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Yacht Assistance Immigration page


Sint Maarten DUTCH SIDE information

St.Martin French Side information

The Island St.Maarten-St.Martin is half Netherlands Antilles and half France, immigration and customs procedures are different on each side of the Island ( and mooring and docking rates are generally cheaper on the French side :)
The Dutch side is Netherlands Antilles and the French side is in the European Community.
Yacht Assistance is established on both sides of the Island.

The Lagoon Authority is charged with the collection of fees as stipulated in the Bridge Ordinance (AB 1994 no. 4 as amended) and the Harbor Fees Ordinance (AB 1984 no.5 as amended). The fees Collection Office of the Lagoon Authority is situated at the Police Station in Simpson Bay near the bridge and can be reached at tel/fax.no.5453183 or via the Police Station tel.no. 5455500. The opening hours are from 08:00 – 12:00 and 13:30 – 17:00 every day of the week. If there is a lot of traffic the office will stay open until 18:00 hours.  

PLEASE CALL US for the latest changes in bridge time openings !!!

VISAS ( Updated November 2011 )
Nationals from countries such as newly-added Guyana and Jamaica, who require visas to enter St. Maarten, are exempt from obtaining a visa to enter by air or sea, when they are in possession a Dutch Caribbean Visa, a multiple-entry visa for the US, Canada, or the European Schengen region, a residence permit for the US, Canada, the Schengen region or the United Kingdom, a residence permit for French St. Martin or a residence permit for Bonaire, St. Eustatius, or Saba.

For professional yacht crew on the visa-required list without one of the stated visas, entry is granted with a Seaman's Discharge Book and an Agent Guarantee Letter that a local agent will prepare.

For yacht guests on the visa-required list without one of the stated visas, a 48-hour transit exemption to go from the airport to the vessel or from the vessel to the airport can be arranged with a local Agent Guarantee Letter.

 

Police Dock:
The Police Dock can only be used by dinghies that come to the Police Station for the services of the Police; the Immigration; the Customs or the Simpson Bay Lagoon Authority. 

Clearance:
All vessels entering Simpson Bay and the Simpson Bay Lagoon are by law required to clear in at the Lagoon Authority Collection Office immediately after arrival and pay the indebted Bridge, Harbor and Clearance Fees.
All fees are immediately due and payable upon arrival.

All vessels have to receive clearance from Immigration, Customs and the Lagoon Authority before departing to their next harbor of destination. Failure to do so will result in unforeseen delays and fines. 

Fees to be paid when anchoring or docking in the Simpson Bay and the Simpson Bay Lagoon as per January 1, 2008: 

Bridge fees during regular opening hours entering the Lagoon:

USD   10 for boats from   9 to 12 meters in length
USD   30 for boats from 12 to 15 meters in length
USD   60 for boats from 15 to 18 meters in length
USD 120 for boats from 18 to 22 meters in length
USD 200 for boats from 22 to 28 meters in length
USD 300 for boats from 28 to 36 meters in length
USD 500 for boats from 36 meters and larger. 

Special Bridge openings per vessel and per opening may be requested 24 hours in advance for openings between 6.00 AM and 6.00 PM at a fee of USD 1.000 regardless the length of the vessel and must be paid in advance.  

Harbor fees:
USD   20 per week or a portion of a week for boats from 8 to 13 meters in length
USD   40 per week or a portion of a week for boats from 13 to 18 meters in length
USD   60 per week or a portion of a week for boats from 18 to 23 meters in length
USD   90 per week or a portion of a week for boats from 23 to 28 meters in length
USD 120 per week or a portion of a week for boats from 28 to 33 meters in length
USD 150 per week or a portion of a week for boats from 33 to 38 meters in length
USD 180 per week or a portion of a week for boats from 38 to 43 meters in length
USD 210 per week or a portion of a week for boats from 43 to 50 meters in length
USD 250 per week or a portion of a week for boats from 50 to 75 meters in length
USD 290 per week or a portion of a week for boats from 75 meters or larger 

Customs Clearance fees:
USD 2 for boats of 1 – 99 gross tons
USD 5 for boats of 100 – 499 gross tons
USD 9 for boats of more than 500 gross tons 

Harbor Clearance fees:
USD   5 for boats of 1 – 99 gross tons
USD 10 for boats of 100 – 499 gross tons
USD 20 for boats of more then 500 gross tons 

Documents to present when clearing in your vessel:
After entering the Simpson Bay or the Simpson Bay Lagoon Captains and/or vessel owners are required by law to check in at the fees Collections Office of the Simpson Bay Lagoon Authority at the Police Station immediately after docking or anchoring and present the following documents:

· the Clearance documents of your last Port of Departure

· the Immigration clearance documents

· the Customs clearance documents

· the vessel registry document

· the vessel insurance policy document

The Collection Office is open every day, Monday through Sunday from 08.00 – 12.30 and 13.30 – 17.00 hours. If necessary the office will stay open until 18:00 hours. 

All vessels making trips from the Simpson Bay or Simpson Bay Lagoon to non Sint Maarten harbors are required by law to clear out at the Simpson Bay Lagoon Authority and pay the corresponding harbor and clearance fees.  

Clearance:
The Harbor Clearance received when clearing out your vessel for departure, has to be presented in your new port of destination along with the duly stamped off Immigration and Customs Clearance documents. Please be advised that due to the international safety and security measures in accordance with the ISPS-code and anti-terrorism covenants, arriving in a Port without the necessary Immigration, Customs and Harbor clearance documents stamped off by your Port of departure can cause unnecessary delays and hardships and will result in fines or other sanctions depending on the nature of the infraction.  

The Sint Maarten Authorities maintain a three monthly consultation meeting with the corresponding Authorities of the neighboring islands to enforce strict application of all applicable immigration, customs and harbor laws. Each harbor authority ensures that a departing vessel, its crew and its passengers complies with all requirements of the port of destination. 

Bridge Opening Hours:
The daily regular bridge opening hours during the off season from May to November are: 

9.30   AM 11.30 AM  and  17.30 PM for both outbound and inbound traffic.   

The daily seasonal bridge opening hours for the John Sainsborough Lejuez Bridge at Simpson Bay from December to April are: 

9.00 AM Outbound 11.00 AM Outbound 16.30 PM Outbound
9.30 AM Inbound 11.30 AM Inbound 17.30 PM Inbound 

Transiting the bridge channel:

Your vessel can only proceed to transgress the bridge channel when the bridge traffic light is on green. The outbound traffic coming out of the Lagoon always precedes inbound traffic. All vessels should cue up in line and maintain a ship’s length distance between vessels as to transit the bridge in the shortest time possible. The bridge attendant will instruct you to speed up the moment your vessel falls behind. 

Due to the heavy road traffic, the length of time the bridge can be opened is very limited. While transiting the bridge channel please turn your VHF radio to channel 12 so you can follow the instructions and notifications of the bridge attendant.  

If there is any emergency on the road, please pay careful attention. You will hear the sirens and the bridge attendant will instruct you to halt your transit so the bridge can close for the emergency passage of the Police, Fire brigade or Ambulance. After passage the bridge will once more open. 

The bridge will not operate on days that the 10 minute average wind speed limit as published daily by the Meteorological Service of the Netherlands Antilles exceeds 35 km/hour (19.7 mph). You can request information via VHF channel 12. or on telnr. 545 3183. If due to the wind speed limit the bridge cannot operate on the scheduled opening hours, we request you to stand by for an announced opening once the wind speed allows operations.   

Speed limit:
In the bridge channel, fare ways and in the Lagoon a 5-mph speed limit is in force for all vessels. Anchorage zones and marinas fall under “no wake zones”. The buoyage system used is the “red-right-returning” American system. 

No-anchorage zones:
No anchorage is allowed in the fare ways. The access fare way from sea to the bridge channel should always stay open. The inbound traffic should position their vessels along side the fare way so the outbound traffic has free passage to sea. Behind the airport strip in the lagoon there is a no-anchoring zone. 

Width, height and depth of the bridge passage:
The bridge opening spans 17 meters (56 ft). The bridge channel has a depth of 5 meters (17 ft). Wide beamed vessels must request piloting. Entering from the sea the closed bridge has a 2.6 meters (8.6 ft) clearance in the port channel and a 2.4 meters (8) feet clearance in the starboard channel.  

All small vessels, kayaks, jet ski’s, and rhinos should pass under the bridge using exclusively only the port channel. Jet ski’s should lower their waterspout as not to corrode the steel structure of the bridge. These smaller craft are not allowed in the bridge channel during bridge opening hours. 

Fare ways:
Coming through the bridge into the lagoon you can take the fare way directly to the left passing in front of the Coast Guard dock if you wish to go to the western part of the lagoon. This fare way gives you access to the channel going to Marigot.  

Going straight forward from the bridge will take you pass Isle de Sol marina towards the newly dredged fare way at your left that passes in front of Port de Plaisance Marina to once more make a left to all the way down to Cupe Coy. 

Passing Isle de Sol marina and turning to your right you will be entering the fare way to the Eastern part of the lagoon. 

Accidents:
If unfortunately your vessel damages the bridge structure while transiting the bridge channel or if your vessel damages a buoy or marker while maneuvering, you will be held liable for all visible and hidden damages. Your vessel will not be allowed to leave port without settling the claim presented by the Lagoon Authority.  

Successful projects:
The Simpson Bay Lagoon Authority’s first successful project was the widening of the Bridge deck to 17 meters to allow the larger (mega) yachts to enter the Lagoon. This was done to diversify the economic development of Sint Maarten. Other successfully implemented projects include amongst others the marking of the fare ways and no anchorage zones, the free collection of trash, the dredging of the bridge channel. In its bussinesplan many more projects are included to enhance the facilities in the Lagoon and the Simpson Bay which both fall under its jurisdiction. 

Safety and Security:
The Simpson Bay Lagoon Authority trusts that all visitors and vessels shall comply with all local rules and regulations as legally stipulated and that you will help us keep our waters and facilities safe and clean, free from any contamination, pollution or crime.  

All fire arms, ammunition and explosives, chemicals and cash money (USD 11.000,-- or more) must be declared with Customs when clearing in. Failure to do so will result in your vessel being impounded and your person being fined and/or sentenced to imprisonment. Drugs possession is illegal and will lead to the same punishment as mentioned before. Fire arms possession is only legal if declared and the owner has a legal permit of his country of origin and the arms are safely secured. In all other cases the fire arms will be confiscated. 

Official filing of complaints;
If anything unfortunate might happen to your person or with your vessel, please file a formal complaint immediately at the Police Station in Simpson Bay. A form for filing a complaint against unknown perpetrator(s) can be downloaded from the website of the Lagoon Authority <sxmlagoonauthority.com>.  

The Coast Guard, the Maritime Police and the Lagoon Authority patrol the Lagoon on a daily base for your safety and security. Feel free to contact them for any assistance you need. 

Number of visits:
The number of yachts visiting Simpson Bay has steadily increased over the years leading to new marina projects in the lagoon. During 2007 12.718 visits of vessels were recorded of which 1.118 were visits of mega yachts. 

St.Martin French Side information

The Island St.Maarten-St.Martin is half Netherlands Antilles and half France, immigration and customs procedures are different on each side of the Island ( and mooring and docking rates are generally cheaper on the French side :)
The Dutch side is Netherlands Antilles and the French side is in the European Community.
Yacht Assistance is established on both sides of the Island.


Immigration control is compulsory and conducted upon entry into Marina Fort Louis by immigration police officer (P.A.F.). Every French or foreign skipper of a sail boat, before disembarking his passenger must show at the harbor master’s office.
The office is located on the waterfront ( where the Ferries leave to Anguilla ).
Opening hours: 9.30 am-11.30 am and 2.00 pm-4.00 pm.
Nevertheless, upon entering the French waters, 12 miles off the coast line of Saint-Martin, the captain of the ship must comply with the French immigration regulations.
The immigration police, the National Gendarmes force or the Customs can proceed to a check at any time at sea.

Mooring Fees: there are now mooring fees that need to be paid for mooring in the Bay of Marigot and some other places.
Please contact us for specifics.

Entrance to the lagoon.
Bridge in Sandy Ground: this is a small bridge with shallow water.
Width: 30 ft (10m) Depth: 10.6 ft to 11,5 ft with high tide (3.50 m to 3.80 m)

For Seaman's Books and VISA information please see HERE


Please call + 590690629955 or
e-mail Info@YachtAssistance.com
 


 

Contact e-mail: Info@YachtAssistance.com
Phone: +59 0690629955
Skype: yachtassistance