US - Possible Changes to Inbound Mail: Customs Fees and Opioid Detection

Source: US Government Accountability Office

February 27, 2020

Congressional Committees

International Mail: Stakeholders’ Views on Possible Changes to Inbound Mail Regarding Customs Fees and Opioid Detection Efforts

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, over 130 people in the United States die daily from an opioid overdose.1 These overdoses often involve the use of illicit synthetic opioids that enter the United States at various entry points by various means, including international mail.2 In recent years, Congress and the Administration have increasingly focused on illicit opioids arriving via international mail. As the United States’ designated postal operator, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is responsible for receiving inbound international mail shipments and delivering them domestically. In fiscal year 2019, USPS received about 578 million inbound international mail shipments, including envelopes or packages containing goods.3 Within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is responsible for detecting and seizing inbound international mail shipments containing illicit opioids and other prohibited items.

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