Alcohol ban remains for olioli/certain beers/all local vodka


Despite lifting the ban on the sale of liquor the Alcohol Control Board has put a temporary ban on sale of specific locally manufacture alcohol, such as Vailima Lager, Taula Strong, Sili, Moni and all manufactured Vodka alcohol products.

This is outlined in a statement issued by the Chairman of the Alcohol Control Board, Deputy Prime Minister Tuala Iosefo Ponifasio hours after the Prime Minister lifted the ban on sale of alcohol after close to two months.

The statement says the Alcohol Control Board has been instructed to closely look into conditions pertaining to this particular aspect of the State of Emergency orders.

In line with their previous notices “related to the temporary prohibition now placed on importation of ethyl alcohol (ethanol), and the ongoing review by the Board on some of our locally manufactured liquor products, the manufacture, distribution and sale of the following liquor products, in all its current sizes and volumes, are to remain prohibited from 12 am Wednesday 20th April 2022 until further notice.”

Alcohol sale ban remains for all locally manufactured Vodka alcohol products (ethanol and rice-based) Taula Strong Beer; Sili’ Beer; Moni Beer; Vailima Lager Export Beer; Olioli Wine and Olioli alcoholic beverages and Talofa’ Plum Wine cocktail mix.

“All other beer and alcohol products not included in the above stated types and brands, are now permitted to be manufactured, distributed and sold, pursuant to the conditions set forth in the revised SOE orders,” says Tuala.

Last month, the Liquor Board has put a temporary ban on the importation of ethanol by the local alcohol manufacturer companies.

This was revealed in a letter to all the alcohol manufacturer companies endorsed by the Chairman of the Liquor Board, Deputy Prime Minister Tuala Iosefo Ponifasio.

Dated 4, March the letter obtained by Radio Polynesia say at the last Liquor Board discussed various reports on the concerns over the growing incidents of violence and possible deaths as a result of heavy consumption of ethanol based liquor within our community.

“These concerns were again raised by the community including the Media and the Courts on the continuing impact posed by the use of ethanol-based liquor. This has prompted the Liquor Board to investigate and has made a decision based on its findings.”

Tuala confirmed there is methanol in some of the locally produced spirits.

He said the methanal is used to clean the production equipment but there is scientific evidence that methanal was found in not just rover but many other local spirits and they suspect the alcohol is tainted.

Tuala said they informed the companies of the temporary restriction and prohibition will be placed on the importation of ‘ethyl alcohol’ commonly referred to as ‘ethanol’ for a period of six months commencing 7 March 2022 – 7 September 2022.

“The prohibition will be subject to all importation of ethanol intended for human consumption or that of the manufacture of alcohol will be prohibited within the specified period.

All consignments containing ethanol of the type which have already been loaded onto vessels for import into Samoa as of the date of this letter will be allowed to be imported but subject to further examination by the authorities and the companies are required to submit to our office proof of loading of your relative consignments prior to the date of this notice,” said Tuala in his letter.

Furthermore, the Deputy Prime Minister said ethanol of the industrial grade, intended for cleaning, the food grade for analysis imported by the Ministry of Health (MOH), Scientific Research Organization of Samoa (SROS) and ethanol imported in limited quantities imported by pharmacies for cleaning and analytical use, will not be governed under the restriction/prohibition order.

“The prohibition is temporary to allow the Liquor Board to assess the current situation and decide on a way forward to ensure the safety of our community.

“We have received preliminary scientific advice regarding the presence of an excessive amount of methanol contained in most of our locally manufactured ethanol-based liquor. The assessment work will extend to cover the import processes, suppliers and local production and especially the legal frameworks governing this particular activity,” said the Deputy Prime Minister.