This bill would require the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to obtain advance electronic data (AED) on international mail shipments to Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which would then target and inspect potential opioid shipments. The screening system would be funded through a fee assessed on express international shipments. Under current law, CBP requires AED to be provided for international shipments by private carriers (including express shipments) so that it can screen high risk shipments, but that requirement doesn’t extend to USPS shipments.
The USPS would be required to transmit AED on at least 70 percent of international packages by the end of 2018, and at least 95 percent of international packages by the end of 2022. If USPS accepts certain international mail shipments without AED after 2020, CBP would be authorized to impose financial penalties on USPS. CBP and USPS would be required to establish a joint strategic plan that details performance measures and benchmarks for meeting the bill’s mandate and report to Congress on its implementation. The agencies would be required to collaborate to identify and develop new technologies that will improve the detection of synthetic opioids and other narcotics or harmful substances.
The bill would also require bilateral diplomatic efforts to ensure foreign postal operators are transmitting AED, and multilateral efforts led by the State Dept. to raise international shipment standards for all countries. USPS would be empowered to take remedial actions against non-compliant foreign postal services to refuse shipment of packages that don’t include AED.