On 17 December, Homeland Security Today reported that international mail could be disrupted after the first of the year as deadlines have not been met as US Customs & Border Protection and US Postal Service try to comply with the STOP Act that aims to stem the flow of opioids like fentanyl into the US. Online drug dealers based in China were exploiting a loophole in international mail that allowed packages to be shipped into the US without advance electronic data (AED) through the US Postal Service. The legislation required USPS to collect AED on 70% of all international packages and 100% of packages from China by the end of 2018, but in January 2019 those numbers were only 57% and 76%, respectively. By January 2020, 67% of international packages coming into the US had AED, but during the COVID-19 pandemic that has slipped to 54% in October. When the USPS must begin rejecting packages without AED as of 1 January, that could mean that turns away about 4 million pieces of mail a month. There are fears that foreign countries could retaliate as a result.
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