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Business appreciation network event: 20 November 2022

All registered business are invited to the first annual Business appreciation network event on Sint Eustatius.

We hope to welcome you there! 

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Importing products (cheaper) from Colombia

The Association of Dutch Caribbean Chamber of Commerce (DCCC) is looking into business opportunities between the Dutch Caribbean islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius and Saba) and Colombia. From 14 to 18 November, representatives of the Chamber of Commerce St Eustatius and Saba will visit Colombia to explore the options and connect with local businesses.

We believe that Colombia has a lot of potential to be a great business market and trade partner for import, export, purchasing and supply for Statia and Saba.

But we need your help!

What does Colombia have to offer?

Colombia can be an alternative or at least a valuable addition to the already established supply chains our islands have with Europe, the United States and the rest of the Caribbean.

The country is rich in natural resources, and it is heavily dependent on energy and mining exports. Colombia’s main exports include mineral fuels, oils, distillation products, fruits and other agricultural products, sugars and sugar confectionery, food products, plastics, precious stones, metals, forest products, chemical goods, pharmaceuticals, vehicles, electronic products, electrical equipment, perfumery and cosmetics, machinery, manufactured articles, textile and fabrics, clothing and footwear, glass and glassware, furniture, prefabricated buildings, home and office material, construction equipment, software, you name it. 

Do you want to receive quotations from Colombia? 

We would love to hear from businesses in Statia and Saba what products you might be interested in importing from Colombia. Facilitated by Holland House Colombia, we will be meeting with several businesses in Bogota from November 15th to 17th: and we are happy to get quotations for you! 

Businesses on Saba can contact Hemmie van Xanten, our Chamber president, per phone on +5994165443. Businesses on Statia can contact Leonieke Zuiddam, our Chamber vice-president, per phone on +5993191307. 

We hope to hear from you before November 17th, 2022. 

About Holland House Colombia

The Colombo-Dutch Chamber of Commerce – Holland House is the bridge that connects companies and organizations from Colombia and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, with the aim of leveraging internationalization and boosting business growth. They are a strategic ally for entrepreneurs who wish to start commercial and investment relationships in Colombia, the Caribbean and Europe. See also hollandhouse-colombia.com.

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Makana ferry includes St Kitts in destinations

Now that St Kitts has finally lifted the travel restrictions that applied since the Covid19 pandemic, Makana ferry is able to connect Saba, Statia and SXM to the island. From Statia, there will be a morning (7AM) and an afternoon (4:20PM) option on Mondays and Fridays. The travel time between St Kitts and Statia is 1 hour and 10 minutes. The first trip is scheduled for Monday October 31st.

Reservations to St Kitts must be made 24hours in advance and all travelers must complete the immigration and customs form before travel.

Business and leisure possibilities 
The improving connectivity between the islands gives great opportunities for interregional travel and trade. Passengers are allowed to bring luggage on the ferry, making pleasure shopping or business purchasing a lot easier. The Makana ferry offers travelers an alternative and more affordable option to visit Statia and Saba, a development that will help boost our local economy.

Entrepreneurs, your market is expanding!
If you have a business in hospitality, taxi service, car rental or otherwise: your target market just got bigger! Now is a good time to evaluate your marketing strategy and activities and see how this island connectivity development can widen your reach and grow your business.

Check the website www.makanaferryservice.com for the latest schedules and fares.

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Nomination of candidates for Chamber Board: November 1-14 2022

Do you wish to be on the board of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry St Eustatius and Saba for the next three years? Or would you like to nominate a candidate?

From November 1st to November 14th, 2022 the nominations can be submitted at your local Chamber of Commerce.

Who is eligible for a board position?

Anyone who represents a legal entity that is registered at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry St Eustatius and Saba, with the exception of foundations and associations, can be nominated for board membership. You must be at least 18 years old and have a valid residency in St Eustatius or Saba for the past two years. Acting board members can be re-elected up to three times.

Candidates must represent one of the following entities:

  • N.V. (limited liability company)
  • B.V. (private liability company)
  • Proprietorship
  • V.O.F. (general partnership)
  • C.V. (limited partnership)
What it takes to be a board member

A good candidate should have an interest in the economic situation on the islands. You want to help strengthen the business community and have a drive to make a difference. You are willing to invest 2 to 3 hours per week in your board member position. As president and vice-president, you will most likely spend double that amount of time. You are expected to attend and actively participate in the board meetings that take place once per month. A candidate must be fluent in the English language (Dutch is preferable but not necessary).

It’s a great advantage if you already have any board experience and understand the difference between the tasks of a board and the tasks of the director. The board sets the vision and mission and makes decisions (and advises) on policy, priorities, goals and budgets. The director and employees are responsible for the daily operations of the Chamber and executing the tasks that follow from the before mentioned vision and direction set by the board. 

What’s in it for you?

A board position will definitely expand your personal and professional network and business knowledge. Being closer involved with the local and regional business community and on a different level will most likely help grow your own business too. Last but not least: a board position looks great on your resume! 

Who is eligible to vote and to nominate?

Representatives of all legal entities registered in the local Chamber of Commerce registry, except of foundations and associations, as listed above.

How to nominate a candidate?

As of October 15th, you can pick up the necessary declaration forms during office opening hours at the Chamber of Commerce offices in Sint Eustatius and Saba. Then, from November 1st to November 14th, these completed nominations can be submitted at the one of the Chamber of Commerce offices.

Documents to be submitted are:

  • A declaration signed by at least five (5) voters who are qualified to participate in the election.
  • A written statement from the candidate, that he/she is willing to accept a candidacy. Each statement may only contain the name of one candidate.
  • An extract from the population register (census office) showing that the candidate has been resident of Statia or Saba for the past two years.
What happens after November 14th?

An election committee will review all declarations and verify if the candidates meet the legal requirements. When the final list of candidates has been made public, the election date will be announced on which eligible voters have the opportunity to elect the new members for the Board of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry St Eustatius and Saba.

We will keep you informed during the whole process.

Declaration forms available now

The forms for the nomination of candidates and for the written declaration referred to above are available as of October 15th, 2022, during office opening hours at the Chamber of Commerce offices in Sint Eustatius and Saba.

More information

For further information please contact the Chamber of Commerce St. Eustatius and Saba by telephone 318-3332 (Statia) / 416-2554 (Saba) or by e-mail to: director@statiasabachamber.com.

This nomination process is in accordance with the provisions of art. 5 and 6 of the Electoral Decree of Chambers of Commerce and Industry BES (Dutch version). 

See here who the current Board members of the Chamber of Commerce St Eustatius and Saba are.

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Doing business with Colombia: free webinar Wednesday Oct 12th

Are you internationally orientated? Have you ever thought of Colombia as a possible business market or a trade partner for import, export, purchasing and supply for Statia and Saba? Would you like to learn more about business opportunities in Colombia? 

 

Join the free webinar about exploring business cooperation between Colombia and Dutch Caribbean islands

 

Registration is necessary via this link

 

Date: October 12th, 2022

Time: 16:00 EST

Language: English

Speaker: Wessel Mol

 

The Association of Dutch Caribbean Chamber of Commerce (DCCC) is looking into business opportunities between the Dutch Caribbean islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius and Saba) and Colombia. To benefit and help grow their economies and business communities.

 

To inform all business communities, the Chamber of Commerce & Industry Curaçao is organizing a FREE webinar for everyone who is curious about this international development and specifically about trading opportunities with Colombia.

 

During this informative online session, brought to you by Holland House Colombia based in Bogota, the following topics will be discussed: 

 

  • Colombian market: Why now?
  • Characteristics of the market
  • Sectors of opportunity
  • Tips & Tricks
  • Mission to Colombia November 15-18, 2022

 

Register FREE via this link

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DCCC meets in Curacao

DCCC meet in Curacao

On August 26th the members of the Association of Dutch Caribbean Chamber of Commerce (DCCC), met in Curaçao to discuss various matters pertaining to the economies of the Dutch Caribbean and to interchange ideas on servicing their members. DCCC consists of the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, St.Maarten, St. Eustatius and Saba, representing over 65.000 companies in total.
 
The one-day event included a discussion on the ‘LandsPakket’, the relationship with Venezuela, new rules on company registration, and most importantly, ways to improve the economic connectivity of the islands.
 
After a fruitful day of discussions and exchange of knowledge and ideas, the members of DCCC signed a document with 3 points that they agreed upon to be very important for the economies of the islands:

  1. That the Chambers support the implementation of the ‘Landspakket’ to increase the resilience of the economies of the CAS- islands countries in the Kingdom. In addition, they find it essential that fiscal-, social-, economic- and labor reforms lead to sustainable improvement. In this document it is also stated that it is fundamental that a holistic and integrated approach is required, and that the meaningful and timely engagement of the stakeholders is important in this regard. Furthermore, they emphasized that in order to increase the transparency of the reforms, the recommendations should be made publicly available.
  1. To open borders with Venezuela as soon as possible in the interest of our communities to promote and facilitate trade.
    To stimulate and promote trade among the islands in the most cost-effective way and increase affordable connectivity between the islands.

 

 
The document was signed by (in picture left to right) Ms. J. Carty, President of the St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Mr. H. Van Xanten President of the Saba and Statia Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Mr. W. Jonckheer, President of the Curaçao Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Mr. H. Groot, President of the Bonaire Chamber of Commerce & Industry, and Mrs. M. Kock, President of the Aruba Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
 

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Notary services restored

Long-awaited notary services have been secured for Saba and St. Eustatius with the arrival of Marcia Bouterse. The two islands did not have direct access to a notary for a long time. Bouterse has 16 years of professional experience working in the Netherlands and seven in the Caribbean region.

 

Bouterse recently met with Saba Island Governor Jonathan Johnson, Commissioner Rolando Wilson, Government Advisor Gerald Simmons and Mortgage Registrar Robert Zagers on Saba. She also visited St. Eustatius where she met with Government Commissioner Alida Francis. Notary Bouterse discussed her short- and long-term business plans with both governments.

 

Land ownership issue

During the meeting on Saba, Island Governor Johnson provided a detailed introduction to Saba’s land ownership registration rights issue, including its historical development. Simmons shared ideas on possible solutions and a way forward for the Saba people who have land registration problems. “Following the project that was started with the Legal Desk on Saba, a new project has to be worked on in collaboration with all stakeholders,” said Simmons.

 

He mentioned the Kadaster in the Netherlands, the Housing Department of the Ministry of Interior Affairs and Kingdom relations (BZK), and the Public Entity Saba. “It is important that this project will be done in an inclusive way with the Saba community to ensure that the local historical knowledge of property rights is considered. The notary plays a very important role in this,” stated Simmons.

Notary Ms Marcia Bouterse meets with Island Governor Jonathan Johnson and other officials on Saba

 

Service is needed

During her meeting with Bouterse, Government Commissioner Alida Francis spoke about the general perception that there is insufficient business on Statia and Saba to have a notary office permanently established. “I am convinced however that this service is needed as the island continues to develop.

The high demand for notarial services linked to the mortgage loans is a main priority now. However, I have encouraged Bouterse to inform the community of the wide range of services, including last testament, civil partnerships etc.,” she stated.

 

Government Commissioner of St Eustatius Alida Francis and notary Ms Marcia Bouterse

 

Gratitude

Government Commissioner Francis, Island Governor Johnson and Commissioner Wilson expressed their gratitude to Notary Bouterse for coming to St. Eustatius and Saba. The government representatives assured her that she has a strong partner in both public entities who will support and facilitate her in whatever way possible.

 

The notary’s office on Saba is located in The Bottom, next to the Own Your Own Home Foundation, Cobblestone Road 3C and in Oranjestad, St. Eustatius at Emmaweg 2 in front of the St. Eustatius Historical Foundation Museum. Ms Bouterse can be reached by phone at +1721 528 8884 and via email at notary@statiasaba.com.

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Reduction of annual fees 2022

A thorough analysis by the BES Chamber of Commerce has shown that – compared to the situation in May 2020 – circumstances have changed to such an extent that an adjustment of the basic rate is justified. Based on this updated estimate, the basic rate has been reduced from USD 80 to USD 60 retroactive to 1 January 2022. During the year, the effect of the proposed change will be monitored by both entrepreneurs and the Chambers and, if there is reason to do so, a new decision will be made about the basic rate for subsequent years.

 

You can find all fees and tariffs here.

 

Why this adjustment?

In response to concerns expressed by the Chamber of Commerce and the feedback provided by individual entrepreneurs and business representatives with regard to the level of the new annual contribution rates and given that some time has elapsed since the new basic rate was established, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy and the BES Chambers of Commerce and Industry (hereinafter referred to as: the Chambers) have re-examined the principles and parameters underlying the determination of the new basic rate.

 

The calculations used to determine the basic rate of USD 80 were made in May 2020 at the time of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. At that time, it was not clear what the support measures would entail and what their effect would be. Additionally, the determination was based on a lower average increase in annual registrations, an increase in the number of companies closing down and a rise in bankruptcies filed -due to the COVID-19 pandemic- compared to previous years.

 

Difference with European Netherlands

We have received a lot of feedback noting the difference between the Caribbean Netherlands and the European Netherlands, where the annual contribution for the commercial register was discontinued as of 2013. At that time this was done in order to compensate for tax measures that had caused entrepreneurs to pay more taxes. As a result -in effect- European Netherlands entrepreneurs continued to pay for being registered in the commercial register. It is important for the Chambers of Commerce to be independent in nature in order to be able to perform their specific tasks properly. For this reason, an annual contribution for the Chambers of Commerce in the Caribbean Netherlands will continue to be legislated.

 

Have you paid too much?

Organizations that have already paid the annual contribution to the Chambers or that have newly registered during 2022 will receive a refund of any excess paid. The Chambers will actively address all such cases. Invoices for the annual contribution for the year 2022 will be sent out no later than May 2022.

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Online Registry soon available

We are working hard on making Online Business Registry available on this website. Unfortunately, due to technical challenges, this is taking longer than expected. For now, viewing, changing and registering businesses and companies is only possible at our offices on St Eustatius and Saba. Please contact them directly for any questions and inquiries you may have. You can find all forms here.

We apologize for the the inconvenience this may cause.

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Changes in Board of Directors

As of January 11, 2022, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry St Eustatius & Saba, has welcomed two new Board members: Jamila Bennett-Lijfrock and Vaughn Sams. At the same time, Hemmie van Xanten (Saba) was appointed as President and Leonieke Zuiddam (Statia) was appointed as Vice-President.

 

The Board of the Chamber of Commerce in its new form is willing to work hard to give the best service to the Statia and Saba community. Soon, new strategies will be implemented to service the business sector as best as possible. There is a lot of work to be done, a lot to communicate and the Chamber is here to support the community.