No free sédula for former Antilles

THE HAGUE — The governments of Curaçao, St. Maarten, Aruba and the BES-Islands are allowed to charge for issuing a sedula despite a judgment from the Supreme Court that Dutch municipalities may not charge people for the Dutch ID-card.

Minister Piet Hein Donner of Kingdom Relations wrote this in response to the judgment.

FOL States member Anthony Godett recently asked Minister Carlos Monk of Administration, Planning and Service on this matter.

The Dutch Municipal Act, to which the judgment of the Supreme Court refers, states the municipality may charge for ‘the use of or due to services provided by the local authorities’. The Supreme Court ruled that issuing the obligatory ID-card does not fall within that category because citizens do not have any considerable personal interest with that card, which for that matter is obligatory. There is a question of individual interest with a passport or a driver’s license though, says Donner because people need these to travel or drive a vehicle.

The Minister continues by stating the issuing of the sédula on Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba is regulated in the Law Identity Cards BES, which states applicants must pay a fee for a sedula, without further details. “As this is a specific basis that is not linked to the conception ‘use of a service’, as in the Municipal Act, the problem of there not being a good basis for charging of rights for the sedula, does not occur,” Donner writes. “The decree of the Supreme Court does not have any consequences for the non-European countries within the Kingdom either, he adds.

For that matter, Minister Donner has meanwhile forwarded an enactment to the Lower Chamber, in which he amends the municipal act in such a way that citizens are to pay for the ID-card, namely as a fee of the incurred administrative costs.

25 September 2011


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