The Japan Association of Marine Safety (JAMS) held a two-day international seminar in London in mid-March, sponsored by the Nippon Foundation, that focused on the impact of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) on coastguard functions. 

More than 300 delegates attended the event either in-person or online, which included information on the status of the development of MASS in Japan and the United Kingdom, as well as an EU perspective on the impact of MASS on Coast Guards Functions. The event included speakers from the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the European Commission, Japan Coast Guard, the UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency, the Nippon Foundation and Zulu Associates.

The presentations can be viewed here.

The seminar took place as the IMO looks to release new regulations to support the use of MASS to improve the safety levels of the entire shipping industry. The new MASS Code will come into force in 2028, following the adoption in 2025 by MSC110. The non-mandatory MASS Code will be adopted in 2024. 

“Crewless vessels will bring many challenges to search and rescue, and this must be discussed now so we can plan for the future. That is why we wanted to launch this seminar in order to discuss the challenges with our peers in maritime SAR,” said Captain Jun Kawai, Managing Director at JAMS’ London Research Office.