The British Virgin Islands, located NE of the
U.S. Virgin Islands, consists of 16 inhabited
and more than 20 uninhabited islands. The
islands, all of which are of volcanic origin
except for Anegada, are steep and hilly. Anegada,
the northeastern most island of the chain, is a
low coral island. The climate is subtropical and
humid. Temperatures are moderated by the trade
winds. Hurricanes and tropical storms can occur
from July through October.
The IALA Buoyage System (Region B) is in effect.
See Chart No. 1 for further IALA Buoyage System
or ground swell in the area of the islands,
frequently occur from October to May and
sometimes continue for 3 or 4 days. The rollers
appear to loosen sand, thus discoloring the
water N of the islands as far as the edge of
Virgin Bank. In some places near the W end of
Anegada, where the bottom is composed of fine
sand, the formation of the banks is frequently
changed. In general, they set in after a
prevalence of E and SE winds. They also follow
winds from the NE, especially when these winds
are strong. The wave height may exceed 2m have
been observed to break over depths of 16m off
the N coast of Tortola.
The official unit of currency is the U.S.
dollar, consisting of 100 cents.
British Virgin Islands are internally
self-governing overseas territory of the United
Kingdom. Elizabeth II, recognized as the Chief
of State, appoints a Governor. The Premier and
the Executive Council are appointed by the
Governor. The 13 members of the unicameral
Legislative Council are directly elected to
4-year terms. The legal system is based on
English common law. The capital is Road Town.
The following holidays are observed:
- New Year’s Day
21 - St. Ursala’s Day
||Good Friday - Variable
- Commonwealth Day
14 - Prince of Wales’ Birthday
||Easter Sunday - Variable
- Territories Day
25 Christmas Day
||Easter Monday - Variable
Saturday in June - Queen’sBirthday
26 Boxing Day
1-3 - Bank Holidays
The main industries are tourism, light industry, construction, rum,
concrete blocks, and offshore financial activities. The main exports are
rum, fresh fish, fruits, livestock, gravel, and sand. The main
export-trading partner is the United States. The main imports are
building materials, automobiles, foodstuffs, and machinery. The main
import-trading partner is the United States.
English is the official language. Spanish and Creole are also spoken.
Navigational Information -
British Virgin Island. Sailing Direction
Pub. 147, Sailing Directions (Enroute)
Caribbean Sea Volume 1.
The maritime territorial
claims of the British Virgin Islands are, as follows:
Territorial Sea - 3 miles.
Fisheries or Economic Zone -200 miles.
A National Emergency Committee
is responsible for coordinating search and rescue operations. Virgin
Islands Search and Rescue (VISAR), a volunteer organization, works
closely with the U.S. Coast Guard. VISAR is not manned 24 hours, but
rescue coordinators and lifeboat crews are on call 24 hours.
VISAR can be contacted, as follows:
1. Telephone: 1-284-4990911
2. Facsimile: 1-284-4946613
3. E-mail: email@example.com
The Time Zone description is
QUEBEC (+4). Daylight Savings Time is not observed.
The British Virgin Islands are a dependent territory of the United
Kingdom. There is no diplomatic representation.