The U.S. Postal Service is deeply concerned about America’s opioid crisis and is working aggressively with law enforcement and key trading partners to stem the flow of illegal drugs entering the United States. In collaboration with federal agencies and state and local law enforcement, improved investigative techniques have increased our ability to interdict opioids like fentanyl. From FY2016 through FY2017, the Postal Inspection Service achieved a 375 percent increase in international parcel seizures, and an 880 percent increase in domestic parcel seizures related to opioids. The Postal Service further executed an agreement with Customs and Border Protection to define responsibilities and leverage shared technological solutions to improve interdiction efforts and enhance global security.
Legislatively, the Postal Service fully supports the STOP Act’s goal of increasing advance electronic data (AED) on inbound and outbound parcels and we have consistently advanced AED collection and sharing through negotiations with key trading partners. The Postal Service is prioritizing obtaining AED from the largest volume foreign posts, which collectively account for over 90 percent of inbound volumes, and which, unlike some countries, have the capability to provide the information.
The Postal Service is very different from commercial operators like UPS and FedEx, because they have direct relationships with their international customers and can require them to provide AED before accepting their packages. The Postal Service receives international packages from foreign posts, and must therefore secure cooperation from them, including through bilateral and multilateral negotiations, to obtain AED. In the last 3 years, we have gone from receiving almost no AED on inbound shipments to achieving current levels at approximately 40 percent.
Unfortunately the STOP Act currently does not recognize the relevant distinctions between commercial and postal operators, and also includes provisions that are not directly related to strengthening global security. We have suggested thoughtful modifications to the bill to make it workable and effective and which we can fully support.
The Postal Service will continue to work tirelessly to address this serious societal issue.