Passport fee increase Sint Maarten

PHILIPSBURG--Fees for Dutch passports have been increased retroactively by Parliament. The fees are already charged to Dutch citizens applying for new passports or passport renewals since March 10, 2014.
Monday’s approval of the amendments to the Stamp Ordinance was only a formality.
The amendments were unanimously passed in a Plenary Session of Parliament with very limited debate between Members of Parliament (MPs) and Prime Minister/General Affairs Minister Marcel Gumbs. This was a result of the amendment being handled in a Central Committee meeting of Parliament on November 6, 2014, under the tenure of then Prime Minister/General Affairs Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams.
Wescot-Williams was on the other side of the table in Monday’s meeting in her capacity as an MP. At the time she tabled the amendments in the Central Committee meeting, she was holding the dual position as minister and MP.
Notice of the levying of the fees ahead of Parliament’s approval was published in The National Gazette (Landscourant) prior to the fees going into effect in March last year.
The fees as regulated by the Dutch Kingdom Government as of March 10 are NAf. 150 for persons age zero to 17, NAf. 210 for persons ages 18 and older, NAf. 220 for business passports, and proof of nationality NAf. 25.
Dutch passports are now issued for 10 years, instead of the customary five years. However, persons zero to 17 years will still be issued a passport for five years. The old fees were NAf. 130 for persons ages zero to 17, NAf. 150 for persons ages 18 and older, and NAf. 160 for business passports.
Independent MP Leona Marlin-Romeo again called for a lower fee for senior citizens. She suggested they pay that same fee as that for applicants who are age zero to 17. Gumbs pointed out that seniors were already getting a discount of some NAf. 50 on the passport, because the new system issues a 10-year passport to them, rather than a five-year one given to minors.
National Alliance (NA) MP George Pantophlet shared his concerns about the shredding of passports after three months by the Civil Registry. Gumbs directed him to the passport regulation that mandates the shredding of passports if they are not collected by the intended holder within three months. This is a precaution from passports falling into the wrong hands.
MPs also approved their travel guidelines in Monday’s session. This is the first ever established travel guideline for Parliament. It regulates travel allowances, ticket booking times, and related penalties amongst other aspects.
Also unanimously approved by Parliament were the guidelines and work method of the Petitions Committee. This was also a first for Parliament as no guideline was in place for the first four years of the legislature’s existence.
The Daily Herald

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