he Danish Maritime Authority has signed a "Memorandum of Understanding" (MoU) with the United Kingdom and Belgium, with the aim to enhance collaboration on facilitating the increased use of novel digital technologies and autonomous systems on board ships. With this MoU, the signed nations has agreed to share knowledge regarding ongoing activities, and efforts are made to involve other North Sea countries during this autumn.
The digital transformation of the maritime industry brings forth opportunities for the use of innovative digital technologies, increased automation, and autonomous systems, all with the potential to enhance safety and optimize operations, logistics, etc. The Danish Maritime Authority is committed to supporting and facilitating this development. The MoU will fortify progress across the North Sea region and serves as a signal to the maritime industry to intensify its focus on harnessing the benefits of digitalization.
In 2019, The International Maritime Organisation, IMO, issued guidelines for the testing of MASS (Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships MSC.1/Circular.1604 - Interim Guidelines for Mass Trials - (14 June 2019) (imorules.com. These guidelines require coordination between the flag state and the relevant coastal states in case of cross-border testing activities. Furthermore, the IMO is developing a non-mandatory MASS code for cargo ships, which is expected to be finalised by 2025.
The full text of the MoU can be accessed here