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testing regulation, with over 9000 members

News You Need to Know to Keep Your Company in Compliance with the Coast Guard's Drug Testing Rules and to Maintain A Drug Free Vessel


Random Rates for 2023

Coast Guard Updates Fines for Non-Compliance

DOT 'Recreational' Marijuana Notice: No change in Federal Policy

FAA Seeks $359,000 in Penalties on Drug Testing Violations: A Cautionary Tale

DOT Announces Change in Regulations Effective October 1, 2010

 USCG Sets Random Rates for 2023

The Coast Guard set the calendar year 2023 minimum drug testing rate at 50 percent of covered crewmembers.

The minimum random drug testing rate is effective January 1, 2023 through December 31, 2023.

Note: As a member company of The Maritime Consortium, Inc., the 50 percent testing rate does not necessarily mean 1/2 of your crew will be tested in a given year.  All Maritime Members belong to a single, approximately 10,000 employee pool.  By regulation, the random selection process is blind to us.  Therefore, members of any given company may or may not be selected and an employee could be selected multiple times.  Your membership fees cover the costs of any/all randoms your employees may be selected for.

The Coast Guard requires marine employers to establish random drug testing programs for covered crewmembers on inspected and uninspected vessels. Every marine employer is required to collect and maintain a record of drug testing program data for each calendar year, and submit this data by March 15th of the following year to the Coast Guard in an annual Management Information System report.

Coast Guard Updates Fines for Non-Compliance

The Coast Guard Authorization Act increased the civil penalty for non-compliance with chemical drug testing to $7,500 per day. This penalty also applies to failure to conduct post-accident alcohol testing.

Another change provided by the Act requires procedures to ensure that after a serious marine casualty occurs, alcohol testing be conducted no later than two hours after the casualty occurs unless such testing cannot be completed because of safety concerns directly related to the casualty. This rule applies to crewmembers or other persons responsible for the operation or safety-sensitive functions of the vessel or vessels involved in the casualty. (For more information, see Serious Marine Incident below.)


DOT "Recreational" Marijuana Notice: No change in drug policy for Mariners
Today, Jim Swart, the Director of the Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance Office of the Department of Transportation issued a "Compliance Notice" relating to the recent initiative passed by some states to permit the use of marijuana for "recreational purposes." The notice was issued due to recent inquiries to the DOT about whether these state initiatives will have an impact upon the DOT's longstanding regulation about the use of marijuana by safety‐sensitive transportation employees – pilots, school bus drivers, truck drivers, train engineers, subway operators, aircraft maintenance personnel, transit fire‐armed security personnel, ship captains, and pipeline emergency response personnel, among others.

DOT "Recreational" Marijuana Notice Full Statement


A Cautionary Tale for Marine Employers: FAA Seeks $359,350 in Penalties for Drug Testing Violations
Under drug testing regulations paralell to those for Marine Employers, the FAA has proposed $359,350.00 in civil penalties to GKN Aerospace Chem-Tronics for their alleged failure to pre-employment test or receive verified negative drug tests for 17 people hired to perform safety sensitive functions. Other irregularities were cited alleging improper testing or failure to random test several employees in accordance with DOT regulations.

All marine employers are urged to consider their drug testing program very carefully to ensure their compliance with the regulations. Ultimately it is you, the marine employer, who is responsible for ensuring that you are in compliance with the Coast Guard's drug testing regulations.

FAA Press Release

DOT Announces Changes in Regulations Effective October 1, 2010

On August 16, 2010, DOT published a final rule which will go into effect on
October 1, 2010. This rule affects anyone in a random drug testing program
mandated by the US Coast Guard.

The new regulation adds MDMA known on the street as Ecstasy to the list
of drugs screened for in DOT mandated drug tests.
For initial tests, the agency lowered the cutoff levels for detecting the
presence of cocaine and amphetamines, and heroin was added to the list.
Initial tests are the first tests done on samples. If a sample shows
positive results for illegal drugs, it is then put through a confirmation
Drugs that will be screened for once the regulation goes into effect include:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Opiate metabolites of codeine and/or morphine
  • 6-Acetylmorphine, which is heroin
  • Phencyclidine, commonly referred to as PCP
  • Amphetamines of AMP and/or MAMP, such as speed
  • MDMA, street name Ecstasy

Beginning October 1, any USCG mandated drug tests will automatically
incorporate the regulations. There are no additional actions required

Maritime Compliance Update is published to keep members informed on aspects of the mandatory Coast Guard drug testing regulation, rules of operation of the Consortium, and to help them stay in full compliance with the regulations. It is not intended as legal advice.

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