U.S. Senate Passes the STOP Act to Cut Off the Postal Drug Pipeline

The Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention Act would close a major loophole in the global mail system exploited by drug traffickers to fuel the opioid epidemic.

Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Senate passed the Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act, introduced by Senator Rob Portman and Senator Amy Klobuchar, as part of a broader package of opioids legislation by a bipartisan vote of 99-1. The House of Representatives passed an identical version of the legislation in June, and the critical bill now moves closer to the White House for President Trump’s signature.

“Closing the postal loophole would be an unprecedented step towards preventing synthetic drugs like fentanyl from killing more Americans,” said Governor Tom Ridge, senior advisor to Americans for Securing All Packages. “We’re grateful for Senator Portman and the congressional leaders who have worked so hard to ensure that the men and women of Customs and Border Protection have the comprehensive tools and security data they need to keep Americans safe, and fight back against this national health crisis. We now must work to get this bill to the President’s desk immediately.”

“For far too long we’ve been shocked and outraged at the constant tragedies caused by the synthetic opioids that enter our country through the postal loophole. The STOP Act has the potential to truly turn this tide,” said Juliette Kayyem, senior advisor to Americans for Securing All Packages. “Closing the postal loophole will attack these poisons at their source, and help prevent international criminals from destroying more families and ruining more lives. Now that the bill has been passed, it is vital that both chambers work quickly to send it for the president’s signature. America’s families can’t afford to wait when so many lives are at risk.”

The STOP Act would close a major loophole exploited by drug traffickers in the global postal system by requiring all foreign packages to include advance electronic data, or AED. This basic security information is necessary for Customs and Border Protection and other national security agencies to effectively screen the massive number of packages entering the U.S. each day for dangerous material, including synthetic drugs like fentanyl. Under current law, foreign shipments sent via private carriers must contain AED, but those sent via international posts and delivered by the U.S. Postal Service do not. As a result, drug dealers actually recommend using the postal system to avoid detection and interdiction, according to a congressional investigation.

The STOP Act passed in the Senate as part of a package of bipartisan bills designed to address the nationwide opioid epidemic. The House and Senate versions will now be reconciled to create a legislative package that will be sent to the White House for the president’s signature. President Trump has already shared his support for the STOP Act, highlighting the need to prevent fentanyl “from killing our children and destroying our country.” The president’s advisors have also recommended he sign the bill once it reaches his desk.

The STOP Act is also supported by groups nationwide that are invested in bringing an end to the opioid epidemic, including the American Medical Association, the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, and the National Conference of State Legislatures.