The introduction of dialing code 1-721 starts with the Permissive Dialing Period from September 30th 2011 till September 30th 2012. During this period calls to St. Maarten using either 599 or 1-721 shall be processed regularly be it that callers using 599 shall be advised that the dialing code has changed and the new code should be used.
September 30th 2012 the Mandatory Dialing Period will commence; calls to St. Maarten using 599 shall not be processed and until March 31st 2013 callers will be advised to dial 1-721. The use of country code 599 will be discontinued for St. Maarten but dialing code 599 will remain in effect for Curacao, Sint Eustatius, Saba and Bonaire.
Local dialing remains the same and persons and businesses can be reached through dialing of the 7-digit local numbers. International dialing will change by September 30th 2012 as the dialing pattern to make overseas calls from St. Maarten will change. BTP shall undertake an educational program to duly inform the public on dialing during the permissive dialing period.
Countries participating in the North American Numbering Plan are the United States, Canada and most of the Caribbean region: "Anguilla, Antigua, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia and Trinidad & Tobago". Dialing to these destinations will be easier as all these destinations share the country code 1 with St. Maarten.
St. Maarten's participation in the NANP also marks its integration in the Eastern Caribbean, a region in which it is located, with which it interacts and serves.
Throughout the permissive dialing period the BTP shall undertake instruction and educational campaigns to aid the transition and to ensure understanding, preparedness of the entire community of St. Maarten, so the community may embrace the changes and enjoy the benefits that this transition will bring.
Bureau Telecommunication and Post St. Maarten requests all residents and businesses to get informed and to take serious note of this important development for country St. Maarten. Everyone is urged to make the necessary preparations and inform all their personal contacts and business relations timely of this upcoming change.