The interagency effort to stop drug distributors from sending opioids through the mail is failing to implement key reforms meant to shore up loopholes that allow such illicit materials to enter the country, according to a new review of the program.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection, in coordination with the U.S. Postal Service and State Department, is ignoring parts of a 2018 law aimed at cracking down on international drug shippers, according to a Homeland Security Department inspector general report. The approach is leaving the nation more vulnerable to dangerous goods, such as fentanyl and other synthetic opioids, entering the country.
The 2018 Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act required foreign countries to provide “advanced electronic data” on all international packages before they reached the United States. “Advanced electronic data,” or AED, provides USPS and CBP with information about the contents of international packages before they reach the United States. A requirement for the data was already imposed on international packages coming into the country through private carriers like FedEx and UPS, but the mandate first began applying across the board to international packages arriving through USPS starting in 2021 due to the 2018 law