Government affairs

Legislative Updates

Securing the International Mail against Opioids Act introduced

Today, Rep. Mike Bishop (R-MI) introduced the Securing the International Mail against Opioids Act (H.R. 5788). The bill was drafted in response to the stalled STOP Act, which certain stakeholders, including USPS, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Department of State, asserted did not take into account USPS’s universal service obligation (USO) and the limited capacity of some foreign posts to collect and transmit AED to USPS. 

In an effort to curb the influx of illicit opioids into the country from foreign countries, this bill would require USPS take aggressive stance on obtaining agreements with foreign postal operators for the transmission of advanced electronic data (AED) on all international packages, while complying with our international obligations. Specifically, it would require USPS to transmit AED on at least 70 percent of international packages by Dec 31, 2018, and 95 percent of international packages by December 31, 2022. Additionally, it also authorizes measures to ensure compliance, up to and including the refusal of shipments for which AED is not provided.

 “Unfortunately, critical gaps in the international mail system are being exploited by drug traffickers–allowing dangerous synthetic drugs like fentanyl to be shipped across our borders,” said Rep. Bishop. “The Securing the International Mail Against Opioids Act of 2018, which unanimously passed the House Ways and Means Committee today, closes these loopholes by requiring the U.S. Postal Service to obtain advance electronic data on inbound shipments and transmit that data to CBP, allowing CBP to target for opioid shipments. This legislation is a step in the right direction to fight back against these potent synthetic opioids that are ravaging our nation.”

NALC is still reviewing the legislation to ensure that provisions related to USPS are not harmful and will continue to monitor the bill’s progression. Letter carriers, who work in every neighborhood in the country, have seen the devastating impact of opioids firsthand. NALC is fully committed to working with Congress to fight the epidemic in any way we can.

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