On May 16, the IMO will start is efforts on regulation of autonomous ships with a meeting in the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 99). The Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) noted that the global industry needs international regulation to facilitate the use of autonomous ships, and that it is looking forward to discussing the way forward within the IMO.
Andreas Nordseth, Director General of the DMA, said:
The first projects with autonomous ships have been launched and we have approved the first test sites in Denmark. In other words, development is rapid in this domain and it is crucial to bring the international regulation up to speed. That is why, it is so important that the IMO will now begin to lay the groundwork for such regulation.
In addition to autonomous ship regulation, MSC 99 will also discuss maritime safety in the Arctic and the Antarctic. Moreover, the new shipping lanes in Kattegat and Skagerrak, a matter of particular Danish interest, is expected to be approved by the IMO.
The 99th session of IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 99) will take place on 16-25 May, at IMO Headquarters in London, gathering stakeholders from all 173 IMO Member States, as well as SOLAS Contracting Governments which are not Member States. High on the agenda is the safe and efficient operation of autonomous ships.
- Regulatory scoping exercise on Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships;
- Adoption of SOLAS, IMDG Code, FTP Code;
- Goal-based standards and safety level approach;
- Polar Code – second phase;
- Piracy and armed robbery against ships;
- Adoption/approval of guidance and guidelines;
Moreover, the following working and drafting groups may be established:
- Working Group on Goal-based Standards;
- Working Group on Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships;
- Working Group on Safety measures for non-SOLAS ships operating in polar waters;
- Drafting Group on Amendments to Mandatory Instruments.