Franco-Dutch treaty on Saint Martin border controls

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Franco-Dutch treaty on Saint Martin border controls
Treaty between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the French Republic on the control of persons entering Saint Martin through the airports.

Traité entre le Royaume des Pays-Bas et la République française sur le contrôle des personnes entrant dans Saint Martin dans les aéroports.

Verdrag tussen het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden en de Franse Republiek inzake personencontrole op de luchthavens op Sint Maarten.
Signed 17 May 1994
Location Paris, France
Effective 1 August 2007
Signatories Kingdom of the Netherlands and France
Languages French and Dutch

The Franco-Dutch treaty on Saint Martin border controls, often called the Franco-Dutch treaty (formally: Treaty between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the French Republic on the control of persons entering Saint Martin through the airports. French:Traité entre le Royaume des Pays-Bas et la République française sur le contrôle des personnes entrant dans Saint Martin dans les aéroports. Dutch:Verdrag tussen het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden en de Franse Republiek inzake personencontrole op de luchthavens op Sint Maarten.) is a treaty between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and France aimed at improving border controls at the two airports on the island of Saint Martin, which is composed of the Dutch Sint Maarten and the French Collectivity of Saint Martin.

The airports concerned are Princess Juliana International Airport and L'Espérance Airport.

History[edit]

The treaty was signed on 17 May 1994 in Paris, and is drawn up in both a French and Dutch original.

Ratification[edit]

Ratification proved to be difficult in the Netherlands. An advice from the Estates of the Netherlands Antilles, which said that the treaty would have negative effects on Sint Maarten's tourist industry, initially blocked the ratification. There had also been objections about the authority of the committee (see below). The parliament of the Kingdom of the Netherlands decided in 1999 to hold off ratification until Sint Maarten made its position clear. Sint Maarten's position was never made clear, however. After France put pressure on the Dutch government, the treaty was eventually ratified in 2006, much to the dismay of the leader of the People's Progressive Alliance.[1]

Signatory Conclusion date Institution In favour Against AB Entry into force[2] Ref.
 Netherlands 14 September 2006 House of Representatives 130 0 0 1 August 2007 [3]
17 October 2006 Senate 66 0 0 [4]
20 October 2006 Royal Assent Granted [5]
 France 13 July 1995 National Assembly  ?  ?  ? [6]
21 July 1995 Senate  ?  ?  ? [6]
27 July 1995 Presidential Assent Granted [6]

Entry into force and implementation[edit]

Article 18 specifies that the treaty enters into force on the first day of the third month following a written declaration of both parties that the constitutional ratification procedure has been completed. The treaty entered into force on 1 August 2007.[2]

Provisions[edit]

Saint Martin is divided in a French and a Dutch part.

The treaty allows for joint border controls to be carried out at the airports of Saint Martin. The treaty specifies that in order for an alien to be admitted to Saint Martin, he needs to have a visa (or a landing permit) for both the Dutch side and the French side. This has caused some controversy on the Dutch side, as that part has a more relaxed visa regime. The French part is an outermost region of the European Union and thus uses its visa list.[7]

Originally, this caused nationals from thirteen countries in the Caribbean region to require visa to land on Princess Juliana Airport which they did not require before. After negotiations, France agreed to limit the additional visa requirements to four countries in the region: Dominica, Jamaica, Guyana and Suriname. There are negotiations to remove Suriname from the list as well.[7]

Joint border controls will be executed at risk flights at both airports. The committee and the working group that have been established by article 13 will draw up a list of flights to be subjected to joint border control. Both the committee and the working group are composed of representatives from both sides and meet once a year.[7]

Implementation is held back by Sint Maarten, whose governor Sarah Wescot-Williams said that implementation will harm tourist interests. The treaty was to be implemented on 1 April 2009, but it was postponed as the working group was still not installed.[8]

As of October 2010, the treaty is still not implemented.[9][needs update]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]