St Vincent and the Grenadines
23.1 The State of St Vincent and the Grenadines consists of a chain of 32 small islands in the Caribbean Sea between St Vincent in the north and Grenada in the south. The main island is St Vincent, the capital of which is Kingstown. The current population is approximately 110,000. A British Crown Colony until 1979, the country is now fully independent and a member of the Commonwealth. The head of State is Queen Elizabeth II whose representative is the Governor-General. The government consists of the House of Assembly, made up of 15 elected members and four senators. Kingstown is the home port of registry for all vessels registered under the flag of St Vincent and the Grenadines. The Cabinet has appointed a Commissioner for Maritime Affairs to supervise all matters relating to merchant shipping and to perform the duties of a registrar outside the country. The legal tender is the East Caribbean dollar (EC$).