On August 4, 2020, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published in the Federal Register an interim final rule that amends the CBP regulations to implement new subsection 13031(b)(9)(D) of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), as amended by section 8002 of the Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention Act of 2018 (STOP Act), which establishes a new fee for processing Inbound Express Mail Service items (Inbound EMS items), initially set as $1 per item. The USPS will collect the $1 processing fee for each Inbound EMS item from foreign postal operators and USPS will pay 50 percent of this fee to CBP on a quarterly basis after settlement with foreign postal operators has occurred. USPS is to retain the other 50 percent to reimburse it for services it provided in connection with the processing of Inbound EMS items.

The COBRA, as amended, requires, among other things, that Inbound EMS items that are formally entered are also subject to a merchandise processing fee, if applicable, and requires the Secretary of the Treasury to issue regulations regarding USPS’s quarterly remittances to CBP. This rule also makes conforming amendments to CBP regulations. This interim final rule is effective on August 4, 2020, except for the amendment to 19 C.F.R. § 24.23(c)(1)(v) which is effective September 3, 2020. Comments must be received on or before October 5, 2020.