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Maritime UK launches Version 5 of Industry Code of Practice for Maritime Autonomous Ship Systems

Maritime UK is today (6 December) launching Version 5 of the Industry Code of Practice for Maritime Autonomous Ship Systems.

The accelerating pace of change in maritime autonomy has required updated guidance for those owning and operating Maritime Autonomous Ship Systems (MASS).

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.

Whereas previous versions focused on the design, manufacture and operation of vessels, with significant focus on skills, training, cyber security, pilotage, dynamic positioning, and Vessel Data Recording, Version 5 adds guidance on certification and registration, the Training and Certification scheme for Dynamic Positioning (DP) Station Keeping Systems for Remote Operations (Remote DP Operator Certificate), Vessel Data Recording, safety culture, navigation products and data, as well as the reporting of marine casualties, incidents and near misses and managing Remote Control Centre (RCC) workforce wellbeing.

The Maritime UK Autonomous Systems Regulatory Working Group (MASRWG) published the first Code of Practice to global industry-wide acclaim in November 2017, followed by the second version in November 2018, third in November 2019 and fourth in November 2020.

Lloyd’s Register has supported the publication of this version of the Code.

Sarah Kenny, Chair of Maritime UK, said:

“Autonomy is a space in which the UK maritime industries truly excel. It fuses our expertise across the sector – professional services, cutting-edge innovation and high-quality manufacturing and design. I’m delighted that the MASRWG continues to generate the best guidance available on the development and operations of MASS.

“Autonomy is changing the way we live and work, and it’s therefore vital that ahead of regulation, the working group continues to provide robust guidance on MASS to those that need it.”

Robert Courts MP, Maritime Minister at the Department for Transport, said:

“Autonomous shipping has the potential to drive forward the global maritime sector, and through our Maritime 2050 strategy, the UK is determined to leverage our position as the most innovative, competitive and sustainable maritime centre by the middle of this century.

“I am delighted that the UK is leading the way in design and manufacturing of these revolutionary designs, with safety at its core, and look forward to seeing the next chapter for shipping.”

James Fanshawe, the MASRWG Chair, said:

“MASS development and operations continues to gather pace. The Code of Practice provides the ideal focus to enable industry to develop ahead of the eventual regulatory framework. Version 5 of the Code of Practice provides the platform for a variety of important updates with some new and revised guidance.”

Andy McKeran, LR’s Business Director of Maritime Performance Services, said:

“The uptake of autonomous systems presents a significant opportunity for maritime. As systems are adopted, it is fundamental that safety is ensured at each stage. Lloyd’s Register is proud to have supported Maritime UK with the latest version of its Industry Code of Practice for Maritime Autonomous Ship Systems which provides guidance on certification, safety culture and a variety of other areas.

“We hope the Code will continue to be used by manufacturers, service providers and others across the supply chain as the industry embraces such technology.”

Maritime UK is also announcing details of the 7th MASRWG Conference on the 18th and 19th January 2022.
Source: Maritime UK

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