Maritime UK Announces Launch of UK Code of Practice for Maritime Autonomous Systems

Monday November 26th, 2018 TAGS: , ,

Maritime UK has launched an updated version of the industry Code of Practice for autonomous vessels.

The UK Maritime Autonomous Systems Regulatory Working Group (MASRWG) published the first Code of Practice to global industry-wide acclaim in November 2017. Whilst not a legal text, the Code has been used by manufacturers, service providers, and others as part of their day-to-day work. Many manufacturers have reported clients requiring compliance with the Code as a basis for contractual negotiations.

Dan Hook of L3 ASV is pleased to have supported the development of this Code of Practice, adding: “The UK is a well-established leader in smaller autonomous vessels. When companies like ours start to look toward scaling that technology through to larger ships, this Code of Practice will be hugely valuable. This is really a code of best practice. If we use the Code when building and commissioning systems, and if we train our people and run our companies in line with the Code, then we really will be developing a global culture of responsibility. So, this helps industry growth and I think this helps the UK to maintain its position as a world leader in this space.”

The code outlines practices to support safety and professionalism within the industry, advance self-regulation in advance of official direction and support improved communications between companies, regulators and the wider maritime community.

“Unmanned vessels are already being operated safely and responsibly within the existing regulations, conventions and procedures. This Code of Conduct sets down nine ‘Industry Principles’ which demonstrate a clear commitment to ensuring that MAS(S) are operated safely and responsibly whilst ensuring compliance with all applicable regulations as far as practically possible,” commented James Fanshawe, Chair of the MASRWG.

While the guidance in the first version of the code was for design, construction, and operation, it was heavily focused on design and manufacture. With the huge industry growth of autonomous systems and vessels in recent years, it was necessary to update the Code of Practice to focus more on the operation of these vessels. This guidance primarily refers to skills, training and vessel registration.

To read the new version of the Code of Practice, click here.

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