WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee joined a bipartisan bill to help halt the flow of illicit fentanyl from Mexico, China and other nations around the world into the United States. The International Narcotics Trafficking Emergency Response by Detecting Incoming Contraband with Technology (INTERDICT) Act would provide U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) tools such as hi-tech chemical screening devices to help detect and interdict fentanyl and other illicit synthetic opioids.
“The INTERDICT Act is an important step in combating the opioid crisis by restricting the flow of illicit fentanyl that is trafficked into the United States,” Kaine said. “The bill would ensure that U.S. Customs and Border Protection has the resources necessary to intercept and block the unlawful importation of fentanyl.”
Drug overdoses have been the leading cause of unnatural death across Virginia since 2013. Last year, more than 75% of fatal drug overdoses in Virginia were a result of opioid overdose.
Specifically, the INTERDICT Act:
- Ensures that CBP will have 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.
- Provides CBP with sufficient resources, personnel, and facilities – including scientists available during all operational hours – to interpret screening test results from the field.
- Authorizes – based on CBP guidance – the appropriation of $15 million for hundreds of new screening devices, laboratory equipment, facilities, and personnel for support during all operational hours.
A copy of the International Narcotics Trafficking Emergency Response by Detecting Incoming Contraband with Technology (INTERDICT) Act can be found HERE.