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Office Notarial des Îles du Nord

SCP Renaud HERBERT - Thierry COLLANGES
successeurs de Maître Gérald MOUIAL

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Institutional situation of St Martin and St Barths



Set Up

Saint-Martin

Competence
Saint-Martin – Taxes
Saint Martin – Town planning and construction
Saint Martin - Status

Saint-Barthélemy

Saint Barthelemy – Taxes
Saint Barthelemy – Town Planning and construction
Saint Barthelemy - Status




Set-up




The French side of Saint Martin on the one hand, and the Island of Saint Barthelemy on the other hand, which previously constituted Municipalities subjected to French common law, were transformed into French Overseas Territorial Municipalities falling within French legal article 74 of the French Constitution, by voting of the February 21st, 2007 organic law number 2007-223, later modified by January 25th, 2010 organic law number 2010-92.

Each of these two municipalities thus enjoys administrative organization, a group of legal and financial capacities and a legal scheme proper to each of them.

However, the French side of Saint Martin (differently from Saint Barthelemy) remains to this day an integral part of the European Union territory.

Each of these two Territorial Municipalities is endowed the territorial Council elected by the people, and constituting the municipality’s deliberating assembly. Its President, elected from amongst its members, is the executive body of the territorial municipality, assisted by an executive council. The territorial municipality also enjoys the presence of an economic, social and cultural council. A delegated prefect, representative of the State, handles matters regarding national interests, respect of laws and treaties, public order and administrative control.

The two territorial municipalities, geographically adjacent and usually referred to as “the Northern Islands”, however share :

- A delegated prefect,
- A National Assembly (parliamentary) representative,
- A district court (holding its sessions on Saint Martin), - A Public Vice-Prosecutor.




Competences



Each of these two Territorial Municipalities carries out and cumulates the competences previously devolved to the municipality, to the French administrative district and to the region of Guadeloupe. It also holds the State’s competence, falling within both regulatory fields and legal field, regarding especially :

- Income or patrimony taxes, duties and other taxes,
- Road traffic and road transport,
- State land laws,
- Foreigners access to employment,
- Tourism,
- Town planning, construction, housing,
- Energy. The Territorial Municipality of Saint-Barthelemy also exercises legal competence in environmental matters. Legal and regulatory arrangements other than those intervening in fields of competence transferred from the State to the territorial municipality are legally and fully applicable there, subject to their adaptation to its specific organization.





Saint-Martin – Taxes




The Saint-Martin Territorial Municipality exercises legal powers in tax matters. It is thus in this context distinct from French national tax laws.

Thus :

- Taxation of real estate transactions (transfer rights, added value) and transfers free of charge (donations, inheritances) respects specific rules regarding the rate and methods of taxation ;

- The recording of all deeds and contracts concerning Saint Martin and the payment of rights regarding it is made out to the Territorial Municipality’s tax department ; regarding real estate deeds for example, this formality is prior to that of land transfer publishing ;

- Service providers not enjoying the status of Saint Martin residents are obliged to appoint a tax representative in charge of their relationships towards the territorial municipality, a legal representative who will guarantee the settlement of taxes and income to which they are subject. It is also important to note that :

- The Territorial Municipality’s tax powers do not prevent the enforcement of rules set down by the Federal State in matters of social contributions and other social levies.

- The enforcement of territorial tax rules may be subordinate to the acknowledgement of tax domiciliation on Saint-Martin. Thus, in order to obtain the status of tax residency on Saint-Martin

- Individuals “whose tax domicile is established in a French metropolitan or overseas administrative district” must also have resided on Saint Martin for the past five (5) years at least.

- Legal entities “the tax domicile of which is established in a French metropolitan or overseas administrative district” must have set their real and effective head office on Saint Martin for the past five (5) years at least or, when they have set their effective head office there, they (the legal entities) must be directly or indirectly controlled by individuals residing on Saint Martin for the past five (5) years at least.

However, individuals or legal entities the domicile of whom or which is set in a foreign country or State or in a more general manner outside of French (metropolitan or overseas) administrative districts, are likely to acquire the status of Saint Martin tax residents as of their installation on the island. Nevertheless, whomever be the tax payer (an individual or a legal entity), all “income originating in Saint Martin” is taxable by the Territorial Municipality.

A relatively complex tax status is thus produced by this situation, since different tax schemes can co-exist on the territory of the Territorial Municipality.

December 21st, 2010, the Territorial Municipality of Saint Martin and the French federal State especially signed a bilateral agreement destined to avoid double taxation in matters of income tax (agreement approved by April 19th, 2011 organic law number 2011-416).





Saint Martin – Town planning and construction




The Territorial Municipality of Saint Martin exercises legal powers in matters of town planning, construction, and housing since the month of April 2012. It is thus in this respect distinct from French law in these matters.

A deliberation of the Territorial Council April 26th, 2012 maintained, in the above mentioned matters, the enforcement of all the rules previously enforceable on Saint Martin territory before powers in those fields were transferred from the State to the Territorial Municipality.

However, the Territorial Council may be brought, in whichever of these matters concerned to proceed to any modification it wishes to adopt.

It is important to note that all laws and rules voted in these fields since April 26th, 2012, by French metropolitan authorities, cannot apply on the territory of the Territorial Municipality of Saint Martin (unless they have been adopted by the Territorial Council).

It is thus primordial to check the state of the specific regulations applicable on the territory of the Territorial Municipality of Saint Martin before carrying out any real estate operation.





Saint Barthelemy – Taxes



The Territorial Municipality of Saint Barthelemy exercises legal powers in matters of tax. It is thus distinct from French metropolitan laws in that field.

Local taxes are organized by the Contributions Code. The nature and conditions of taxation can thus be very different from those applied on the remainder of the French territory.

However :

- The Territorial Municipality’s powers in matters of taxes does not prevent the enforcement of rules set by the federal State in matters of social contributions and other social levies.
- The enforcement of territorial tax rules may be subordinate to the acknowledgement of tax domiciliation on Saint-Barthelemy. Thus, are considered as having their tax domicile on Saint Barthelemy :
- Individuals having resided on Saint Barthelemy for a period of five (5) years at least ;
- Legal entities having set their real and effective head office for a period of five (5) years at least or, when they set their effective head office there and they (the legal entities) are directly or indirectly controlled by individuals residing on Saint Barthelemy for a period of five (5) years at least.

The enforcement of local tax rules may thus be grouped with the enforcement of the national rules in tax matters.




Saint Barthelemy – Town Planning and construction




The Territorial Municipality of Saint Barthelemy carries out legal powers in matters of town planning, construction, housing since the creation of the Territorial Municipality in 2007. It is thus in this respect distinct from French metropolitan laws in these fields.

These local regulations are organized by the Saint Barthelemy Town Planning Code adopted by the Territorial Council October 30th, 2007, first enforced January 1st, 2008, and duly modified since then.

This Code is completed by a Town Planning Map and rules.

The Territorial Municipality has also instituted a statutory preemption right applicable to real estate transfers, not to be confused with preemption rights likely to exist on the remainder of the metropolitan French territory.

It is thus primordial to check the state of the specific regulations applicable on the territory of the Territorial Municipality of Saint Barthelemy before carrying out any real estate operation.



Saint Martin Status



French Republic overseas Territorial Municipality since 2007 regarding the Northern part of the island. Entity making up part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands since October 2010 regarding the Southern part of the island.
Area
53 (Fifty-three) square kilometres for Saint-Martin
34 (Thirty-four) square kilometres for Sint Maarten.
Density
957 (Nine hundred and fifty-seven persons) per square kilometre
Population
36,500 (Thirty-six thousand five hundred persons) for Saint Martin
46,500 (Forty-six thousand five hundred persons) for Sint Maarten
Capitals
Marigot for Saint Martin
Philipsburg for Sint Maarten
Currency
The euro, the Netherlands Guilder and the United States Dollar
Language
French, English, Dutch, Spanish, Creole and Papiamento
Représentation Prefect : Mrs Anne LAUBIES
President of the Territorial Municipality : Mrs Aline Hanson
Particularity More than 70 (Seventy) nationalities represented on the island.

Saint Barthelemy status


Status
Prior French municipality of the French administrative district of Guadeloupe, having become an overseas territorial municipality of the French Republic during the month of June 2007.
Area
25 (Twenty-five) square kilometers including the islets.
Density
353 (Three hundred and fifty-three persons) per square kilometre
Population
8,800 (Eight thousand eight hundred persons)
Capitals
Gustavia
Currency
The euro
Language
French, English, Creole
Représentation Prefect : Mrs Anne LAUBIES
President of the Territorial Municipality : Mr Bruno Magras



Numéro d'agrément : 97116 140 530 6

etude-ilesdunord.notaires.fr - Société Civile Professionnelle "Renaud HERBERT - Thierry COLLANGES"
Siège social : Collectivité d'Outre-Mer de SAINT-MARTIN (Antilles Françaises)
4, rue Charles Height - Concordia - Adresse postale : BP 375 - Marigot - 97054 SAINT MARTIN CEDEX - Tel : 0590 51 94 50 Fax : 0590 87 98 70
Annexe à St. Barthélemy - “Les Sables” - St Jean 97133 SAINT BARTHELEMY - Tél. : 0590 27 68 14

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