THE HAGUE–The proposed changes to the Kingdom Passport Law to annul the travel document of a person who has been given a travel ban do not apply to St. Maarten because the latter country is not located within the Schengen area.
Dutch Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk stated this in response to the April 28, 2016, report of the Parliament of St. Maarten regarding the proposed amendment to the Kingdom Passport Law. The Minister’s input was sent to the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament on Wednesday.
Plasterk stated that he “appreciated” the willingness of the St. Maarten Parliament to involve itself in the handling of this law proposal, which was an initiative of the Dutch Government. The Second Chamber will shortly handle this law proposal in question.
The proposal to annul or refuse travel documents (passports) of citizens serves to support the law proposal of the Dutch Government aimed at fighting terrorism by issuing a travel ban to persons who presumably want to join a terrorist organisation, explained Plasterk.
The Minister clarified that under the adopted Passport Law a travel ban (“uitreisverbod”) could only be issued against persons located in the Schengen area of 26 European countries that have abolished passport and any other type of border control at their mutual borders, functioning as a single country for international travel purposes. The Schengen agreement has been in effect since 1995.
“No travel ban can be imposed on persons who are located in St. Maarten, because St. Maarten is not part of the Schengen area. As such, the consequences of this Kingdom Law proposal are limited for St. Maarten,” stated Plasterk.
He added that a travel ban could only be imposed by the Dutch Minister of Security and Justice, applying to only persons within the Schengen area. “Further implementation of this Kingdom Law is therefore not needed because it is only applied in the Netherlands.”
The Minister said he was unable to reply to the question about the measures of the St. Maarten Government against jihadists and regarding the identification obligation, because these were internal matters of the St. Maarten Government.
According to Plasterk, St. Maarten authorities have sufficient means based on the existing Passport Law to deal with potential foreign terrorist fighters who are detected in the country.
Local authorities in charge can declare the passport void which prevents the person from leaving St. Maarten. It is unnecessary to void the ID card since it is impossible to leave St. Maarten with that type of identification.
Source: Daily Herald
Changes to passport law don’t involve St. Maarten