1. Company Policy
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
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 avaiable 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
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 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
11. Crewmember Background Check
It is a required 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