Sint Maarten - Formalities
All vessels arriving in or departing from St. Maarten waters must clear in and out with the Immigration Department. This can be done either in Great Bay or Simpson Bay, as follows:-
Great Bay: The Immigration Department is located just outside the port gates on the right hand side. The office is open from 07:00 to 18:00hrs 7 days a week.
The Clearance Office is open 08:00 to 12:00hrs and 13:00 to 16:30hrs Monday to Friday and from 09:00 to 12:00hrs on Saturday and Sunday. It is closed on public holidays.
Simpson Bay: The Immigration Department is located in the Police Station adjacent the channel into Simpson Bay Lagoon. The Immigration Department is open every day from 08:00 to 18:00 hours. The Clearance Office is open Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 12:00 hours and 13:00 to 16:30 hours. It is closed at weekends. However, you can clear out in advance or at Great Bay. The Immigration Department monitors VHF Channel 12.
Also check in with the Simpson Bay Lagoon Authority (open 08:30-17:00 daily). A fee is charged whether you go into the lagoon or not.
A fee is charged on clearing out.
On the French side, the procedure for clearing in and out is the same, but the fees are less. (see St Martin page for more details).
waiver of liability form required before a vessel can pass through the Simpson Bay Bridge, can be obtained from the Clearance Office.
There is a fee for passing through the bridge and a weekly charge for anchoring. This only applies when entering from the Dutch side of the island.
It has recently been reported to Noonsite that the Authorities on the Dutch side have been boarding anchored boats and checking documents as well as safety equipment. This also applies to any unlit vessels (including dinghies) at night.
Last updated April 2014.
A valid passport is necessary for all nationalities, valid for the length of stay.
French St Martin and Dutch Sint Maarten have now coordinated their visa policies.
Citizens of most European countries, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and several other countries do not require a visa.
See the Official Sint Maarten Government website for the full list of who does, and who does not require a visa.
All children require a visa.
For Dutch nationals, maximum stay allowed is 6 months uninterrupted with the possibility to extend it.
For nationals of the United States of America, Canada, the European Union, Australia, New Zealand and Japan; maximum stay allowed is 3 months uninterrupted with the possibility to extend.
Captains who find it necessary to apply for crew visas should contact a St. Maarten ships agent for information on obtaining pre-approval through the Foreign Affairs Office for a possible 1 year, multiple entry crew visa.
In general, visiting yachtsmen are permitted to stay on the island for a maximum period of three months. This will sometimes vary according to nationality and so it is best to enquire when clearing in.
Crew joining a boat have sometimes experienced difficulty with Immigration officials if they are unable to show an onward ticket. Captains of yachts expecting crew are advised to contact Immigration in advance.
Outward clearance papers are necessary if sailing to another island, even another Dutch one, though not if sailing across to French St Martin.
Last updated February 2015.
The entire island is duty-free and therefore goods can be imported free of taxes or any formalities.
Restricted goods, such as drugs, firearms and ammunition, must be declared on arrival.
If you use any medication that contains controlled substances or requires injection, carry an original prescription or note from your doctor.
Spare parts or provisions can be cleared in less than 24 hours.
If wanting to receive boat parts and personal items when visiting the island, Four Star Cargo - alongside the airport on the way to Maho - can have anything shipped to their address in Miami and they will automatically have it sent by cargo ship or air (your choice) to their warehouse in St. Maarten. Free to open an account, you pay the shipping fees when you pick up your package. They will also deliver island-wide.
Last updated February 2015.
The Simpson Bay Bridge fees (listed in US$) are:-
(this covers going in AND out):-
up to 12 m: $7
12-15 m: $21
15-18 m: $42
>18-22 m: $120
22-28 m: $200
28-36 m: $300
over 36 m: $500
and a rebate of two free weeks out of every eight consecutive weeks spent in Sint. Maarten.
Harbour Fees (per week or part of):-
8-13 m: $20
13-18 m: $40
18-23 m: $60
23-28 m: $90
28-33 m: $120
33-38 m: $150
rising to a maximum of $290 for over 75 m
Customs and harbour clearance fees are $7 for up to 99 gross tonnage.
Note: These fees do not apply on the French part of the island.
All fees are payable in advance. Harbour fees are not charged for complete weeks spent in the boatyard.
Last updated February 2015.
Simpson Bay Bridge (Dutch side) is the main access into and out of Simpson Bay Lagoon from the Dutch side of the island. The Bridge is located on the southern side of Simpson Bay, and will accommodate vessels up to a maximum beam of 39 feet and a maximum draft of 16 feet. When the bridge is closed there is 10 feet ceiling clearance in the port channel and 8 feet clearance in the starboard channel. There is a 3mph speed limit for all vessels using the access channel, and within the lagoon all marinas and yacht anchorages are deemed
no wake zone.
Bridge opening times vary according to the time of year. At busy times there are separate openings for inbound and outbound, at other times, outbound traffic precedes inbound traffic. Call VHF channel 12 (Dutch side) or channel 16 (French side) for opening times or see website www.smyc.com/content/new-simpson-bay-causeway-bridge-opening-hours for the current times.
There is a fee for vessels over 90 ft using the bridge inbound.
Liability Waiver form is not necessary when leaving the lagoon, nor is it required on the French side of the bridge.
The Sandy Bay Bridge, on the northern side of the bay, is the main access into Simpson Bay Lagoon from the French side of the island. Access is from Marigot Bay and the bridge will accommodate vessels with a maximum beam of 32 feet and a maximum draft of 10 feet. There is a 10 foot ceiling clearance when the bridge is closed. There is a 3mph speed limit in the channel. There is no charge for any vessel using this bridge.
Monday to Saturday: 0900, 1400 and 1730 hours. Sunday: 09.00 and 1730 hours. For information, call Bridge Operator on VHF Ch. 16 or telephone (590)872043
Note: Comment below regarding bridge problems. (Jan 2014)
Veterinarian Certificate stating pet in good health, free of parasites and showing a list of inoculations. Rabies vaccination must be given at least one month before travel and not longer than 12 months. The Certificate should be issued 7 or 8 days before arrival. No Import Permit is necessary