To combat a wide variety of tactics smugglers use to conceal fentanyl and other synthetic opioids, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas signed an Interim Final Rule (IFR) to promulgate regulations that will enable U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to implement provisions required in the Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act. These regulations will strengthen the collection and sharing of advance electronic data (AED) by the United States Postal Service (USPS) and CBP for international mail shipments.
“The STOP Act is an important step in the battle against the deadly scourge of synthetic drugs that has caused so much loss and pain in our country,” said Secretary Mayorkas. “The Department of Homeland Security is proud to implement the STOP Act through this regulation. Since taking office last month, working closely with U.S. Senators Rob Portman and Gary Peters, I have prioritized the promulgation of today’s regulation.”
“Two additional points are noteworthy. First, our Department will continue to prioritize the battle against the importation of illegal drugs and their precursors, and we will dedicate our energy and resources accordingly. This is a matter of homeland security. Second, our Department is dedicated to the prompt, orderly, and effective promulgation of regulations that implement the laws Congress has passed and that advance the policy priorities of this Administration.”
The IFR, entitled “Mandatory Advance Electronic Information for International Mail Shipments,” is expected to be published in the Federal Register soon. The IFR amends CBP’s regulations pertaining to mail importation to establish a mandatory AED program for certain inbound mail shipments.
“CBP is the frontline in the battle against dangerous and illicit drugs shipped to our country through the international mail system,” said Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Commissioner Troy Miller. “Fentanyl and its many fentanyl-based analogues continue to plague the American people, and these regulations will be critical in our efforts to identify and disrupt the transnational criminal organizations who ship these deadly drugs through our international mail system.”
These new AED regulations in the IFR will enhance the security of international mail shipments entering the United States by enabling CBP to conduct better targeting and risk assessments. This will help disrupt the flow of illicit supply chains that exploit the postal environment and will reduce shipments of illicit fentanyl and other dangerous goods from entering the country. Screening made possible through AED will also be used to identify counterfeit goods, and illicit biological matter – or even to counter terrorism.