Autonomous ships

Overview

BIMCO's position on "autonomous ships" has been approved by the BIMCO Board of Directors.

Background

An autonomous ship can operate for extended periods with various degrees of human input. Three dimensions characterise such a ship: the automated systems in operation, the level of remote control and level of manning. Technological developments in shipping have reached such a level that autonomous ships are becoming a real prospect.

Cyber risk management will become increasingly important, the more automated ships become. A cyber attack on a critical system in a highly automated ship may influence the safety of the ship, crew and cargo.

The IMO is currently researching how the safe, secure and environmentally sound operation of so-called Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) could be introduced into IMO instruments. A significant challenge may exist in adapting the regulatory framework to permit autonomous ships to trade globally in terms of IMO regulations and cargo liability regimes, such as the Hague and the Hague-Visby Rules. Furthermore, there are several challenges ranging from the human element to technical and commercial issues that need to be solved.

BIMCO’s position

BIMCO will take a leading position on the facilitation of trading with autonomous ships:

  • Support a set of standard definitions covering the different levels of automation and methods of control to create a clearer framework for future regulation.
  • Develop a common understanding of the risks and opportunities of autonomous ships.
  • Support the initiatives by the IMO and CMI (Comité Maritime International) to assess the need for changes to international conventions and national laws for autonomous ships to operate worldwide.
  • Recognise the importance of the human element, focus on new competences for seafarers and the need for human relations initiatives to overcome problems such as potential loneliness following the possible reduction of personnel onboard.

 

Rasmus Nord Jorgensen
in Copenhagen, DK

Latest Related News

View All News

ELSEWHERE ON BIMCO

Chartering Help & Advice

This section contains a comprehensive source of information and guidance on chartering related matters. You will find invaluable information on many aspects of chartering distilled from our many years’ experience on advising members.

  1. Bills of lading advice
  2. Time charter advice
  3. Voyage charter advice
  4. Booking notes
  5. General average

Learn about your cargo

For general guidance and information on cargo-related queries.

More about cargo

BIMCO Bulletin

  

The Bulletin is a digital quarterly magazine containing all the best comment, analysis and information digests from BIMCO.