Guide to Doing Business
in St. Maarten


The Dutch Caribbean has always played a significant role in international trade. The islands’ favorable geographic locations and reliable services in the ports attract a large number of vessels annually. The cruise tourism accounts for a steady number of vessels each year.

The activities in the Dutch Caribbean ports include container transshipments, ship repairs, bunkering, cruise tourism and marine (underwater) surveys. As a result of the flexible fiscal regime, reliable legal infrastructure and the presence of specialized service providers, St. Maarten is an attractive option for registration of vessels.

St. Maarten’s jurisdiction has great conditions for arrests and judicial sales of vessels, through public auction or private sale. Claims (foreign or local) can be enforced very prompt and cost efficient, while the claimant is in control over the whole process. Almost all costs incurred with the enforcement can be recovered from the sales proceeds. As a consequence of judicial sale in St. Maarten, the vessel will be freed from old claims so that the buyer of the vessel can easily re-register its vessel with a clean title.