PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - The SMMTA (Sint Maarten Marine Trades Association) and the SHTA (Sint Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association) are thankful to Minister Boasman and members of his ministry for working in a swift and transparent manner with relevant stakeholders and government departments to ensure that the immigration issues for crew members of commercial and private vessels are being resolved to reduce and hopefully eliminate any further hindrance to the industry.
Members of the SMMTA and the SHTA met with Minister Boasman and the appropriate members of the Justice Ministry on several occasions last week to discuss the concerns and procedural issues raised by changes and proposed changes to the admittance policy for crew members. As a result, a temporary policy was issued on Friday March 2, 2017 to replace the policy issued February 24, 2017. Administrative procedures are still being streamlined to facilitate compliance.
The SMMTA and SHTA further stated that “while the timing of the matter was very unfortunate, we are encouraged thus far by the swift and amicable resolution of the problem with all parties coming together. The Minister has committed to a thorough review of the admittance policy for the maritime sector during the off season in consultation with all stakeholders. The goal is a well thought out policy, grounded in the law that can be published in ample time for the 2017-2018 yachting season. The Justice Ministry has the monumental task of protecting our borders and both associations commend Minister Boasman for seeking to find common ground and a practical solution while carrying out his responsibility.”