(Formerly: NETHERLANDS ANTILLES) (WIPO Code: CW) (latest review September 2022)


General Information


Southern Caribbean Sea, 65 km (40 miles) north of the Venezuelan coast and some 113 km (70 miles) east of Aruba.


444 sq. km.


152,379 (2022).




Papiamentu (official), Dutch (official), English (official) and Spanish.


Antillean florin.


Unitary parliamentary representative democracy under constitutional monarchy.

Legal system

Based on the Charter of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

General Remarks

As a result of the constitutional reform in 2010 of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the former Netherlands Antilles (NA) ceased to exist on October 10, 2010.

The Netherlands Antilles comprised of the Windward Islands of Bonaire and Curaçao, the Leeward Islands Saba, St. Eustatius, and the southern part of St. Maarten (the northern part being part of France).

Under the new 2010 Charter of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Curaçao and St. Maarten became autonomous countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, whereas the island territories of Bonaire, St. Eustatius (“Statia”) and Saba, as public bodies, became overseas parts of the Netherlands and these three islands together are now referred to as the “BES Islands” or “Caribbean Netherlands”.

Only the Kingdom of the Netherlands can be considered a State. Only the Kingdom – not the individual autonomous countries or the public bodies – has international legal personality.

Curaçao as an autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands enjoys complete domestic autonomy, while foreign policy, foreign relations and national defense remain the prerogative of the Kingdom government seated in The Hague, The Netherlands.

The Supreme Court (“Hoge Raad”) of the Netherlands also functions as the Supreme Court of Curaçao.

Curaçao derives its national income mainly from oil refining, blending, transshipment, dry-dock facilities, refinery and dock-related shipping, tourism (both stay over and cruise), and financial services.