>Coast Guard Issues Safety Alert on Drug Testing Requirements for Charter Vessels

>The Assistant Commandant for Marine Safety, Security and Stewardship issued safety alert 07-09 addressing drug testing requirements for charter vessels.

With the alert, the Coast Guard is strongly reminding the charter vessel industry of their duties and obligations to meet federal drug testing regulations. Requirements for marine employers to have drug testing programs have been in effect since November 21, 1988. These requirements are applicable to all U.S. flagged vessels in commercial service, regardless of vessel size or capacities.

The rule requires chemical testing of all crewmembers working in safety-sensitive positions whether or not those crewmembers possess merchant mariner credentials.

The consequences for failing to comply with these requirements can be substantial and may involve the loss of a license or document, loss of a vessel or civil penalties at a rate of $5,500 per day per violation.