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Norway, Great Britain, Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands agreed cooperation on the operation of autonomous ships

Date: 10 May 2024 Author: Chief Editor
Autonomous ships in North Seas

Norway has signed a new agreement with Great Britain, Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands to facilitate better cooperation on the international operation of autonomous ships. The purpose of the agreement is to simplify the operation of autonomous ships in the North Sea, and to ensure that they can operate safely within the individual countries’ national requirements and frameworks.

🎤 “This collaboration can help to establish a new international market for the Norwegian maritime industry. The Norwegian maritime industry is far ahead in the development of autonomous solutions. The collaboration will create an arena for further developing efficient and safe solutions for autonomous operation, and will be able to play an important role for our maritime companies in the years to come”, says Minister of Fisheries and Ocean Policy Marianne Sivertsen Næss.

The Norwegian Maritime Authority believes the agreement is a good framework for common technical standards and solutions.

🎤 “We want to ensure that Norway is at the forefront when it comes to new technology in the maritime industry. In addition, Norway is a major maritime power, and then the cooperation with other flag states with great weight, such as Great Britain and Belgium, is an advantage. This is about the future of shipping. When several large shipping nations come together to facilitate and simplify the operation of autonomous ships, predictability also increases for the maritime industry”, says Acting Shipping Director at Norwegian Maritime Authority Alf Tore Sørheim.

The countries that have signed the agreement undertake to exchange knowledge and information on national activities and to follow a common approach to international MASS operations where appropriate.

The agreement concerns cooperation on requirements to be placed on autonomous ships operating in the North Sea basin, i.e. outside national waters, so that the countries can agree on common technical standards and solutions for the ships pending international regulations.

The agreement is based on existing guidelines from the UN Maritime Organisation, International maritime Organization, and the European Union. The IMO has initiated work to develop non-binding rules for autonomous cargo ships. These are expected to be completed by 2025. Norway is actively participating in this work.

📃 Source: The Government of Norway