Autonomous Ships and the Law

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Chapter 4

Developments, challenges, and prospects at the IMO

Henrik Ringbom

1. Introduction

In the space of only a few years, the main regulatory body in shipping, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), has mobilized a significant interest in autonomous ships. Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS), as the IMO has labeled it, is now one of the main regulatory projects for the organization, and the Maritime Safety Committee has its own working group dedicated to the subject, which is regularly attended by more than a hundred representatives from governments and other stakeholders. The strong interest in the matter can be attributed to several reasons.

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