MARIGOT–The Chamber of Commerce (CCISM) has condemned what it describes as “inaction” by the State, and lack of answers pertaining to several issues that affect St. Martin businesses, the economy and the Chamber following Justice Minister Jean-Jacques Urvoas’s visit recently.
Chamber President Jean Arnell outlined the Chamber’s grievances in a press release. A delegation from the Chamber was granted a meeting with one of the Minister’s advisers to raise its concerns.
One issue is the matter of the civil court in Guadeloupe that handles issues concerning businesses, employers and employees (Conseil des Prudhommes). This court only exists in Guadeloupe meaning persons from St. Martin involved in cases have to travel to Guadeloupe and spend money on food and accommodation, but expenses are not reimbursed by the court.
The Chamber wants to have its own court in St. Martin but no answer was forthcoming on this request.
Another issue is registering of businesses which is currently done by the Chamber of Commerce in Guadeloupe. The process is called Registre du Commerce et des Sociétés (RCS).
The Chamber has been asking since its creation to allow St. Martin businesses to register in St. Martin, and not Guadeloupe. Another disadvantage of this RCS being handled in Guadeloupe is the fact that the identification of the business (Kbis) takes three weeks or more to be issued and sometimes St. Martin businesses need this identification in much shorter time.
Senator Guillaume Arnell has indicated that he will lobby in Parliament to have this registration process be made available in the future annex of the Court of First Instance in St. Martin (Chambre Detachée).
President Jean Arnell said in no uncertain terms that there was absolutely no reason for St. Martin businesses to be still registering in Guadeloupe, when registration can simply be managed in St. Martin. Apparently there was no answer on this point either.
Other points the Chamber is still waiting for answers on include the financing of the extension of the Chamber of Commerce to be devoted to new businesses, development of the fisheries industry, and creation of a Bureau for Economic Statistics.
There is also a long standing court case between the Chamber in Guadeloupe and the Chamber in St. Martin regarding true ownership of the building in St. Martin. Prior to the creation of the Chambre Consulaire Inter Professionelle de St. Martin (CCISM) the Guadeloupe chamber had a delegation in St. Martin to manage business affairs.
The Chamber wants this situation to be clarified once and for all. It is also claiming back 2.7 million euros for missions accomplished on behalf of the State.
“The Chamber also deplores the absence of any response from Préfet of Guadeloupe Jacques Billant on these questions,” said Arnell. “The Chamber today is severely hampered in its projects and missions, not to mention the impact on businesses and the economy, by not having answers to these questions.”
Source: Daily Herald
Chamber takes Ministry to task over unresolved issues