About Sint Eustatius


Sint Eustatius (also called ‘Statia’) is one of the Windward Islands located in the northeastern Caribbean. It is located between the Caribbean Sea in the west and the Atlantic Ocean in the east, 150 miles east of Puerto Rico (latitude 17.00, longitude 63.04), 90 miles east of St. Croix, 38 miles south of Sint Maarten and 17 miles southeast of Saba. The capital is Oranjestad. The island measures only 11.8 square miles (21km2).

Population and language

In 2022 the number of residents is 3.242. In 2020, almost 80% of the population had Dutch nationality. More than 16% had American nationality and almost 6% had that of the Dominican Republic. More than 52% of the population speaks more than one language. The most widely spoken languages ​​are English (92.7%), Dutch (36%), Spanish (33.8%) and Papiamento (20.8%). The language of instruction is English for 80.3% of the population.

Relationship with the Netherlands

Statia belongs to the Caribbean part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, together with Bonaire and Saba (the BES islands). Officially the islands are classed in Dutch law as being ‘public bodies’ (openbare lichamen) and not municipalities (gemeenten). Unlike normal municipalities, they do not form part of a Dutch province and the powers normally exercised by provincial councils within municipalities are divided between the island governments themselves and the central government by means of the National Office for the Caribbean Netherlands, located in Bonaire. For this reason, they are called “special” municipalities. Many Dutch laws make special provisions for the Caribbean Netherlands. For example, social security is not on the same level as it is in the European Netherlands.

Economy and developments

Sint Eustatius is a fast developing country and with support form the European Netherlands, a lot of efforts and investments are being made to keep improving life on the island for the residents. Some priorities are: poverty reduction, public housing, sustainable energy, economic development, reduction of the cost of living (drinking water, telecom), improving healthcare, modernizing the social security system and improving infrastructure. Various large projects are ongoing or will start soon to meet these plans on the drawing table, creating a lot of job opportunities for island residents: the building of a new location for the Gwendolyn van Putten School (the only secondary school on the island), the reconstruction of the roads, the renovation of the port and the medical center, the construction of a new airport boulevard, and of a central city hall where all governmental departments will be housed together. 

Since this small island has a limited number of workers and construction companies, businesses and workers from abroad are often hired to fill vacancies. Please contact us if you are interested in playing a role in these current developments. L.E.O. BV can facilitate and support companies and individuals who want to offer their services on Sint Eustatius.

Tourism is an important economic pillar for the island, especially diving and eco-tourism. But you won’t find large flows of tourists coming to the island. According to Statistics Netherlands (for detailed figures on tourism and travelers to the Dutch BES islands, visit the CBS site) a total of 3,600 people traveled to Sint Eustatius in 2021. In 2019, before the corona crisis, this number was almost 11,000. Sint Eustatius has several hotels (the youngest one is a large and luxury 4-star resort that opened its doors in 2021) and an international airport, the FD Roosevelt Airport (that recently had a new and modern terminal built) but the possibilities for take-off and landing are limited to small aircraft. Currently, only one airline serves the island: WINAIR. The port is not suitable for large cruise ships but small yachts are often found anchored in the bay. See also: Connectivity to other islands.

The oil terminal (an unloading and storage depot for petroleum) of the American company Prostar Capital is used for the storage of oil and/or petrochemical products and is, as one of the biggest employers, an important economic pillar on Sint Eustatius.  The oil tanks are above ground and have many portals to pipelines for the passage of the oil products from the tanks to the tankers at sea. Prostar’s GTI Statia (GTIS) terminal on the island has 60 tanks with a total storage capacity of 14 million barrels of oil. GTIS serves the cruise and cargo shipping industries the US Gulf Coast and Caribbean, and is positioned along important global and regional shipping lanes. It is one of the largest independent crude and refined product storage terminals in the region. It can accommodate fully laden ultra large crude carrier (ULCC) and very large crude carrier (VLCC) vessels.

Paying taxes on Sint Eustatius

The Sint Eustatius tax system consist of taxes on corporations and taxes on individuals. The important taxes on corporations are real estate tax or property tax (vastgoedbelasting) and revenue tax (opbrengstbelasting). The revenue tax can be compared with the Dutch dividend tax. Sint Eustatius does not have profits tax (winstbelasting). Every individual pays income tax (inkomstenbelasting). For the supply of services, businesses in Sint Eustatius pay a value added tax of 4% (ABB), similar to the Dutch BTW, (algemene bestedingsbelasting).

The real estate tax or property tax is a tax on benefits from real estate in the Caribbean Netherlands. The tax is levied on those who enjoy the benefit. This can be the owner, but also a business owner, such as a leaseholder. For non-natural persons (eg companies and foundations), this tax, together with the income tax, has replaced the profit tax. The property tax is a fixed levy. This means that the determination of the levy is not based on the actual (rental) income, but that the yield is set at a standard percentage of the value of the object. Suppose you receive rental income from a house that you rent out. In that case, the tax is not calculated on the rent you actually receive, but on a fictitious income of 4% of the value of the property. Certain objects, including the owner-occupied home, are exempted from property tax. There is also an investment exception: if you have made investments in real estate, consisting of construction, renovation, improvement, expansion or renovation, the resulting increase in value can be exempted from property tax for five or ten years. Read more about exemptions on the website of the Tax Office. Or check their FAQ page about property tax (in Dutch, so use the translate option in your browser).

Buying property on Sint Eustatius

To buy and own property (freehold) on Sint Eustatius, an official deed has to be made by a notary in the office of the Civil Law Attorney. The Dutch law states that the purchaser pays all taxes and transfer fees on or before the date of purchase. Check out this map with average land prices in Sint Eustatius per area: these are only an indication. Depending on the actual situation, the value of the land may differ. No rights can be derived from the data. Contact us if you are planning on buying (or selling!) a property on Sint Eustatius or check out the houses and lots currently for sale on Sint Eustatius.

Bank, currency and time zone

Per 1 November 2022, Sint Eustatius has a branch office from the Maduro & Curiel’s Bank (MCB) Bonaire N.V. This is the only bank on the island. Although the island is a special municipality in the Dutch Kingdom, the local currency on Sint Eustatius is the United States Dollar. The time zone is UTC-4.


The St. Eustatius Utility Company or STUCO is the only utility company providing electricity and water for the island.  The company provides the island with electricity partially from a solar park, the largest Hybrid System in the Caribbean (PV/Genset/Storage) to date. STUCO utilizes the 127/220 Volt, 60Hz standard common in North America.

Distribution of electricity

STUCO supplies electricity from the power plant in Gallows Bay with alternating current (AC) at a frequency of 60Hz. The existing electrical distribution system on St. Eustatius consists of 12.6-kV. Electricity is transmitted via 12 to 24-kV underground cables to the island via transformer houses throughout the island. In the transformer houses the 12.6-kV current is transformed into 127/220 Volt and transported at this voltage to homes and businesses. On Statia there is no transmission grid. The transmission grid is the distribution grid. Recent investments have been made to put more high voltage cables underground. This makes the high voltage cables hurricane resilient and enables STUCO to restore power sooner after a storm or hurricane.

Water distribution & testing

The Island Government of St. Eustatius turned over all water assets to STUCO to produce and distribute water to the community. The water is produced through three reverse Osmosis Plants. STUCO is currently planning to expand drinking water, production and storage capacity. STUCO’s water is tested at SLS Labs in St.Maarten. The price of water depends on the variable electricity distribution tariff.

Telephone & internet

EUTEL N.V. is a government owned telecom provider on Sint Eustatius, established in 1976 but changed to local management in 2004, providing telephone and internet services. From a broadband wireless system to the first IP Packetized Telecom Switch, the introduction of IPTV and since 2016 many improvements were made such as VDSL and Fiber-to-home. There is currently no cable tv service provided on the island, but satellite and internet boxes are available.


There are several daycares and pre-school as well as after-school programs on Sint Eustatius. The island has 4 primary schools and one secondary school. The instruction language is English and Dutch is taught as a second language.

Connectivity to other islands

By air

There are no direct international flights to Sint Eustatius. Most major US Airlines as well as some European ones have service to Sint Maarten (airport code SXM). From Sint Maarten you will have to fly Windward Islands Airways International N.V. (WINAIR) to Sint Eustatius (airport code EUX). There are on average 4 flights daily from and to St. Eustatius operated by Winair. Flight time is approximately 17 minutes.

By sea

The Makana ferry connects Sint Eustatius to the neighboring islands of Saba, Sint Maarten and St Kitts.

What to do on Sint Eustatius

St. Eustatius is mostly known for its wonderful nature and marine parks. There is a lot of exploring to do while biking the slopy streets, strolling down the historical town center or hiking up the trails of the Quill, the dormant volcano and Boven National Park or driving to the botanical garden. Visit the website of the National Parks Organisation of Sint Eustatius (STENAPA) for more information.

Diving and snorkeling sites are among the best in the Caribbean. There are shallow reefs, deep reefs, and spectacular sea life to be admired either close to shore or deeper in the ocean. Sint Eustatius has plenty of archeological dive sites with shipwrecks too. The island has no wide white sandy beaches, but on the West side (Caribbean Sea) there are some beautiful bays (like Orange Bay or Oranjebaai) with narrow beaches containing (black) volcanic sand, that allow easy access to the crystal-clear Caribbean Sea. On the Eastern side of the island, there is long and wider beach (Zeelandia) where you can walk alongside the (usually less calm, and not recommended for swimming) Atlantic Ocean.

The island has impressive and interesting history, which you can learn more about in the museum Simon Doncker House or the Berkel Family Museum at Lynch plantation. But with all the historical buidings and ruins, most of town center Lower Town are like one big museum.

There is one casino with slot machines and various restaurants and bars, where entertainment takes place regularly, but definitely not on a large scale. The annual Easter weekend is a time where musical festivities and events are organized and family, friends and visitors from abroad visit Statia especially for this reason. The same goes for the Carnaval celebrations during two weeks in July and one week of celebration and activities around Statia Day on November 16th, but aside from these events, the island is not a big party-island. On the contrary, it is known for being a safe, peaceful and tranquil place, with friendly people.

Visit www.statia-tourism.com for more information. Check also our page www.stayeustatius.com/local-businesses.