The Future of Transport regulatory review aims to address areas of transport regulation that are outdated, a barrier to innovation, or not designed with new technologies and business models in mind and is the third opportunity to gather views on the regulatory review.
This consultation aims to build on the 2019 and 2020 work and seeks views and evidence from all those with an interest in what an innovative and flexible regulatory framework looks like for emerging transport technologies and puts forward specific proposals.
Further details and access to the call for evidence can be found here.
As the development of autonomous and remote operations technology continues alongside its introduction into the marine environment, there is a need to ensure that UK law keeps pace to ensure the safe, secure, and environmentally sound operation of remotely operated and autonomous vessels.
For the purposes of this consultation, we will refer to these types of vessels as MASS (Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships), which is defined in Definitions and responsibilities.
This consultation builds on the findings of The Maritime Autonomy Regulation Lab Report (MARLab) (2019). This report highlighted a number of issues and areas for clarification in the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 (MSA 1995) that ought to be addressed to facilitate and enable the operation of these vessel types. For example, the need for the clarification of terms like ‘Master’, updating obligations such as the onboard carriage of documentation and addressing gaps such as the requirements for Remote Operation Centres (ROCs), which is defined in Definitions and responsibilities.
We believe that government intervention is required in the form of a comprehensive regulatory framework that will support existing manufacturers and operators in the continued development and operation of MASS in the UK and ensure that their evolving nature is adequately facilitated in UK legislation.
This proposal will also prepare our domestic legal framework for future changes in international law and ensure that the UK is at the forefront of any developments in the field.
Even if you are responding to this consultation on behalf of another organisation or personally, you are still encouraged to contribute to IMarEST’s response, as this helps us formulate a consensus view that reflects member sentiment across the board. Note, comments will not be individually attributed.