Legislation builds on Klobuchar’s STOP Act, signed into law in 2018, to prevent fentanyl shipments from entering the country via mail

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) introduced bipartisan legislation to tackle the rise in illegal opioids entering the U.S. The STOP 2.0 Act builds on Klobuchar’s Synthetics Trafficking & Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act, which was cosponsored by Capito and signed into law in 2018. That legislation prevents fentanyl and synthetic drug shipments from being smuggled into the U.S. through the mail by requiring advance electronic data (AED) to be included on all inbound international packages shipped through the U.S. Postal Service. 

“We’ve seen the devastating impact of the opioid epidemic on communities across the country. That’s why we must do everything we can to stop fentanyl and other synthetic opioids from illicitly entering the U.S. through the mail,” said Klobuchar. “Our bipartisan legislation will strengthen our original STOP Act by providing federal law enforcement agencies with additional tools to crack down on illegal drug shipments.” 

“The spread of fentanyl continues to have deadly consequences for communities across West Virginia,” said Capito. “The STOP Act 2.0 builds on the passage of the STOP Act in 2018, and enhances efforts to prevent fentanyl from entering our country by international mail. This legislation will encourage cross-agency and international collaboration, strengthen our ability to screen incoming mail for illicit substances, and inform future efforts to end the shipping of lethal illicit substances like fentanyl. Addressing the addiction crisis is incredibly urgent, and I will continue to put forward solutions that prevent these drugs from entering our state.”

The STOP 2.0 Act would:

  • Create a new criminal penalty for intentionally misrepresenting a package’s country of origin in order to avoid the requirements of the original STOP Act;
  • Establish a five-year sunset period for waivers from complying with the original STOP Act’s AED requirements. After this period, the Department of Homeland Security will no longer be able to issue waiving excusing countries from compliance;
  • Institute new reporting requirements that require Customs and Border Protection to publish data on the results of randomized tests of packages entering the United States in order to better assess compliance with the provisions of the original STOP Act;
  • Allow the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and the U.S. Postal Service to enter into partnerships with private parcel services to develop technology and processes for identifying the origin of fentanyl and synthetic opioid shipments; 
  • Authorize the Department of State, in coordination with other federal agencies, to collaborate with international governments and enforcement agencies on sharing and developing best practices for detecting fentanyl and synthetic opioid shipments; and 
  • Require the Comptroller General to submit a report on the STOP Act’s implementation.

Klobuchar has led efforts to tackle the rise in illegal opioids entering the U.S. Last November, she and Capito urged the Biden administration to increase cyber investigations of fentanyl trafficking, highlighting how dark web opioid traffickers can exploit the anonymity and reach of the Internet to make illegal drugs available to American customers. 

Last October, Klobuchar and former Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) called on the administration to fully implement the Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention (STOP Act), enacted in 2018 to decrease the supply of fentanyl shipments by reducing the number of countries exempted from this law. Klobuchar and Portman were joined by Senator Capito in supporting the STOP Act.