First industry code of conduct for marine autonomous surface vehicles

An autonomous surface vehicle

With the help of the NOC, the UK Marine Industries Alliance has launched an industry Code of Conduct in respect of surface Maritime Autonomous Systems.

The aim of the Code is to establish pan industry agreement on aspects of marine autonomous systems development, design, production and operation in advance of and alongside the establishment of governing regulations.

An output of the marine autonomous systems regulatory working group of the Marine Industries alliance 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.

Roland Rodgers, the NOC marine policy adviser, said “The NOC very much welcomes this joint UK industry effort, which will allow the deployment of our fleet within a safe framework. It is an important milestone in ensuring the safe use of all unmanned surface vehicles in the international marine autonomous systems community.”

James Fanshawe, Chair of the working group, commented “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 are operated safely and responsibly while ensuring compliance with all applicable regulations as far as practically possible.”