Guide to Doing Business
in St. Maarten
The process of arrest
A conservatory arrest, being an arrest before an enforceable title such as a judgment is obtained, can be effected after leave from the local Court. To obtain leave to arrest a vessel, a written application must be submitted to the Court on behalf of the claimant setting out any relevant information concerning the claim. At the time an arrest application is filed, the claimant is only re¬quired to assert his claim in writing. It is however recommended to produce documents or other evidence in support of the claim. Furthermore, a claimant is not required to demonstrate that the ship owner is of doubtful solvency. It is common practice to request leave to arrest the ship for the principal amount increased by 30% (concerning a principal amount up to approximately ANG 600,000, 20% on the excess up to approximately ANG 1,200,000, 15% on the excess up to approximately ANG 10,000,000) approximately ANG 600,000; and 10% on the excess over ANG 10,000,000) to secure any interest which accrues on the claim and costs and expenses of the proceedings.
After leave for arrest has been obtained, the petition together with the leave of the Court must be handed over to a court appointed bailiff, who will affect the arrest on the ship by serving a writ of arrest upon the ship. The whole process from court application to actual arrest can usually be effected within two business days. If parties reach a settlement and the arrest should be lifted, it can usually be done in a couple of hours.