By Rachel Horne, Assurance of Autonomy Activity Lead, TAS
Public consultation occurred on the draft Australian Code of Practice for the Design, Construction, Survey and Operation of Autonomous & Remotely Operated Vessels, (‘Australian Code of Practice’) between 15 November 2021 and 15 December 2021.
Background information on the development of the Australian Code of Practice and the public consultation process is available on the TAS website.
TAS received seven written submissions from a diverse range of stakeholders, include SMEs developing vessels, government departments and Recognised Organisations. TAS thanks all stakeholders for taking the time to review the draft Code and make submissions.
The submissions received were considered, and further advice was sought from third parties assisting with the project where needed, to determine where changes were required to the Code. Examples of the changes made to the Code post-consultation include:
- the accuracy of sensors is now required to be determined and declared, and their performance is required to be monitored. This will help to ensure that vessels do not operate in conditions where the sensors are not sufficiently effective, or when sensors cease to be sufficiently effective;
- the control system must now be able to be disabled and isolated to allow for inspection and maintenance activities;
- for survey-exempt vessels and vessels in survey, the risk assessment of any novel system must now be reviewed by an accredited marine surveyor or Recognised Organisation. A note has been added which provides that review by a competent person may be sufficient for a survey-exempt vessels where the vessel, due to its size, speed and shape, poses a very low risk to the safety of persons and other vessels should a failure occur;
- for survey-exempt vessels and vessels in survey, tests or trials must now be witnessed by an accredited marine surveyor or Recognised Organisation. A note has been added which provides that a competent person witnesses the tests or trials may be sufficient for a survey-exempt vessels where the vessel, due to its size, speed and shape, poses a very low risk to the safety of persons and other vessels should a failure occur; and
- improved alignment of the Code with the AMSA Guidance Notice – Small unmanned autonomous vessels, including changing the guidance on the operational speed permitted for survey-exempt vessels from 12 knots to 10 knots.
A Consultation Feedback Report was prepared which summarises the consultation undertaken, the responses received, and the outcomes.
Once the necessary changes were made to the Code, the updated draft was provided back to AMSA for further review, before confirming it was ready to be finalised as Edition 1.
TAS welcomes ongoing feedback from users of the Code, which will support further future iterations and improvements.
For further information please contact us at email@example.com.