As CDC Reports 1000 Percent Increase in Fentanyl Overdose Deaths Since 2011, STOP Act Enforcement Needed to Curb Fentanyl Shipments from Abroad

New CDC data underscores the urgent need to enforce the STOP Act, which was signed into law to stop the flow of illicit opioids in 2018

Washington, D.C. (March 26, 2019) –  As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new data estimating a 1000 percent increase in fentanyl overdose deaths since 2011, Americans for Securing All Packages calls on the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and federal law enforcement agencies, including  Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), to enforce the Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act requiring advance electronic data (AED) on all inbound international packages to the United States.

Signed into law by President Trump as part of a broader opioids package in October 2018, the STOP Act mandates the U.S. Postal Service receive AED on at least 70 percent of all inbound international packages and 100 percent of packages shipped to the U.S. from China by December 31, 2018. Lawmakers and federal law enforcement agents agree that requiring AED on all inbound international packages would help customs and law enforcement officials identify packages containing dangerous substances, including illicit fentanyl, and help stop the flow of opioids into the United States.

Despite rising overdose deaths and increased public pressure to address America’s growing fentanyl crisis, the federal agencies tasked with the STOP Act’s implementation have made few – if any – details about compliance public since the law was passed in 2018. While the STOP Act mandated federal agencies submit a report to Congress on their progress implementing the bill in late December 2018, no such report was made public and it remains unclear whether a document was submitted to Congress at all.

“Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, in both chambers of Congress, passed the STOP Act last year because they knew closing the loophole in our global postal system could stop deadly fentanyl from reaching our shores,” said Juliette Kayyem, senior advisor to Americans for Securing All Packages. “Our work isn’t over now that the law has passed. Our federal agencies have an obligation to let the American people know they’re doing everything they can to intercept life-threatening risks. We deserve to know not only how, but if, the STOP Act is being implemented, and whether our law enforcement agencies charged under the law are keeping us safe.”