International Registries, Inc. providing support to the Marshall Islands Maritime & Corporate Administrators

International Registries, Inc. and its affiliates (IRI) provide administrative and technical support to the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) Maritime and Corporate Registries, and have been administering maritime and corporate programs for over 60 years. IRI traces its origins to 1948 and the visionary leadership of Edward R. Stettinius, Jr., the United States (US) Secretary of State during the latter part of World War II and the first US Ambassador to the United Nations (UN). The concept of a US-administered open registry had its earliest beginnings when President Franklin D. Roosevelt visited Liberia in January 1943, shortly after the Roosevelt-Churchill conference at Casablanca. Mr. Stettinius, previously the president of US Steel, served as the US Lend-Lease Administrator for President Roosevelt during World War II and was instrumental in the transfer of US-flag ships to the Panamanian registry two years prior to America entering the war, when the US Neutrality Acts were in force. Having witnessed the effect of these Neutrality Acts, which restricted the shipment of vital cargoes to British ports in US-registered vessels, Mr. Stettinius, together with his colleagues in the US government, saw the need for a future peacetime open registry system administered by a private company.

After retiring from a distinguished government career that included service under Presidents Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman, Mr. Stettinius returned to his family farm in Virginia. Within a short time, he was asked to become a business partner and assist in establishing an office in New York City, which would register ships and corporations under an open registry system. IRI’s predecessor corporation, Liberian Services, Inc., was formed in New York on February 4, 1949; its attorney in the early years of its development was Allen W. Dulles, Esq., who subsequently became a partner at the prestigious international law firm, Sullivan & Cromwell, in New York City. On March 11, 1949, the first commercial vessel, WORLD PEACE, owned by interests controlled by Mr. Stavros Niarchos, and under charter to Getty Oil Company, was registered in New York under Liberian Maritime Law.

After the death of Mr. Stettinius in 1950, the ownership of Liberian Services, Inc. passed to the International Bank (IB), headquartered at 1701 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. The IB, as it was known, was further developed through the efforts of Major General George Olmsted, USA (Ret.), a man of much the same vision as that of Mr. Stettinius. The formative years of what became IRI were also guided by a number of prominent individuals, and the Liberian Registry grew to a size of 79 million gross tons in the 1970s. At the same time, the corporate formation program became a leading force in the financial services industry.

IRI was formed in 1990 as the parent corporation for its various affiliates, and entered into an agreement with the RMI to develop a new maritime and corporate program. Since its formation, IRI has expanded quite rapidly and now provides administrative and technical support to one of the largest maritime registries in the world, and has registered thousands of International Business Corporations. In 1993, IRI became privately held, owned, and operated by its senior employees. As a result of the continued political instability of the Liberian government, IRI parted ways with the Liberian Registry on 1 January, 2000 and has since then solely provided administrative and technical support to the RMI Maritime and Corporate Registries.


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