Australian Code of Practice for the Design, Construction, Survey, and Operation of Autonomous & Remotely Operated Vessels
The capacity and availability of autonomous and remotely operated vessels is rapidly accelerating in Australia. These systems need to be trusted by government, regulators, operators, and the broader community. An integral part of gaining trust is having consistent assurance requirements, and a clear, tailored regulatory framework.
TAS has developed the Australian Code of Practice for the Design, Construction, Survey and Operation of Autonomous and Remotely Operated Vessels based on significant engagement and consultation with a wide range of Australian government, commercial, and defence stakeholders. The Australian Code of Practice is intended to be applied as:
- A reference point for best practice for the design, construction, survey, and operation of autonomous and remotely operated vessels in Australia; and
- A voluntary standard against which to demonstrate compliance when applying to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) to operate via a Specific Exemption, General Exemption, or other certification.
The Australian Code of Practice applies to domestic commercial vessels but is intended to also be instructive for regulated Australian vessels.
Guidance materials have been developed to support the use of the Australian Code of Practice. The Guidance Materials will assist operators to:
- Understand what the Australian Code of Practice is, how it fits into the maritime regulatory framework, and the process to follow when seeking certification from AMSA
- Understand some key terminology through the Glossary at Appendix 1
- Determine which category their vessel is likely to fit into, and the corresponding requirements
- Understand how to address the applicable requirements, including by explaining what each requirement means, providing examples and templates, and identifying where to get further information
The Guidance Materials will also assist interested parties to understand what the Australian Code of Practice is, how it fits into the maritime regulatory framework, the categories available, the requirements for each category, and how operators might seek to comply with them.
- Australian Code of Practice (File size: 1.6MB)
- COLREGS framework (File size: 442 KB)
- Design Record Template (File size: 881 KB)
- Guidance materials to support the Australian Code of Practice (File size: 2.7MB)
- Consultation Feedback Report (File size: 605KB)
Development of the Australian Code of Practice was informed by an analysis of existing publicly available codes and guidelines for autonomous and remotely operated vessels and significant stakeholder engagement.
Further background information on the project to develop the Australian Code of Practice is available on the Trusted Autonomous Systems (TAS) webpage through a series of blog posts.
TAS welcomes feedback on the Australian Code of Practice via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
TAS would like to thank all parties who contributed to the development of the Australian Code of Practice, including particularly Rachel Horne who initiated and led the project, Maaike Vanderkooi of Vanderkooi Consulting who led the development of the Code on TAS’s behalf, Rob Dickie of Frazer Nash Consultancy who led the COLREGs project on TAS’s behalf, together with his team Marceline Overduin and Andrejs Jaudzems, and Chris White from AMC Search who led delivery of the Guidance Materials, together with his team Reuben Kent, Damien Guihen, and Nick Bonser.
This project received funding support from the Queensland Government through Trusted Autonomous Systems (TAS), a Defence Cooperative Research Centre funded through the Commonwealth Next Generation Technologies Fund and the Queensland Government.