TVIB News U.S. Coast Guard

USCG: Marine Safety Advisory 01-20 – Potential for Positive Drug Test Result from Use of Hemp-Plant Products

Excerpt from MSA 01-20 Potential for Positive Drug Test Result from Use of Hemp-Plant Products, published 02/10/2020

This Marine Safety Advisory is to ensure that mariners, marine employers, and sponsoring organizations are aware that some products marketed as hemp or cannabidiol (CBD) may contain enough tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to cause a positive drug test. In accordance with 46 CFR 16.201(c), an individual who fails a chemical test for dangerous drugs must be removed from duties directly affecting the safe operation of the vessel, and is subject to suspension and revocation proceedings against his or her credential under 46 CFR part 5. Use of hemp or CBD products is not accepted as an affirmative defense (acceptable excuse) against a THC-positive drug test
result. For these reasons, mariners wishing to avoid a positive THC drug test result should exercise extreme caution when considering the use of any hemp or CBD product because such use could result in the loss of their merchant mariner credential and immediate removal from safety sensitive duties aboard a vessel. This warning applies to hemp and CBD products in any form, including those that are taken by mouth and those that are applied to the skin.

It remains unacceptable for any U.S Coast Guard credentialed mariner or other safety-sensitive worker working aboard a vessel that is subject to U.S Coast Guard drug testing regulations to use THC. Claimed use of hemp products or CBD products is not an acceptable defense for a THC- positive drug test result.

Click here to access the full Marine Safety Advisory 01-20.

USCG: TSAC Meeting – 03/10/2020

SUMMARY: The Towing Safety Advisory Committee will meet via teleconference, to discuss the two current tasks of the Committee. The Committee is expected to receive the final reports from the Subcommittee on Load Line Exemption for River Barges on Lakes Erie and Ontario.

DATE: Meeting: The full Committee will meet by teleconference on Tuesday, March 10, 2020, from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. 

ADDRESSES: To join the teleconference or to request special accommodations, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section no later than 1 p.m. on March 3, 2020, to obtain the needed information. The number of teleconference lines is limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

INSTRUCTIONS:  You are free to submit comments at any time, including orally at the teleconference, but if you want Committee members to review your comments before the teleconference, please submit your comments no later than March 3, 2020. 

AGENDA: The agenda for the March 10, 2020, teleconference meeting is as follows:

1-Final report from the Subcommittee on “Recommendations on Load Line Exemption for River Barges on Lakes Erie and Ontario (Task 17-02)”

2-Additional tasking for the Subcommittee working on “Recommendations on the Implementation of 46 Code of Federal Regulations Subchapter M—Inspection of Towing Vessels (Task 16-01)”

3-Update on the National Towing Safety Advisory Committee and the December 4, 2020 termination date for the Towing Safety Advisory Committee.

4-Public Comment period.

A copy of all meeting documentation will be available at​Our-Organization/​Assistant-Commandant-for-Prevention-Policy-CG-5P/​Commercial-Regulations-standards-CG-5PS/​Office-of-Operating-and-Environmental-Standards/​vfos/​TSAC/​.

During the March 10, 2020 teleconference, a public comment period will be held from approximately 2:45 p.m. to 3 p.m. Speakers are requested to limit their comments to 3 minutes. Please note that this public comment period may start before 2:45 p.m. if all other agenda items have been covered and may end before 3 p.m. if all of those wishing to comment have done so. 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Matthew D. Layman, Alternate Designated Federal Officer of the Towing Safety Advisory Committee, 2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE, Stop 7509, Washington, DC 20593-7509, telephone 202-372-1421, fax 202-372-8382 or

Click here to review the full Federal Register Notice.

USCG: CVC-WI-013(4) Towing Vessel COI Inspections Under TSMS Option

On 12/31/2019, we communicated with you the successful result of our appeal that resulted in the allowance of 90-days before and 90-days after the COI issue date for annual surveys performed under a company’s internal survey program. The USCG first communicated this revised interpretation in the TPO Guidebook (CVC-Policy Letter 17-04 change 2 on 12/31/2019).

Today the USCG issued change 4 to CVC-WI-013 Towing Vessel COI Inspections Under TSMS Option (dated 12/31/2019) that further confirms this position as a work instruction for use by USCG Marine Inspectors. You can find this revision on page two, item D 1 a. i. We have not completed an exhaustive review of the document yet to determine if there are additional changes but we’re proud to have been the leader on this issue with the USCG which resulted in a positive outcome for all companies that have elected to use an internal survey program under the TSMS option.

Click here to download CVC-WI-013(4) Towing Vessel COI Inspections Under TSMS Option