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. Donnie

    In America guns are legal everywhere. So is pot in many places, but not Kinder Eggs. Oh dear.

    April 21, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff in Illinois

      You've just made it official for Kinder Eggs: 421

      April 21, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bill

    This is NOT NEWS...it is a chocolate egg with a toy inside....who cares...this is not 1984, there is no need for the government to protect me from myself. I shall go enjoy my toy filled eggs with some unpasteurized milk and smuggled stinky cheese....

    The US Govt can shove it up their ass.

    April 21, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. raven

    Ive never hearda these,but now I want one.

    April 21, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff in Illinois

      +1

      April 21, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carla

      me too...but then I enjoy reading banned books, too.

      April 22, 2011 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  4. Herr Mayer

    I'm tired of the government trying to protect me from myself.

    April 21, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      Yes I would be too. God im blessed to not live in the US

      April 21, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. happy to be canadian

    to many weird laws.. there is even a whole website of them. I have american friends and relatives and im sorry to all of you in the states but im happy to be a canadian with some of the laws you all have down there. I think one of the laws i heard is way more rediculous than the kinder eggs law.. in almost every state in the usa you can not walk down the street with a ice cream cone in your pocket... who wants to test that one out at boarder patrol.. not sure what state it is but the man is required by law to have written consent from his wife or partner to go to the bar for a drink.. In Florida it is still a law (although not really enforced) that you can not roll a wooden barrel down the street.. the fine is dependant in price as to the contents of the barrel. kinder eggs being band.. fine.. cause the xray thing cant see through the chocolate and there was a case before years ago where the eggs were carefuly cut open and the toy was replaced with drugs. so get over it and move on.. you still have the allen chocolate eggs that have a toy inside..

    April 21, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. James

    OMG my gf loves Kinder eggs! We use to love getting them when we were little the little toys are soo random but cool. No surprise its banned in the US, only takes one obese kid to mistake the plastic capsule for chocolate!

    April 21, 2011 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  7. USAcustoms

    Customs does a good job hunting down chocolates but cannot stop the flow of guns, and drugs entering the USA. Harmless chocolate that millions eat at least there are places in the USA that you can find these good eggs. Does customs know that KINDER eggs now come in many forms and with no prizes inside them.

    April 21, 2011 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. kinder yaya lover

    are they going to ban Milka cholocate because they have nuts in them ...that;s a chocking hazard x2 because of the allergies. How about chupa chups lollipops or the whislte pops or hard candy or popcorn ahhh nevermind ban everything we'll live on air...

    April 21, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. I still have common sense

    It is really sad! Because there're nut-cakes out there who don't have a brain the rest of the population has to suffer. But this America! People don't have common sense anymore: Yeah, put signs up that you shouldn' jump from the bridge because it could kill you! Do not remove guard and put your hand inside rotating gears. Fact is, ther enough stupid people out there. However, I'd vote not putting up extra warnings or prohibit certain products in order to protect stupidity. Let them kill themselves – it's natural selection!!

    April 21, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Lelent

    Kinder eggs have been banned in the US forEVER. I've snuck them in on return from trips to Europe many times... under the BUSH era. Didn't think this would continue under Obama. COLOR ME SURPRISED.

    April 21, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • GermanDeli

      Hi Lelent...President Obama can't change a law (around since 1930s), only lawmakers (Congress/Senate) can change the law. What are the chances THAT will happen? Wish it would though. My company used to sell them until I was threatened with Federal prison.

      April 22, 2011 at 2:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Bogey

      GermanDeli food is noxious. You should go to prison. Spam anyone?

      April 22, 2011 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
    • windwaves

      they might be banned, but again, here in nyc you can find them in many many stores.

      April 22, 2011 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
  11. banasy

    @raven: I've had some, and they're Kinder cool...

    And I don't know if "candy coated popcorn, peanut and surprise" still has a warning on it, but the last time I put one in my kid's Easter Basket, there was a warning label on it. But that was 8 years ago...

    April 21, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • 0.02

      Why do kids have to be so dumb?

      April 22, 2011 at 1:42 am | Report abuse |
    • GermanDeli

      My company [GermanDeli] used to sell them online and in our store until we were singled out and I was threatened with Federal imprisonment and a fine exceeding $2,000,000, yet recently I found a "Made in China" knock-off of the wonderful Kinder Eggs. When I reported the product to The Feds they wrote back saying my "complaint" would be sent to the manufacturer. Are you kidding me?!!

      April 22, 2011 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Cleveland

      Why are kids so dumb? Parents aren't placing appropriate expectations for children. When some idiot rapper is too stupid to pull his pants up, all the little nitwits follow the example.

      April 22, 2011 at 6:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Bogey

      GermanDeli food has a bad reputation. I would never buy from there.

      April 22, 2011 at 7:45 am | Report abuse |
    • land of the free?

      That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard of!! I grew up in Germany with the eggs... with ALL of my friends and none of us had a problem!! What is the problem in the US??? My son is a teenager and grew up with them... I am so glad we are in Germany and can EAT them anytime we want to. We still love them!!

      Better implement a new regulation to inspect all homes every week for dustbunnies, cookie crumbs and other little things that lay on the floor in homes... yards need to be inspected for dirt and rocks too.

      so much for freedom.

      April 22, 2011 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
  12. Norbert

    Make sure you eat all the chocolate before landing in the US.... toys by themselves are OK to bring in....

    April 21, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      Now that's funny!!! And sadly, very true!!!!!!

      April 22, 2011 at 1:56 am | Report abuse |
  13. kinder yaya lover

    I get it !!!! The U.S. custom patrol are playing easter egg hunt. Whoever gets the most eggs wins a round trip to Libya all expenses paif for. It's all a joke people. Now give me my kinder surprise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 21, 2011 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Cat MacLeod

    Hmmm those soft, communist pinko, socialist nations don't have a problem with them but us freedom loving home of the brave Americans must be kept safe from the SCARY egg. The world laughs at us again.

    April 21, 2011 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lee

      No. Its because someone will give it to their child, child will choke on it, parents will sue......

      April 21, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seneca

      No child is going to choke on these toys, I have had them while I visited Germany. Its not like they poured chocolate over a toy. They placed the toy parts (which you assemble, its half the fun) in plastic container that presses togeather much like plastic easter egg. A kid who is young enough to stick it in thier mouths cant open it by themselves. THERE IS NO CHOKING HAZARD. Educate yourself about what you speak of before you speak of it.

      April 21, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      According to DHS, these toys are a choking hazard. This is why they are banned! Let us be real.....DHS is looking out for the interest of our children and others poor parenting skills!

      If you want to talk about something absurd, Canada only allows cat and dog food to enter their country from the US if the pet is in the car. They also will not let any children car seats or cribs enter Canada without a Canadian inspection sticker AND you cannot bring more then 4 packages of cream cheese over at one time! What the!

      April 21, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bret J

      This is the most inane thing I have ever heard of! There really is no choking issue with the Kinder Eggs. If a parent is concerned, they should just "crack" the egg, and remove the toy themselves. I will never understand the US Customs dept. A couple of years ago, I traveled from Maine to Canada and the first question I was asked was if I was carrying a weapon, the next was bear spray. From there, I traversed Canada and into Alaska, where the US Customs people asked me, "Are you bringing any fruit with you?" Over the next couple of months, I entered Canada from Alaska, entered US from the Yukon and then did it again when I crossed over the ferry from Bellingham, Wa to Victoria, BC. Both the ports of entry of Canada asked the same questions as I was asked crossing from Maine and both US crossings asked if I was bringing fruit. On this same motorcycle trip, I entered Mexico and was asked if I had drugs or guns. Returning... fruit... AGAIN! But I was still asked to empty all the gear from my motorcycle just in case. I found it pretty comical that the biggest concern was not weapons or drugs entering the US.

      It appears that our Customs and Border Protection is mostly alarmed by our dietary habits.

      April 22, 2011 at 1:45 am | Report abuse |
    • zman

      @Joe
      I work for a pet food place and we send 4-5 trucks of dog and cat food a week up there, therefore having to have a pet with you to bring pet food into canada is a big lie. Canada is one of our best customers!!!!

      April 22, 2011 at 1:50 am | Report abuse |
    • GermanDeli

      Actually this all started with an old law from the 1930s, meant to keep food from being contaminated by non-food additives. The original intent of the law has bee widened to include items like Kinder Eggs (non-food item surrounded by a food). My company [GermanDeli dot com] was singled out in 2008/2009 and I (company president) was threatened with Federal imprisonment and an astronomical fine unless we quit selling them. Ridiculous!!!

      April 22, 2011 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
    • RMarie

      why do you have to be racist as I'm not a Communist being born in Germany and grew up with Kinder Eggs

      April 22, 2011 at 2:41 am | Report abuse |
    • chris

      @joe Here in Canada we have different safety standards that need to be meet when it comes to cribs/car seats. These standards are stronger then those in the US so unless you are transporting a child in car seat it is thought that you may sell yours here and therefore it is not of the same quality when safety concerns are.

      April 22, 2011 at 3:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      @ZMAN

      You can send food commercially, but for personal use, you need your pet with you. I know, I have friends that work for Canada Customs!

      April 22, 2011 at 4:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      @Chris I do believe your standards are different, safer...I'm not sure, but I personally view it as a control measure over merchandise in Canada to charge the consumer more.

      April 22, 2011 at 4:59 am | Report abuse |
    • iRex

      Some of the customs stories here remind me of one my mom used to tell. Her father lived in Canada, and she liked to knit, and on one trip she brought the blanket and the wool yarn with her, and the Canadian inspector questioned why she had so many packages of yarn, she told him she was trying to corner the Canadian yarn market! He slammed the trunk shut and sent her on her way.

      April 22, 2011 at 6:23 am | Report abuse |
    • SumInfo

      @Bret: US Customs is concerned about fruit and other food items you bring into the country because of Aggricultural reasons. Often fruit can be infected by bugs which could be detrimental to US agricultural products. It is like introducing that asian carp fish into the US (which happened). The fish would eat everything in the ponds it would get into, destroying all the wildlife in that pond. Same thing can go for bugs coming into the country within fruit or wood products. The asian longhorn beetle is an example of a bug that when introduced into the US agriculture could wipe out fields of crops. US Customs also asks about meat products coming from overseas in an effort to keep mad cow disease, which was prevelant in the UK for a time, from entering the US.

      April 22, 2011 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
  15. germanmanswife

    With all the junk we have put in our food her in the States a little toy in an Easter egg should be the least of our worries. That's what parents are for-to make sure our kids do not have a problem with the little toy being put in their mouths. Give me a break!

    April 21, 2011 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • GermanDeli

      This all started with an old law from the 1930s, meant to keep food from being contaminated by non-food additives. It has been stretched to include items like Kinder Eggs where a non-food item is surrounded by a food. My company [GermanDeli dot com] was singled out in 2008/2009 and I (company president) was threatened with Federal imprisonment and an astronomical fine unless we quit selling them.

      April 22, 2011 at 1:58 am | Report abuse |
    • liz

      kinder eggs aren't even that good. its just a thin, and when i say thin i mean extremely thin shell of chocolate around a very large plastic egg containing a toy. i buy kinder eggs when im craving chocolate but don't want to eat an entire 300 calorie bar bar. kinder eggs are the biggest rip off.

      April 22, 2011 at 2:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Bogey

      Food poisoning is a risk from GermanDeli food. It has a poor reputation. Caveat Emptor.

      April 22, 2011 at 7:47 am | Report abuse |
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