Ahhh this topic is a question every month LOL ~ Its ok because every post there is somting new that we all learn from SXM
But these are good questions. . .
The official currency of Dutch St. Maarten is the Netherlands Antilles florin or guilder (NAF). U.S. dollars however, are widely accepted. Nearly all prices are listed in both dollars and the local currency.
St. Maarten is completely duty free.
* U.S. citizens entering St. Maarten for three months or less need: a current passport or an original birth certificate accompanied by a picture ID.
* Canadian citizens entering for 14 days or less must bring a valid passport, or birth certificate, or naturalization certificate. For a stay of more than 14 days, but less than 30 days, a certificate of admission for a temporary stay will be issued upon arrival. Return travel tickets, documents for next destination, and sufficient funds are also required.
* United Kingdom citizens or British protected persons entering for three months or less must bring a valid passport, return tickets, documents for next destination, and sufficient funds.
* Citizens of other countries should check with a travel agent for the appropriate documents necessary to enter St. Maarten.
* No vaccinations are required unless travelers are arriving from an area experiencing an epidemic.
Departure tax is $20.
Banks on the Dutch side are open Monday-Thursday 8:30-3:30 and Friday 8:30-4:40. French banks are open weekdays 8:30-12:30 and 2:30-4 and close afternoons preceding holidays.
Dutch-side post offices are open Monday-Thursday 7:30-5 and Friday 7:30-4:30. On the French side, post offices are open weekdays 7:30-4:45 and Saturday 7:30-11:30.
Shops on the Dutch side are generally open Monday-Saturday 8-noon and 2-6; on the French side, Monday-Saturday 9-noon or 12:30 and 2-6. Increasingly, however, shops on both sides remain open during lunch. Some of the larger shops are open on Sunday and holidays when cruise ships are in port.
Customs & Duties
Arriving in St. Maarten/St. Martin
Although customs inspectors in some countries inspect all baggage to allay their concerns about smuggling or drug running, many islands wave those tourists who have no goods to declare through customs inspections with only a cursory question or two. Exceptions include major hubs within the Caribbean, such as Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and Antigua. If you're yachting through the islands, note that harbor customs are often thorough, as well.
These rules generally apply throughout the Caribbean: you are limited to bringing in 2 liters of alcohol, two cartons of cigarettes, and a reasonable amount of duty-free goods for your personal use. More than that, and you'll be asked to pay a hefty import tax.
Generally, the Dutch side operates on 110 volts AC
(60-cycle) and has outlets that accept flat-prong plugs -- the same as in North America.
The French side operates on 220 volts AC
(60-cycle), with round-prong plugs; you'll need an adapter and a converter for North American appliances.
[Edited 2004-08-15 00:20:29]