H.R. 2142 provides U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) enhanced chemical screening devices and scientific support to detect and intercept fentanyl and other synthetic opioids. Specifically, this bill will ensure that CBP has additional portable chemical screening devices available at ports of entry and mail and express consignment facilities, and additional fixed chemical screening devices available in CBP laboratories.
Although prescription fentanyl can be misused, most fentanyl deaths are linked to illicitly manufactured fentanyl and illicit versions of chemically similar compounds known as fentanyl analogs.
The majority of fentanyl trafficked in the United States originates in Mexico or China. The drug is typically smuggled across the U.S. border or sent via mail or express consignment couriers. Fentanyl can also be ordered online. Because of its potency, fentanyl typically comes in small amounts, making it more difficult for authorities to detect.
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jan 11, 2018.
(This measure has not been amended since it was reported to the House on September 21, 2017. The summary of that version is repeated here.)
International Narcotics Trafficking Emergency Response by Detecting Incoming Contraband with Technology Act or the INTERDICT Act
(Sec. 3) This bill requires the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to: (1) increase the number of chemical screening devices available to CBP officers to interdict fentanyl, other synthetic opioids, and other narcotics and psychoactive substances that are illegally imported into the United States, including such substances imported through the mail or by an express consignment operator or carrier; and (2) dedicate the appropriate number of CBP personnel, including scientists, to interpret data collected by such devices during all operational hours.
(Sec. 4) The bill authorizes appropriations to the CBP to ensure that the necessary screening and interdiction resources are available during all operational hours.