Proposed bill targets international drug sellers using USPSPosted: Updated:
Federal legislation that already passed the House and is now pending in the Senate would require the United States Postal Service to collect advance electronic data on international mail shipments that can be used to target suspicious packages for inspection.
The effort comes after a congressional report in January found that drug sellers in China can more easily ship the deadly fentanyl through the Postal Service rather than private shippers. That's because there is less risk that customs agents will seize the package.
The Postal Service has said it collects certain information about packages for 90 percent of outgoing international mail, but only about half of that for incoming international mail. Starting in 2021, if the Postal Service doesn't reject packages that don't have advanced data, or AED, it could face civil penalties.
The Postal Service said it will work to "aggressively increase" its data collection to try and keep drugs like fentanyl from coming into the country.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the opioid bill is a bipartisan priority, but that it's unlikely any action would be taken before Labor Day.
Krista Bertschi, of Coram, who lost her son to a fentanyl overdose, says she fully supports the plan.
“If fentanyl is coming into this country through the post office, we should be able to be doing more to stop it…Whatever it takes to stop it from getting into the hands of people who are selling it to our children,” she says.
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