Rep. Austin Scott: House United to Combat Opioid Epidemic
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Austin Scott (GA-08) released the following statement upon the House of Representatives passing the Securing the International Mail Against Opioids Act (H.R. 5788), which would better aid the United States Postal Service (USPS) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to target opioid shipments as well as other illegal imports and prevent their entry into the United States.
“The House stands united in combatting the epidemic of opioid use in our country, and I am very hopeful that this piece of legislation will be taken up by the Senate in a timely manner to better protect our fellow Americans from foreign drug threats,” said Rep. Scott.
By law, CBP requires advance electronic data (AED) of shipments by private carriers, including express delivery carriers, to the United States. AED enables CBP to target high-risk shipments for inspection and seizure. However, these requirements do not extend to international mail shipments, creating a significant vulnerability and allowing criminals to ship synthetic opioids into the United States with ease.
Specifically, H.R. 5788 would require USPS to transmit AED to CBP before it reaches the border while also allowing USPS to refuse shipments for which AED is not furnished.
Earlier this year, Rep. Scott was successful in including an amendment in the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) aimed at supporting the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) in combating transnational criminal organizations, most notably by addressing drug trafficking across U.S. borders and through USPS and other parcel services.