Easter reminder: Kinder Eggs banned in the United States
April 21st, 2011
08:01 PM ET

Easter reminder: Kinder Eggs banned in the United States

Not all eggs are created equal in the eyes of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Kinder Eggs, a popular European chocolate egg that contains a toy inside, is banned from importation into the United States because it contains a "non-nutritive object embedded in it."

With the Easter holiday around the corner, the agency issued the reminder this week, warning that the candy is considered unsafe for children under 3. Last year, Customs and Border Protection seized 25,000 of them in 1,700 incidents.

The hollow egg, which is sold by the Italian confectioner Ferrero, is available in Europe, Canada, Australia and parts of Latin America under various names including Kinder Surprise and Kinder Sorpresa. It has taken on a cult status among adults who collect the toys, which vary from rings to animals and cartoon characters.

Kinder Eggs' scarcity in the United States has made them an object of desire: Various websites and online forums are dedicated to acquiring them.

Some are apparently hiding in plain sight. Earlier this week, DNAinfo.com, a New York City neighborhood guide, posted a story and slideshow showing stores where the coveted treats can be found.

"While there are some commercial-sized seizures that occur, most Kinder Eggs are seized in personal baggage or at mail and express consignment facilities," Customs and Border Protection said.

A Canadian woman reportedly learned her lesson the hard way.

The woman was selected for a random search at a border checkpoint in Minnesota when officials discovered she was carrying a Kinder Egg and took it from her, The Toronto Star reported.

A few weeks later, she received a 7-page letter asking if she wanted the egg back or if she was going to abandon rights to it, the Star reported.

"I was in disbelief," she told the newspaper. "It's a $2 egg."

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Filed under: Food • Holidays • U.S.
soundoff (690 Responses)
  1. SeattleExplorer

    If I got out and nab me a bunch of these while in Germany and bring them back illegally to the US, does that make me a poacher? I think I'm going to tell everyone I know to bring back as many of these as possible. Stupid laws need to be broken.

    April 22, 2011 at 2:43 am | Report abuse |
  2. Steve Bishop

    And this is why the US is the laughing stock of the world. They seize *dangerous* Easter eggs at the border and do invasive pat downs of 4 year old's in the airport, but let drugs and terrorists in.

    April 22, 2011 at 2:59 am | Report abuse |
  3. R.H.

    What do you expect from a scared country. God "Help" America.

    April 22, 2011 at 3:09 am | Report abuse |
  4. S T

    Ha... I didn't know Kinder Eggs were banned here. Funny because I actually know of a store in Iowa that sells them. I lived in Germany from age 5-8 and they were probably my main toy.

    April 22, 2011 at 3:20 am | Report abuse |
  5. Dave

    A Birmingham mother whose three-year-old daughter choked to death is backing a campaign to ban them. She died after swallowing a tiny part of a Pink Panther model. Concerns were raised following a series of tragedies. A four-year-old from Blackpool choked to death on a similar piece of plastic, and a boy, aged three, died after swallowing a toy component no bigger than a thumbnail. Four other children around the world have died since 1991.

    April 22, 2011 at 3:25 am | Report abuse |
    • qirin

      I wonder what kills more kids each year, Kinder Eggs or handguns?

      April 22, 2011 at 3:51 am | Report abuse |
    • C Pi

      wow! 7 children in 20 years??????? well, obviously it should be banned!! but guns are ok guys....

      April 22, 2011 at 4:39 am | Report abuse |
  6. RIchi lewis

    Kinder eggs were a part of my childhood, I have eaten then since I was a very young child and never choked on the large sometimes impossible to open container inside. If a parent wants to give these chocolates to their child I think they should be allowed to. The parent obviously know that there is something inside of the chocolate that the child could possibly choke on and should be aware that they were the ones to give the chocolate to the minor in the first place so they would be the ones to blame if said child did have issues with it. taking the toy off the child before anything actually happens is a more sensible way of dealing with things,
    Regarding the law about not having foreign objects surrounded be food stuffs, wouldn't that mean that corn dogs and ice lollies etc should be banned, it can't be one rule for one and not for the other

    April 22, 2011 at 3:40 am | Report abuse |
  7. Bobckat

    Welcome to the United States of China!

    April 22, 2011 at 3:46 am | Report abuse |
  8. Sally Li

    Illeggal E(aster)lians!

    April 22, 2011 at 3:53 am | Report abuse |
  9. EVCW

    And this Easter Egg hunt is costing US taxpayers how much? Are there not better ways to spend the money like chasing importers of heroin and cocaine?

    April 22, 2011 at 4:00 am | Report abuse |
  10. brandy

    this is pretty silly i have to agree.. i grew up in the good ole US of A but moved to scotland in 1999. since then ive had two children, and they both love kinder eggs. i do begrudge them because they cost like 79p a piece unless you get them from lidls and you can get 3 for a ÂŁ1 when on sale. the kids love the toys.. but tend to just destroy the chocolate to get to them.. so i find it a waste.. but let them have the treats as they love them. my youngest is 6 and autisitc and has never choked to death yet on a kinder egg. its like anything else.. you have to keep and eye on your kids and make sure they are safe. they can get hurt in the bath.. but we are not banning baths are we?

    April 22, 2011 at 4:01 am | Report abuse |
  11. Big Paulie

    "non-nutritive object?" Well we may as well ban everything McDonald's sells by that rule. I've eaten cardboard with more nutritional value than anything on McD's menu, salads included.

    April 22, 2011 at 4:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Linda

      Also toys in the happy meal are more nutritive!!

      April 22, 2011 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
  12. Shawn

    I understand it's ban on commercial imports to safeguard children, but seizing them from PRIVATE CITIZENS luggage? What crap.

    April 22, 2011 at 4:45 am | Report abuse |
  13. CultureOfOne

    The law seems clear – these cannot be imported – so the solution seems clear as well: Ferrero needs to open a small Kinder Surprise factory in the USA. Keep them rare enough to still be highly sought, and expensive enough to be profitable. Opportunity is knocking!

    April 22, 2011 at 4:57 am | Report abuse |
  14. Airman in Germany

    Dude, you should all just get the "kinder hippo" or the "happy hippo" or whatever it is called. Hands down the BEST candy in europe...maybe even the entire world. Kinder Eggs are cool but those hippos...man those hippos are intense!

    April 22, 2011 at 5:24 am | Report abuse |
  15. V

    Pathetic! Just plain pathetic, how the border patrol wastes their time looking for harmless eggs. Waste of govt. funds. We can't stop terrorists from entering so let's stop the eggs!! It is mind-boggling, that is all.

    April 22, 2011 at 5:24 am | Report abuse |
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