Frequently asked questions
The choice of the new currency was based primarily upon the islands' requirements and the impact in relation to tourism and trade.
The majority of imports and exports of Bonaire and the Dutch Windward Islands are from or to countries that have the US dollar or a currency linked to the US dollar as legal tender. The majority of tourists are also from the dollar area. Most countries and overseas territories in the Caribbean have the dollar or a currency linked to the dollar as legal tender. For decades, the Netherlands Antillean guilder (ANG) has been pegged to the dollar. Since 1971, the rate has been ANG 1.790 = USD 1.00.
The adoption of the euro would have exposed Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba to exchange rate risk, with potential disadvantages for the islands' trade and tourism.
The introduction of the dollar will put an end to the inconvenience of a dual-currency payment system (the dollar and the guilder). In addition, payments in dollars will no longer involve foreign exchange charges.
Apart from the adoption of the new currency, the existing licence fee will be abolished.
The USA has no objection to the dollar being used by other countries as legal tender.
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba will convert to the US dollar on 1 January 2011 and, therefore, the dollar will be the legal currency as from this date.
As from 1 January 2011, the US dollar will be the legal currency on the BES Islands. Only dollars will be dispensed at bank ATMs and counters and all credit and debit balances will automatically be converted into dollars. Conversion will take place at a rate of ANG 1.790 = USD 1.00.
During January 2011, cash payments can be made in shops, hotels and restaurants, etc. in both dollars and guilders. Change will be given in dollars. After this transitional month, shops, hotels and restaurants, etc. will not be required to accept guilders and all cash payments will be in dollars. During January 2011, guilder banknotes and coins can be exchanged for dollars at banks at no additional cost. After a transitional period, banks will be able to decide the exchange rate themselves and charge transaction costs.
At midnight on 1 January 2011, the banks on the BES Islands will automatically convert all credit and debit balances from guilders into dollars. Individuals and businesses will not need to take any action in this regard. When converting credit and debit balances, banks will be required to use the fixed exchange rate (ANG 1.790 = USD 1.00). All non-cash payments (funds transfers) will be in dollars as from 1 January 2011.
After the introduction date, guilder amounts in contracts and other legal documents must by law be interpreted as dollar amounts. The amounts will continue to be stated in guilders, but will represent liabilities in dollars. Again, the fixed exchange rate of ANG 1.790 = USD 1.00 will apply. The parties to a contract may deviate from this and agree that the liabilities recorded in a contract will continue to apply in guilders even after the date on which the dollar is introduced, but this must be agreed in advance in writing.
As from 1 January 2011, cheques will be paid in dollars, even if they were written in guilders before this date.
Here you can find the Questionnaire for appointment in Dutch Caribbean