Providing Guaranteed Compliance with the coast guard's drug
testing regulation, with over 9000 members

1. Company Policy

The Coast Guard regulation states that each company, which includes sole operators who carry passengers, tow boats, or are engaged in any other marine commerce, must have a written policy on drug abuse and controlled substances. This policy must be kept in the company's files and be readily accessible. The Consortium provides a company policy that meets the Coast Guard requirements. A letter of compliance is also provided to the company member. The company policy can be found in the Maritime Handbook.

2. Reports and Recordkeeping

Each year, a summary of the firm's drug testing records must be prepared and submitted to the Coast Guard (MIS Form). The drug rule also requires the maintenance of all records of the administration and results of the program for five years. The Consortium prepares and maintains all necessary records and summaries for each firm. Maritime also submits an annual report to the Coast Guard, as required, which states that the company is in compliance and lists the results of employee drug testing.

3. Employee Assistance Program

Each firm must have a written employee assistance program, and conduct one hour of anti-drug training for all employees. The Consortium provides each marine firm with a written employee assistance program, and one-hour presentations for Managers and Employees are provided to firms with three or more employees.

4. Collection Sites, Chain of Custody and Certified Testing Laboratories

Each firm must have one or more designated collection sites which have the resources to comply with all required procedures. The Consortium will designate an approved collection site for each firm.The collection sites are always located within 30 miles (usually less) of the applicant's home or workplace. Careful chain of custody must be followed. The Consortium provides all necessary forms and shipping. Then, tests must be reviewed at laboratories certified by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Maritime has a contract with a major DHHS certified lab to conduct all member tests.

5. Pre-Employment Testing

Anyone hired must be tested before they join a drug program, unless they submit proof of having passed a periodic or pre-employment drug test within the past six months, or unless they were covered under a random testing program for the past 60 days. This includes crew hired on a full-time or temporary basis, whether for one day or longer. In addition, the Consortium will issue each employee a plastic wallet identification card to prove enrollment in the program.

6. Serious Marine Incident Testing

Employees must submit specimens after a "serious marine incident", as defined by the Coast Guard. An M-PAK is available from Maritime which includes both the drug and the alcohol test, its instructions and necessary information.

7. Reasonable Cause Testing

According to the Coast Guard regulation, a marine firm that believes an employee has used an illegal drug must arrange for a specimen to be collected from the employee. The Consortium collects the specimen locally and tests it. The pre-paid plan covers this cost.

8. Periodic Testing

Periodic tests must be conducted at the same time that physical exams are given and Coast Guard licenses are renewed. The Consortium conducts all periodic tests at your local collection site. As long as you have been enrolled in a consortium random testing program for 60 days, you are exempt from a periodic test, and Maritime will provide you a letter to provide to the Coast Guard upon license renewal.

9. Random Testing

The Coast Guard requires all firms to randomly test (using a statistically valid random selection process) a number of employees equal to 50 percent of all employees each year. The Consortium administers a qualified computer random testing program for all members. Also, the Consortium's Pre-paid plan covers the cost of all random tests over the year, regardless of the number of times each individual is selected.

10. Medical Review Officer

All results must be reviewed and interpreted by an approved Medical Review Officer (MRO). The Consortium provides certified Medical Review Officers to review and interpret each test result. In the case of positives, the MRO interviews the employee by telephone, and retests the sample using GC/MS.

11. Crewmember Background Check

It is a requirement by the USCG for employers to conduct a background check on ALL prospective employees/crewmembers (49 CFR 40.25). As a courtesy, Maritime has provided it's members with the following form to aid in complying with this regulation. Download a Release of Information Form in PDF.

The full text of all the federal regulations are available on the Maritime PDF page

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