Guidelines for testing maritime technologies

Denmark is one of the world's most digitalised societies, with authorities ready to allow experiments and designate test areas that can help make Denmark a leading test lab.

How can I test new technology in Danish waters?

If you need to test new technology in Danish waters, please contact us. Where the testing can be done depends on the individual test activity.

Based on your enquiry and the specific technology, we establish the framework for the test area and issue a permit stating the prerequisites for performing your test.

You can contact us at this e-mail address:

In order for us to guide you in the best possible way, there are a number of questions you may want to consider:

  • Types of test areas
    If sailing unmanned or with remote-controlled ships, or if technology is to be tested to identify other ship traffic, it may be of significance to the choice of test area.
  • Types of waters
    Need to test in particularly cold waters? Is there a need to test where the waters are particularly deep or particularly calm?
  • The importance of other ships or activities in the test area
    Can the maritime regulations be complied with or is it necessary to make special conditions in the test area?
  • Staffing on board
    What is the role of the staff on board? What can be done if something unintentional happens?
  • Obtaining permits
    You may need to contact other authorities to obtain permits for the project. The Danish Maritime Authority is happy to assist with contacting other authorities. These will typically be ports, environmental authorities and possibly aviation authorities in connection with drone flying.
  • Duration of test
    How long does it take to test? Is it for short or longer periods, and how often will the testing take place?
  • Legislative requirements to be met
    The Danish Maritime Authority will assist in clarifying the more formal requirements that may be required by law.

​Guideline from the IMO

At the June 2019 meeting, the IMO Maritime Safety Committee approved a guideline for testing autonomous ship activities. The purpose of the guideline is to help relevant authorities and stakeholders ensure that testing activities with autonomous ships (MASS) and related systems and infrastructure are carried out safely and with regard for environmental protection.

Read the IMO guideline


Maritime Regulation and Legal Affairs

Why test in Denmark?

  • Great presence of ship owners, including many with passion for exploring business opportunities in new technology
  • Opportunity for great variation in maritime test environments in clear geographical areas, as Danish waters include heavily trafficked areas, narrow and landed passages, bridges and areas with deep water
  • Denmark can also assist with tests in Arctic waters