Bi-partisan legislation sponsored by Congressman Mike Bishop has been signed into law.

The Synthetic Trafficking and Overdose Prevention or STOP Act of 2018 was sponsored by Republican Congressman Mike Bishop and Democratic Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. of New Jersey. It was included in the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act signed into law by President Trump. The STOP Act requires the U.S. Postal Service to transmit advance electronic data to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for at least 70% of international shipments coming into the U.S. by the end of 2018, and 100% of inbound international shipments by 2020.

Bishop called the law, “an important victory for our nation and for all those suffering from the opioid epidemic” noting that almost 2,000 people died last year in Michigan from opioid overdoses. Bishop said he was astounded to learn that previous law treated packages coming in through private carriers like FedEx and UPS differently than it did shipments through the United States Postal Service (USPS), and as a result, drug traffickers could readily ship synthetic opioids into the country through the USPS.

During testimony before the Senate last May, it was noted the STOP act would cost the Postal Service between $1.2 and $4.8 (B) billion over a ten year period. Further, USPS would have to pay new customs fees but would be unable to recoup costs from customers. (JK)