Senate Passes Bill to Reduce Opioid Transport Through International Mail

Posted by Bob Levi on 09/18/18
Last night, the Senate passed H.R. 6, the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018 that  includes the so-called STOP Act, which strives to prevent the inbound transport of opioids through international mail, requires that electronic manifests be created for inbound U.S. mail shipments and would levy civil fines against the Postal Service for noncompliance. The legislation also includes numerous provisions relating to research, treatment, and law enforcement relating to opioid abuse. H.R. 6 passed the Senate 99-1 and the House approved a prior version of the bill this past June. The Senate amended parts of the legislation, however the postal provisions in the two bills are the same. The House and Senate bills need to be reconciled before being submitted to President Trump for his signature. 

Generally, H.R. 6 would require the Postal Service to transmit "advanced electronic data" to the Customs and Border Protection Service on 70% of international packages by the end of this year and 100% by 2021. Currently, the Postal Service collects 40% of the data. Fines could be imposed on the Postal Service if its does not meet the target. Also, the legislation calls for fees to be imposed on international shippers to help defray the cost to the Postal Service. However, there are many countries that fail to have the technology to implement the required data collection.