Navigating uncharted waters: Challenges and regulatory solutions for flag state jurisdiction of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships under UNCLOS

Bingying Dong, Lowell Bautista, Ling Zhu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

The emergence of commercial Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) is transforming the shipping industry, presenting significant challenges to flag state jurisdiction under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The flag state is under the primary obligation to ensure that MASS comply with the provisions in UNCLOS and other international instruments. This paper explores the primary challenges MASS pose to flag states to fulfil their jurisdictional obligations under UNCLOS. It also examines potential regulatory pathways to address these issues. The paper recommends using International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulatory instruments as rules of reference as the most practical and feasible approach. It advises flag state to exercise caution in registering MASS particularly when the Remote Control Centre (ROC) is located outside their territorial jurisdiction, pending the adoption of the MASS Code and amendments to relevant conventions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106039
JournalMarine Policy
Volume161
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024

Keywords

  • Flag States
  • Jurisdiction
  • Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS)
  • United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • General Environmental Science
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Law

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Navigating uncharted waters: Challenges and regulatory solutions for flag state jurisdiction of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships under UNCLOS'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this