International Registries, Inc. and its affiliates (IRI), who provide administrative and technical support to the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) Registry, opened their 27th worldwide office in Manila, Philippines. The RMI Registry is the third largest in the world, surpassing 126 million gross tons at the end of October 2015 and more than 3,650 vessels.
“The unprecedented growth of the fleet is largely in part to IRI’s decentralization model, which includes technical and marine safety experts in key worldwide locations who can provide timely services to owners and operators,” said John Ramage, Chief Operating Officer of IRI. “More than 250,000 seafarers are in possession of an RMI Seafarer’s Identification and Record Book (SIRB), 35% of which are from the Philippines,” continued Mr. Ramage.
“The sheer volume of seafarers that will require new or refresher training and certification as a result of the Manila Amendments to STCW prior to the entry into force date of 1 January 2017 is tremendous,” said Captain Robert Fay, IRI’s Senior Vice President, Maritime Operations. “We have noted that many Certificates of Competency and Proficiency issued in the past few years are based upon the older requirements and will be expiring on 31 December 2016,” he continued.
“Our newest seafarer documentation office here in Manila will work in coordination with our offices in Hong Kong and Mumbai to help facilitate training and certification review for Filipino seafarers in order to provide needed documentation in a timely manner,” said Annie Ng, Head of Asia for IRI. “The office is already staffed by four personnel and is to be headed by Leo Bolivar who has a background of working for companies like Stolt-Nielsen Philippines, Inc., Uljanik Shipmanagement, Ulstein Marine Services and Navis Maritime Services, all with respect to ship and crew management,” she continued. With the additional personnel in Manila, IRI’s worldwide staff is now over 350 employees.
There are currently three individuals processing applications and issuing Certificates of Receipt of Application (CRAs) in Manila, with plans to recruit additional personnel in January 2016. “We plan to augment personnel here in Manila as needed to provide the best service possible,” concluded Leo Bolivar.