Drug, pharmaceutical substances and alcohol testing in the Maritime Industry

Why Test for drug, pharmaceutical substances and alcohol in the Maritime Industry?

Any use of drug, pharmaceutical substances or alcohol in the maritime industry is forbidden and it is considered dangerous as it puts at risk passengers’ and crew’s safety on board. Marine working conditions (motion, engine noise, wind) in combination with the effects of drug, pharmaceutical substances and alcohol abuse (decreased alertness, balance, and concentration) increases the risk of accidents.

Below is a brief description of the reasons that the maritime industry is susceptible to the drugs, pharmaceutical substances, and alcohol abuse according to the International Maritime Organization.

  • The vessel functions both as workplace and home for mariners for an extended period of time.
  • Extended and irregular working hours.
  • Limited communication options and social interaction in everyday life.
  • Working conditions can be challenging.
  • Each country follows different rules and regulations about the use of drug, pharmaceutical substances and alcohol.

Where and how often?

Drug, pharmaceutical substances and alcohol testing in the maritime industry should be conducted in different time frames to all crewmembers during their occupation on board. Sample collection should be carried out without any prior notice to the existing crew but also to the candidates for recruitment, and in cases of cause screening as well as post incident evaluation.

At DNAlogy we offer solutions that meet the maritime industry’s needs, providing a reliable testing of drug, pharmaceutical substances and alcohol as well as a wide variety of services that serve the policy of each company. Except from performing unannounced drug and alcohol testing on board, we also have the ability to provide pre-joining toxicology screening services with Global coverage. Our medical experts are at your disposal 24/7, offering scientific guidance and administration of all incidents.

Testing can be performed:

  • At DNAlogy laboratories.
  • In the port by our scientific staff.
  • On board with test kit for sample collection and shipment to the laboratory for analysis (Remote Sampling Protocols).
  • On board with self-test kit provided by DNAlogy for the on-site examination of the crew (Validation of results remotely).

DNAlogy and tele-medicine

DNAlogy has been performing tele-medicine based procedures for over 10 years in sensitive sectors such as the EU Immigration Authorities and Correctional Facilities for DNA and DRUG testing. In the Maritime Industry, we are able to perform remote sampling protocols, where no physical presence is required:

  1. Online protocol : Our lab experts are connected live with the vessel undergoing Drug and Alcohol testing and guides the crew accordingly. Then, the samples are shipped to our laboratory for analysis.
    Likewise, this method can also be used when self-testing is taking place, especially after an incident. Our medical expert can supervise online the procedure, validate the result and provide official report.
  1. Video protocol : The whole procedure is taped by authorized personnel assigned by company and then uploaded to DNAlogy’s network or saved in USB and shipped along with the samples to our laboratories (detailed instructions provided).

Both methods  can be performed  before dockage, so crew members have minimum disruption at the port, where they are busy with other procedures. Furthermore, the total cost of the testing is much lower, because no physical attendance is needed.


Testing Options

  • Urine Testing

Urine is the most common sample used for Drug and Alcohol testing, especially in the Maritime Industry. The collection of the sample can be performed any time of the day and the analysis will determine whether someone has recently used drugs and/or alcohol. DNAlogy offers full screening packages of 18 or 29 drugs, pharmaceutical substances and alcohol.

  • Hair Testing

Hair toxicological analyses can investigate earlier periods of consumption (up to 12 months), as well as determine the user’s profile: occasional user, daily user etc. DNAlogy offers analysis options, ranging from 6 common narcotics and pharmaceuticals.

Hair toxicological analysis it a significant tool , especially in pre-employment testing, where earlier time period is crucial for the profile of the candidate.

Advantages of Drug and Alcohol testing with DNALogy

  • Ability to detect up to 29 drugs, pharmaceutical substances and alcohol
  • Rapid delivery of results and certificate (within 4 days upon receipt of samples)
  • Official results report signed by two (2) toxicology experts, with legal validity across the world
  • Supply of vessels with self D&A kit with high sensitivity for emergency incidents and ability to validate the results remotely
  • Ability to perform toxicological analyses in hair samples
  • Remote sampling methods with no physical attendance
  • Pre-employment testing services with Global coverage
  • Direct contact with our laboratories 24/7
  • Scientific guidance and administration of all incidents
  • Very competitive prices

DNAlogy Laboratory - Toxicology Department

European Institute for Genetics and DNA Identification, DNAlogy is accredited according to the ELOT EN ISO/IEC 17025:2017 for all forensic DNA analysis and certified by international organizations for toxicological analyses, manned by Forensic Experts of the Greek and International Judicial Authorities and operates in accordance with the guidelines and prerequisites of the following maritime standards : OCIMF, RightShip, International Maritime Organization, International Labor Organization.


DNAlogy is an international member of the National Drug & Alcohol Screening Association (NDASA)

DNAlogy is an international member of the National Drug & Alcohol Screening Association (NDASA) which aims to the maintenance of safe and drug and alcohol-free workplaces. Through this worldwide partnership, the development of international drug and alcohol testing standards is ensured, in combination with the existing internationally recognized and established standards.


Our Team at your disposal
24 hours, 7 days a week

   Leof. Vouliagmenis 98 Glyfada 166 74

   Tel: +30 210 9650 370

   Fax: +30 210 9650 370

   Mobile: +30 6987383417
          *for urgent cases



Contact us

Our Team at your disposal
24 hours, 7 days a week

   Leof. Vouliagmenis 98 Glyfada 166 74

   Tel: +30 210 9650 370

   Fax: +30 210 9650 370

   Mobile: +306987383417
          *for urgent cases



Contact us