DMA says autonomous ship regulation should be international

Maritime regulation for autonomous ships should be decided at the international level, the Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) has recommended in a new report, which will be used as a platform for the future effort of DMA to develop regulation and make it digitalization-ready.

Denmark Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs Brian Mikkelsen said that “the development of autonomous ships is fast-moving and we must be at its forefront. However, part of the current regulation is based on traditions dating back to the age of sail. That needs to improve. The regulation of autonomous ships shouldn’t be a hindrance to further advances”. He added: “We must be able to seize opportunities created by development of new technology. Denmark has a strong maritime tradition and we want to stay in the lead when it comes to development and testing of technology.”

The current approach to regulation of autonomous vessels is that they must be “at least” as safe as conventional ships. The Danish report recommends that regulation should be agreed upon internationally, specifically within the International Maritime Organization.