The Coast Guard requires marine employers to establish random drug testing programs for covered crewmembers in accordance with 46 CFR 16.230.

Marine employers are required by 46 CFR 16.500 to collect and maintain a record of drug testing data for each calendar year, and submit this data to the USCG in a Management Information System (MIS) Report by March 15 of the following year.

Each year, the Coast Guard will publish a notice reporting the results of random drug testing for the previous calendar year’s MIS data and the required minimum annual percentage rate for random drug testing for the next calendar year.

By setting a minimum random drug testing rate, the USCG aims to establish an effective deterrent to drug misuse within the maritime workforce, thus enhancing maritime safety.

Intoxicated operations poses a serious threat to life, property and the environment in the maritime. As such, the minimum random drug testing rate is intended to deter and detect illegal drug misuse in the maritime industry.

Last week, the Captain of the Gibraltar-flagged bulk carrier 'Rainbow Quest' pleaded guilty to operating a commercial cargo ship while intoxicated.

The Coast Guard announces that the minimum random drug testing rate for calendar year 2020 is 50%.

USCG continues a 50% minimum random drug testing rate for 2020 as a result of MIS data for the most recent reporting year which indicated that the positive rate continues to be greater than 1%.

46 CFR 16.230(f)(2) requires the Commandant to set the minimum random drug testing rate at 50 % when the positivity rate for drug use is greater than 1%.

In September, New Zealand's authorities announced they would conduct a series of random methamphetamine tests among Port Otago workers, as at least five persons operating heavy machinery were found positive for use of the drug at south east New Zealand's port over the summer.