Import and Export on Statia


Just imagine the port and town of St. Eustatius as the largest trading center of the Caribbean. During “The Golden Era”, as many as 3,500 ships per year visited the island to import and export textiles, furniture, clothing, corn, tobacco, lumber, sugar, rum and slaves from Africa. Although nowadays Statia isn’t the pulsing lifeblood of the Caribbean’s import and export business anymore, its heart is still beating and the island has continued the business of importing and exporting  goods on a smaller scale by making use of small locally owned businesses such as the Universal X-press.

“They advise anyone interested in becoming an entrepreneur to find their “niche”, make a plan, including long term goals.”

The Company Universal X-press
The Company Universal X-press was known to islanders as the FedEx office in 1993. Olive Schmidt started out at this office as an agent and continued to provide the island with courier services and tracking of packages. In 2006, the Chamber of Commerce required that all businesses had to be named in order to be registered and maintain a business license, so Universal X-press received its first official name. Olive’s son, Edsel Schmidt, returned to Statia from studying and working in the Netherlands during 2007. He came back well equipped to assist in managing the company with knowledge of digital systems and the experience he gained while operating his own event planning company in Rotterdam. Olive’s son made good use of the opportunity to follow and complete the ASYCUDA (Automated SYstem for CUstoms DAta) training course offered by the tax authorities (Belastingdienst) in June of 2012. The plan was to enable the Universal X-Press to also provide customs brokerage services. To this date Universal X-Press has provided this service and retains the largest clientele on the island. The enterprise offers the community of Statia services pertaining to all clearing of cargo that enters and leaves the island. Clients are also welcomed to receive explanation of the general consumption tax (ABB) and information concerning importation of primary and luxury goods. Currently the Universal X-Press operates as a custom brokerage and shipping agency and Federal Express Agent. Edsel and Olive continue to display no hesitation in their ability to diversify their business and now the Paper Corner stationary/office supply store is also owned and operated under Universal X-press management. Moreover, plans are in progress to provide real estate agency services to the community as well.

Edsel and Olive Schmidt owe the success of the company to pure dedication. They advise anyone interested in becoming an entrepreneur to find their “niche” and make a plan, including long term goals. Success equals long hours of sacrifice, willingness to acquire knowledge, flexibility and a passion
for what you do every day.

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