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St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

The USVI is comprised of three principal islands - St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix and Water Island, a lesser island off the southern coast of St. Thomas. There are also numerous smaller islands scattered throughout the USVI's warm tropical waters. Because of their number, Christopher Columbus named them "The Virgins" when he first saw them in 1493 in reference to the legend of St. Ursula and her 11,000 seagoing Virgins.

Since then, the islands have had a history of international influence, being settled at various times by the English, French, Spanish, Dutch and Danish. Although agriculture was important, these islands were most valued for their location and trade, and were home for such notorious seamen as Blackbeard, Captain Kidd, and Sir Francis Drake. In 1679, the Danes built a watchtower at the highest point above the harbor of Charlotte Amalie to protect the island from attack by enemy ships.

The Watchtower
at Blackbeard’s Castle

It is because of their location that the United States purchased them from Denmark in 1917 for $25 million in gold. They were to serve as protection for the Panama Canal.

Today the islands, a rich blend of cultures embracing European, African, West Indian and native heritage, are a popular destination for tourists and businessmen from around the world. St. Thomas is the second largest of the islands. Lying between the Atlantic Ocean to the north and the Caribbean Sea to the south, it covers 32 square miles. It is the most accessible and, with 47,000 inhabitants, it is the most densely populated of the islands.

The USVI is an unincorporated U.S. territory with a locally elected one house legislature, governor, and lieutenant governor, and a non-voting member of the U.S. House of Representatives. It is subject to the laws of the United States and has both a Federal and local court system.

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

The capital city is Charlotte Amalie where the EXPORT ASSIST office is located. Its deep water harbor makes it an attractive international port for cruise ships. St. Thomas is also known for its many high quality resorts, fine restaurants, white sandy beaches, and sparkling blue water for sailing, snorkeling, and deep sea fishing.

Virgin Islanders are U.S. citizens but are not considered U.S. residents. The island houses the governor's offices, the legislature, and the University of the Virgin Islands. USVI schools are structured on the U.S. model and English is the local language. The USVI is part of the U.S. postal system and telephone system. There are excellent courier services and daily airline connections to various U.S. cities. It is in a comparable time zone to the Eastern United States and the local currency is the U.S. dollar.


Call 1-800-894-8366 to discuss your needs or
e-mail us your questions
About Export Assist
USVI Office
Export Assist International
Services Corp.

AMI Building
18A Estate Havensight
St. Thomas USVI 00802

Tel: 340-774-7060
Fax: 340-776-8646

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USVI Office
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