Pressure grows for full enforcement of US STOP Act

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US Customs and Border Protection


Pressure is mounting on the US government to fully implement the STOP Act and the requirement for advance electronic data. The campaign for total enforcement has been led by US senators Rob Portman and Amy Klobuchar.

“Congress passed the STOP Act to prevent illicit drugs, including fentanyl, from entering the United States through the United States Postal Service,” Portman, ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Klobuchar, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.

“The bill requires the Postal Service to provide Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) advance electronic data (“AED”) on international mail. CBP then uses this data to stop fentanyl and other illegal opioids before they can make their way to communities.”

The senators had previously pushed for full implementation to take effect from March 2021 after hearing that Customs and Border Protection needed more time to finalise regulations.

At the time, Senator Portman highlighted how the European Union was pushing ahead with its own regulation, Import Control System 2 (ICS2) with the requirement for complete, accurate and compliant electronic data sets.

The first phase of ICS2 came into effect in March 2021 with the second release due to come into force from March 2023 and a third release in 2024.

Both the STOP Act and ICS2 require shippers to provide data elements such as accurate product descriptions and HS6 codes.

“This is not just about postal operators and carriers. Everyone in the cross-border supply chain has a responsibility to ensure that their data sets are complete, accurate and compliant,” Martin Palmer, co-founder and external affairs adviser at cross-border data specialist Hurricane Commerce, said.

Postal operators and carriers which fail to prepare for these major regulatory events will see millions of shipments held up at customs resulting in delays, extra costs and potential financial penalties.

In their latest letter, Senators Portman and Klobuchar asked for answers to a series of questions by November 14. The questions posed were:

  1. How many countries received STOP Act waivers for 2022?
  2. Approximately what percentage of the total inbound volume of international mail comes from waiver vs. non-waiver countries?
  3. What steps has the agency taken since our December 2021 letter to pursue efforts to advance global requirements for AED?
  4. What steps does the agency plan to take during its upcoming review process to ensure that waivers remain a temporary exception?
  5. What percentage of AED submissions are considered “complete” where entries are inserted for each field? Please provide AED manifest quality analysis results for the past two years on the completeness of AED submissions.

Hurricane’s suite of AI-driven, real-time data solutions were designed to meet the needs of postal operators, carriers, retailers, marketplaces and eCommerce platforms.

Hurricane’s Zephyr data enhancement API ensures that shipments have the right data – including HS6 codes, product descriptions and 8- and 10- digit import and export codes – to pass smoothly through customs and on to the end consumer.

Meanwhile, its Aura API covers the three critical cross-border functions – duty and tax calculation, prohibited and restricted goods screening and denied parties screening.