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. hhc

    REALLY? There are so many toys that are being sold in the stores that are more of a swallowing hazzard than a Kinder Ueberraschung Egg (yes I'm from Germany), and I don't see them getting banned. The toy that is inside of the egg is in a yellow container that needs to be opened before you get to the small parts, and my children who are over 10 years old have to ask me for help to open them almost every time. No child has a mouth big enough to take a bite out of the egg, and bite into the plastic tube that's inside at the same time. How about using our tax money in a more constructive way?

    April 22, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Startripper

      Perhaps when Americans learn the meaning of personal responsibility again and stop expecting the government and the courts to take up the slack for plain stupidity – things may change. But I don't expect to live long enough to see it.

      April 23, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      Have you seen how big American kids are?

      April 25, 2011 at 12:45 am | Report abuse |
  2. Sandra

    I grew up in Europe between germany and Italy and these eggs remind me of my childhood. Now my kids love them and my mom would send them for Christmas and Easter in a package, until 2 years ago the package was broken and customs took all eggs. My kids were heartbroken. The chocholate is great but for the kids it is about the toy. Customs sent me a long ridiculous letter about how I can pay for it if Ii want them. What has this country come to?

    April 22, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. max

    I got a kid's meal for my son today at Burger king and I'm pretty sure I found a non nutritive object embedded in it...Actually, I'm pretty sure most food from Fastfood places have a non nutritive object in it, the food itself! What's next? K9 units specially trained to sniff Kinder eggs?

    April 22, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Startripper

      And yet you still spent money for it and fed it to you child. . . . .

      April 23, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • asgardshill

      Pretty much everything in a McDonalds Happy Meal is non-nutritive.

      April 27, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Lia

    My aunt just brought some back from the UK for her kids and they didn't get confiscated.

    April 22, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Khaos

      Ummmm, I'm tellin'...

      April 23, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jim

    I'm guessing that the issue has to do with smuggling or terrorism. The toys in a kinderegg are contained within a smaller plastic egg. It would be quite a feat to get one into your mouth and not realize it as an adult. As for kids, it would be tough for a child under three to even get it into his/her mouth, and almost impossible to swallow it. The problem is that our current technology isn't good enough to detect the difference between a small top or action figure, and diamonds, heroin, or C4. The eggs are wrapped in foil, and chocolate can be removed and returned by simply heating a razor. The "choking hazard" is most likely a smoke screen to avoid publishing information about the limitations of our scanning equipment. It also minimizes giving people who would not have thought of it ideas. I agree that the rule is stupid, but the reasoning makes sense.

    Stop complaining and use your head people.

    April 22, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • HS

      Interesting thought if the reporters actually cared about secrets. But the way reporters are, if there was a limitation to our scanning equipment, there would be numerous articles about that. Look at how they tried to figure out where the pres was during 9/11 and broadcast it.

      April 22, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Whatever

      I can almost see your point, however not once was that mentioned, if that is the reason then state that as the reason, we would probably not be as upset. It is just another way for the government to slap our hands and tell us what we can and can't do. Wonka chocolates have the same kind of chocolate ball. I see nothing about them being banned. import/export really doesn't matter, does it?

      April 22, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • passionlessdrone

      That's a dumb guess. Nice try though.

      April 22, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • WolfMan

      u r a complete idiot. With your logic, a carpart which is metal, or any metal object can be a possible bomb.
      Honestly I'm sick of these people like you. with this thinking we could just hang ourself and kill our family. Something will be a bomb or terrorist act anyway ? How about a chocolat bar – covered in alu-foil ? is it anthrax ? is it C4 ?

      The kinder-egg banning is as ridiculous as most of the FAA rules. turn on the note-book, drink from your bottle water,etc. Who are they going to stop with this ? Certainly not terrorists.

      Get a life or move to a deserted island ! oh no, a coconut might be filled with C4, so don't do it either ! I suggest you just shut up.

      April 23, 2011 at 1:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Fed Up

      If that were the case than I guess they should ban everything... Any electrical object can be a bomb, almost every single thing could contain something inside it. Could the paranoia have risen to such heights where things dont make sense anymore? Or is it that the government keeps passing laws with less and less logic, taking the people for fools, who, by buying the load of nonsense, become more and more stupid.

      April 23, 2011 at 3:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Nathan

      That is a dumb theory. The fact is the U.S. is just over burdensome with its post 9/11 security. If someone ever tries to pack some coke into their shoe, then shoes will be banned from border crossing into the United States.

      April 23, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • paulwisc

      Do you understand the term 'rationalization'?

      April 27, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bogey

    *cough* US chocolate makers *cough*
    *cough* Lobbying *cough*
    *cough* Protectionism *cough*

    April 22, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Whatever

      that is it in an eggshell, lol

      April 22, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • runmom

      Yup.

      April 23, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blue Templar

      Are tin foil hats itchy? They seem like they'd be itchy.

      April 26, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Tony

    LOL this ban just hits me so funny... being cajun... growing up eating king cakes; which traditionally contain very small toy baby about 1cm in size, much easier to inadvertently ingest.
    I guess so long as the dangerous non-edible food filling is ok so long as it originates here in the US.

    April 22, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      The same thought occurred to me!

      April 24, 2011 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  8. foshizzle

    Uncle Son of Sam, murdering your rights on a daily basis....because...YOU...the American public have been deemed too stupid to make decisions for yourself....and dont forget ...NO SMOKING...

    April 22, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ella Nelson

      HAHAHA Love it. Well said.

      April 22, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ella Nelson

    Only in America.

    April 22, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  10. SADIE

    I love Kinder Surprise only for the toy. The chocolate is nasty. I guess I know what won't be my surprise this year.

    April 22, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tosh

    I understand the parinoia about kid's possibly choking on something, but I wonder what other countrys think of us for banning a chocolate egg? It's really very embarrassing.

    April 22, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • SeverelyStraightforward

      Nah, they just realize our kids are not smart enough to notice a big toy in their eggs. They probably understand quite well.

      April 22, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • runmom

      Don't worry Tosh – we are already the laughingstock of the globe for so many other reasons, that this one thing won't matter.

      April 23, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Lisif

    Hmm... nobody turn me in, because there will be six of these bad boys in my daughter's easter basket this weekend!

    April 22, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jen Talbott

    I don't understand why Kinder Eggs are banned, yet "Choco Treasure" eggs are not...? (www.chocotreasure.com) I'm not trying to advertise for the knock off eggs, just wondering WHY? Kinder Eggs are SOOOOOO much better!

    FREE THE EGG!!!

    April 22, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  14. CptFreakout

    Wow i feel safer already we can't keep out tonnes of drugs or illegal aliens but we can sleep better knowing this dangerous threat is under control .

    April 22, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mickey

      Okay that made me laugh outloud!! Thanks for the giiggle. As a Canadian who can run to the store and buy a Kinder egg whenever I like, I too cry "FREE THE EGG"

      April 25, 2011 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  15. Shawn

    Wonder what would happen if you left a kinder egg unattended at an airport.

    April 22, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dawn

      now that made me laugh out loud!

      April 25, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
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