inspection certificate from the Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure

    Agency: Ministry of Works, Transport, and Infrastructure

    5 days no charge
    17

    Obtain water connection

    Agency: Samoa Water Authority

    Water connection is obtained once the final inspection certificate is issued by the Ministry of Works, and infrastructure

    14 days WST 770
    * 18

    Receive inspection and inspection certificate from the Fire and Emergency Services Authority

    Agency: Fire and Emergency Services Agency

    5 days no charge

    * Takes place simultaneously with previous procedure.

  • Measure of quality
    Answer Score
    Building quality control index (0-15) 6.0
    Quality of building regulations index (0-2) 1.0
    How accessible are building laws and regulations in your economy? (0-1) They must be purchased; Not easily accessible. 0.0
    Which requirements for obtaining a building permit are clearly specified in the building regulations or on any accessible website, brochure or pamphlet? (0-1) List of required documents; Fees to be paid; Required preapprovals. 1.0
    Quality control before construction index (0-1) 1.0
    Which third-party entities are required by law to verify that the building plans are in compliance with existing building regulations? (0-1) Licensed architect; Licensed engineer. 1.0
    Quality control during construction index (0-3) 0.0
    What types of inspections (if any) are required by law to be carried out during construction? (0-2) Inspections at various phases; No inspections are legally required during construction. 0.0
    Do legally mandated inspections occur in practice during construction? (0-1) Mandatory inspections are not always done in practice during construction. 0.0
    Quality control after construction index (0-3) 0.0
    Is there a final inspection required by law to verify that the building was built in accordance with the approved plans and regulations? (0-2) Final inspection is not required by law. 0.0
    Do legally mandated final inspections occur in practice? (0-1) Final inspection does not always occur in practice; Final inspection is not required by law but commonly occurs in practice. 0.0
    Liability and insurance regimes index (0-2) 0.0
    Which parties (if any) are held liable by law for structural flaws or problems in the building once it is in use (Latent Defect Liability or Decennial Liability)? (0-1)  No party is held liable under the law. 0.0
    Which parties (if any) are required by law to obtain an insurance policy to cover possible structural flaws or problems in the building once it is in use (Latent Defect Liability Insurance or Decennial Insurance)? (0-1) No party is required by law to obtain insurance . 0.0
    Professional certifications index (0-4) 4.0
    What are the qualification requirements for the professional responsible for verifying that the architectural plans or drawings are in compliance with existing building regulations? (0-2) Minimum number of years of experience; University degree in architecture or engineering; Being a registered architect or engineer. 2.0
    What are the qualification requirements for the professional who supervises the construction on the ground? (0-2) Minimum number of years of experience; University degree in engineering, construction or construction management; Being a registered architect or engineer. 2.0