Joint controls being carried out to increase compliancy

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Philipsburg, Sint Maarten – In light of a recent press statement published in the media concerning the joint controls being carried out by the Immigration and Border Protection Services (IBP), the Sint Maarten Police Force (KPSM), Customs Sint Maarten and the Inspectorates of TEATT and VSA, the multidisciplinary team hereby reacts via this joint press statement.

On January 27, the multidisciplinary team embarked on a continuous operation to clean up the country’s image whereby an increase in compliance would be the order of the day. The joint controls serve as a means to enforce compliance with residence and work permits, illegal substances, business licenses and to eliminate barkers in the Philipsburg area. These actions have not only been praised by the community but are now being questioned.

It is a fact that the benefits of a compliant society are, but are not limited to reduced legal issues, improvement in business operation efficiency and safety, enhanced public relations, fostering customers trust and better employee engagement and retention. Ignoring government-mandated regulations can be costly for businesses and the country at large.

The multidisciplinary team continued joint controls on February 2, in Philipsburg, on February 5, in St. Peters and on February 11, in Simpson Bay accompanied by controllers of SZV with the same objective; compliance. The results of which have been persons overstaying their limit in St. Maarten, employees performing business activities for an extended period of time without a work or residence permit, employers operating businesses without the updated or valid business licenses, persons carrying weapons in public and the abuse of employees by their employers who fail to pay their wage taxes or apply for a work permit for them as required by law.

Business owners are hereby advised to ensure that their business is in possession of a business license from the Ministry of TEATT to operate and that all their employees are legally authorized to work and reside on Dutch St. Maarten. It is also essential that all employed persons within a business are insured as proper registration with SZV is mandatory. All non-nationals seeking to work and/or live on Dutch Sint Maarten must be in possession of a valid work permit and residence permit. You are strongly advised to contact the Immigration Department to gain information.

The multidisciplinary team hereby makes it known that they are executing their duties by law. With an expected 500,000 airline passengers and 1 million cruise visitors to St. Maarten by the end of 2022 amidst the pandemic, now is the right time to carry out the joint controls. As such, the overall joint controls will continue throughout various communities to ensure compliance. The public is reminded that in accordance with Article 11.3 of the guidelines which is law, persons from age 12 and older are to have a valid form of identification in their possession while using the public streets. Within short, the multidisciplinary team will be meeting together with the respective Ministers to discuss the way forward with phase 2 of the joint controls. The multidisciplinary team hereby thanks the community for their support and cooperation.