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503-479-6082

U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Maritime Drug & Alcohol Testing

US Vessel, US Citizen, US Waters, Commerce

U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Maritime Drug & Alcohol Testing

Those applying for a Captains license or other merchant mariner credential need a drug test and periodic drug testing every two years. The U.S. Coast Guard’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Program regulations promote a drug-free and safe work environment for the safe passage of embarked passengers and for carriage of cargo on U.S. waterways.

All licensed/documented personnel and unlicensed/undocumented personnel who perform “Safety Sensitive Duties” must be in the drug and alcohol drug testing program. "Safety sensitive duties" includes:

  • - Directing and mustering passengers in emergencies,
  • - Passing out life-jackets,
  • - Controlling and operating lifesaving equipment,
  • - Controlling and operating firefighting equipment,
  • - And more.

All crew-members, that are responsible for the safe handling of passengers, are considered to be filling safety sensitive positions as well.

These requirements apply to all US flagged vessels in commercial service, regardless of vessel size or capacities, including what are commonly known as Six Pack Charter Vessels. In other words, this applies to single vessel fishing guides and tour or cruise guides, like the Portland Spirit, who operate on any federal waters (including any bodies of water that connects to the ocean or bodies of water on federal land).

So, if you are asking yourself, "Do the chemical testing regulations apply to me?", the answer is "Yes". The chemical testing regulations apply to most commercial vessel operations regardless of the number of employees and regardless of whether the vessel is inspected or uninspected. This includes "guide services".

If you are not sure who all need to be tested in your company, call CleanFleet today at 503-479-6082.

You can go to your state's fish and wildlife website to find all federal waters in your state.

 

Required USCG Testing: (See below for detailed requirements)

  • - Pre-employment:A crew-member must pass a drug test before an employer may employ him/her.
    (All licensed/documented personnel and unlicensed/undocumented personnel who perform “Safety Sensitive Duties”. If you have had a pre-employment test within the last 6 months and being hired by a new company, you do not need this test.)
  • - Periodic:Periodic tests are the responsibility of the individual mariner, not the marine employer, for transactions involving licenses, CORs, or MMDs.
    (This is the test every 5 years that many assume is all they need for drug testing, but this is not the case.)
  • - Random:An employer must conduct random drug testing of certain crew-members at an annual rate of not less than 25%.
    (This is part of being enrolled in a drug testing consortium so you can be randomly tested from a "pool" of other people.)
  • - Post-accident:A person who is directly involved in a serious marine incident must be tested for drugs and alcohol.
  • - Reasonable cause:An employer shall require any crew-member who is reasonably suspected of using drugs to be tested for drugs and/or alcohol.

Regulations: 33 CFR Part 95 (Operating while intox.), 46 CFR Part 4 (Marine Casualties), 46 CFR Part 16 (Chemical Testing), 49 CFR Part 40 (Collection Procedures)

 

Record Keeping:

  • - Positive results maintained for 5 years.
  • - OCMI notified of positive results.
  • - Negative results maintained for 1 year.
  • - Record of EAP training maintained for duration of employment.
  • - Maintain copy of MIS report.

 

What Marine Inspectors are looking for: 

  • - Contract with consortium (if used)
  • - List of Covered Employees
  • - Latest MIS Report
  • - OCMI notified of positive tests
  • - Copy of Company’s Drug and Alcohol policy for employees
  • - EAP material available to crew
  • - Breath Testing Devices maintained for inspected vessels certified for overseas & unrestricted ocean routes. (46 CFR 4.06-20)
  • - Urine Collection Kits maintained onboard if collection can not be readily obtained within 32 hrs of a Serious Marine Incident. (46 CFR 4.06-15)

 

Why use CleanFleet

  • - Managing multiple vendor relationship (such as collection sites, labs, and Medical Review Officers)
  • - Chasing paperwork and chain-of-custody forms
  • - Data entry and storing documents
  • - Managing the random testing employee pool
  • - Staying up-to-date on new state or federal guidelines (like how legal recreation or medical marijuana may affect you company’s testing policy)
    And more.
  • - Results can be reviewed by a Medical Review Office upon request to verify valid prescriptions
  • - DATIA Certified collection sites

 

Detailed USCG Regulations: 

What does a marine employer need to be in compliance?

  • - Pre-employment Testing
  • - Periodic Testing
  • - Random Testing
  • - Serious Marine Incident Testing
  • - Reasonable Cause Testing
  • - Employee Assistance Program
  • - Management Information System Report
  • - Maintain Records

 

Pre-employment Testing:

  • - All licensed/documented personnel and unlicensed/undocumented personnel who perform “Safety Sensitive Duties”.
  • - Must be tested with negative results prior to beginning work.
  • - Exemptions: (1) passed a chemical test required by 46CFR16 within the previous 6 months or (2) Been subject to random testing for at least 60 of the previous 185 days and has never refused to test or failed a test.

 

Periodic Testing:

  • - Applies to all licensed/documented mariners when applying for renewal
  • - Applies to individuals applying for original license/documents
  • - Exemptions: (1) passed a chemical test required by 46CFR16 within the previous 6 months or, (2) Been subject to random testing for at least 60 of the previous 185 days and has never refused to test or failed a test.

 

Random Testing:

  • - 50% annual testing requirement. (If member of consortium 25% of consortium pool)
  • - Everyone must be eligible for selection each time.
  • - The person choosing the date and time of testing  cannot be subject to the requirements.
  • - Random tests must be spread out evenly throughout the year or season.

 

Serious Marine Incident Testing:

The marine employer shall ensure that all persons directly involved in a serious marine incident are chemically tested for evidence of dangerous drugs and alcohol in accordance with the requirements of 46 CFR 4.06.

Casualty resulting in:

  • - Death
  • - Injury beyond first aid and renders individual unfit to perform routine vessel duties
  • - Damage in excess of $100,000
  • - Actual/constructive loss of inspected vessel or any vessel greater than 100 GT
  • - Discharge of 10,000 gallons or more of oil
  • - Discharge of a reportable quantity of a hazardous substance (40 CFR 117.3)

Process:

  • - Must test all persons directly involved
  • - Marine Employer is responsible for ensuring testing is conducted
  • - Refusal to submit to testing is admissible and is treated as a positive result
  • - Use form CG2692-B

 

Record Keeping:

  • - Positive results maintained for 5 years.
  • - OCMI notified of positive results.
  • - Negative results maintained for 1 year.
  • - Record of EAP training maintained for duration of employment.
  • - Maintain copy of MIS report.

 

Employee Assistance Program:

Marine Employer shall provide for all employees:

  • -Education & training on dangers of drug use (Supervisors must receive 60 minutes of training)
  • -Display informational material
  • -Display Hotline Number
  • -Display Drug Policy

 

How do Marine Employers meet all the requirements?

  • - Join a Drug Testing Consortium.
    • - Copy of current contract
    • - Roster of employees,
    • - How do they update roster with consortium?
  • - Administer own program.
    • How do they ensure a random program?
    • Documentation of collector training (CleanFleet offers this Training)

 

What Happens if you are in Non-Compliance? 

  • - First, up to 30 day period to comply
  • - Next,
    • -Letter of Warning
    • -Captain of the Port Order- to stop operation
    • -Suspension/Revocation of license
    • -Civil penalties- $5,000 per day per violation maximum of $25,000 (26 USC 2115)

 

Do "independent contractors" or part-time crew need to be part of an employer's drug testing program?

Simply, "yes". If an individual meets the definition of a crewmember, as described in 46CFR16.105, they must be part of the chemical testing program, regardless of how short the time period they work on board the vessel. Enclosure 6 has been included in this guide in order to assist with the problem of having part time crewmembers in the chemical testing program.

Crewmember means an individual who is:

  • - (a) On board a vessel acting under the authority of a license, certificate of registry, or merchant mariner’s document issued under this subchapter, whether or not the individual is a member of the vessel’s crew; or
  • - (b) Engaged or employed on board a vessel owned in the United States that is required by law or regulation to engage, employ, or be operated by an individual holding a license, certificate of registry, or merchant mariner’s document issued under this subchapter,
    except the following:
  • - (1) Individuals on fish processing vessels who are primarily employed in the preparation of fish or fish products, or in a support position, and who have no duties that directly affect the safe operation of the vessel;
  • - (2) Scientific personnel on an oceanographic research vessel;
  • - (3) Individuals on industrial vessels who are industrial personnel, as defined in this chapter; and
  • - (4) Individuals not required under part 15 of this subchapter who have no duties that directly affect the safe operation of the vessel.

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