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. Christiane Eschner Bayes

    I grew up with them. and and and lived to talk about it. yikes people............use common sense. we are fighting numerous wars. fighting at our southern borders, but my beloved "Kindereier" are singled out. My Mom from Germany sends them every year. I have a huge selection of the toys on my window seal. Yes i am 51 and i want my Wundereggs. 🙁

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

    It really is silly. We have been stationed here for 3 months and had our fill of Kinder Eggs . They are great! And the toy is in a plastic container. It is too big for a kid to choke on. A kid could probably choke on the little toy itself after it's out of the container, but it would be difficult for a 2 year old to open by themselves. Put a warning label on it like everything else and let them be sold in the US.

    April 22, 2011 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Elise

      They have a warning label on them. There is absolutely no reason for the government to ban these delicious little eggs. The only reason they are banned here is because of the choking hazard, which is stated on the wrapper quite boldly. Though, if you ask me, the choking hazard is minimal because, like you said, the toys are contained in a plastic container inside the egg.

      April 22, 2011 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
  3. Moesenberger

    I'd say +95% of the stuff you can buy at grocery stores nowadays contains "non-nutritive objects embedded in it"

    April 22, 2011 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
  4. Debbie2008

    They'd have to take my KinderEgg from "my cold, dead hands."

    April 22, 2011 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
  5. Chris

    Just the fact that we cater to the stupid in this country should tell you something. Destroying EVERYONES freedoms to save a few lifes every year.....and that folks is why we are no longer the land of the free, well we are free.....to do as they allow.

    April 22, 2011 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
  6. TXMom

    I'm not a fan of Kinder chocolate, it's definitely inferior to many others, but then, I'm not a little kid. My husband lived in Europe a good part of his childhood, and when we saw the eggs in the store, he got one. After he cracked it open for the toy, he pronounced the chocolate to be 'not as good as I remembered.' But banning them? How fraking stupid is that?? U.S. Government: STOP WITH THE NANNY LAWS!

    April 22, 2011 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
    • AL

      They don't want people selling them and kids getting a hold of them. If a kid eats one of these eggs (not out of the realm of possibility) they could choke on the toy. There are plenty of items the US does not allow into the country, and $$$ value is not necessarily a factor. Yes people say "big whoop, it's a $2 item" but the gov't is looking at it from the prospect of protecting young children who are not capable of making good decisions.
      That or it's a Cadbury egg conspiracy

      April 22, 2011 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
    • BCO67

      Al –

      They can require the packaging to be not safe for under 3 – there are many things in the US that are dangerous for childrent, toilet bowl clearner, marbles, magnets. We are still allowed to buy those. This law is ridiculus.

      April 22, 2011 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      Good point, I lived in Germany and remember Kinder eggs, my daughter loved them and she was under 4 and never had a problem. There is no way a child can swallow anything from the egg because the toy in a plastic egg covered with chocolate. This is another stupid and ridiculous law from the NANNY STATE.

      April 22, 2011 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Bec215

      THANK YOU. These eggs have warnings written in at least 7 languages INCLUDING ENGLISH that they should not be given to children under age 3, but Americans have so completely abdicated responsibility for our own personal well-being, no dout someone would sue them anyway, a la the McDonald's coffee and Twinkee lawsuits.

      Just as people with lane change warning systems in their vehicles have more accidents because they stop paying close attention, assuming the car will warn them, people blindly buy whatever they like without reading instructions or warnings, because they assume the government will protect them. It's utterly infuriating to those of us who exercise common sense and responsibility.

      April 22, 2011 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Common Sense

      I travel throughout Europe extensively and have brought these back for the kids at Easter and at other times of the year since they are fun. They open them, get the toy out and throw the chocolate away usually.

      We can't stop drugs and illigeal aliens at the bordre but we worried about Kinder Eggs. Where are our priorities as a country. (Remember you as a citizen are our country!) Stand up for it.

      April 22, 2011 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
    • PXA

      AL – It is not the government's job to protect young children from a toy or treat. It is yo to the parents and the government should stay out of it.

      April 22, 2011 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Elsie

      The instructions that come with the toy are written in something like 35 languages. In other words, the US government believes that in at least 35 countries the children are less stupid than those in the United States, who according to said US government are incapable of grasping the fact that a bright yellow capsule and its contents are not food.

      April 22, 2011 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
    • bailoutsos

      So, are they going to start banning "cakes with files" inside that wives bake for their husbands in prison?

      April 22, 2011 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Angelique

      Children safety? PLEASE cut the BS – the toys is in a oval shaped plastic egg that is hard to open and a bit too big to fit in a young child's mouth. At any time, children would need help to open the plastic egg and also with the toy. Nevertheless, it's not the child that is buying the eggs, but the parents – so supervise them while they are eating it and exploring the toy. The McDonals Happy Meal toys are also small pending what animated show it follows (i.e., little Disney characters made of plastic or rubber). What's next? Banning Matchbox cars or Barbydoll accessories? Way to go, dear Government that's the focus of customs we need – very competent (sarcastically meant) and we pay taxes for that.

      April 22, 2011 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      If your kid chokes on the huge plastic egg inside the chocolate, they have stupid parents or didn't get a full squirt themselves. Either way, there are sooo many better places to use government time and money. I would comment more, but my stupid kid just choked on a Hershey bar rapper so I have to go call my congressman to stop those evil Hershey people from wrapping their candy in harmful items!

      April 22, 2011 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Mason

      I suppose if illegal drugs were inside they would be allowed to pass through customs. They distributors just need to send the eggs to Mexico and you would be sure to get them into the country.

      April 22, 2011 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
    • AugustSpies

      How right you are! I lived in France most my life and Kinder eggs are FUN! Here they sell rings with candy and a plastic holder for your finger! That should be a NONO if they are worried about kids swallowing something!

      April 22, 2011 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  7. Lorenzo

    Similar to the King Cake problem. King Cake, eaten around Mardi Gras, traditionally has a miniature of a baby embedded in it, and the person who finds the baby "wins." But the King Cakes that I have seen from commercial bakeries either have the plastic baby wrapped separately and left for the buyer to insert in the cake, or don't include a baby at all. I can imagine the lawsuits from someone choking on the baby.

    April 22, 2011 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Brittany

      I was just going to say that about the king cake thing.

      April 22, 2011 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Angelique

      Sounds like fun to me 🙂 And again parents can watch what happens with the cake and baby. Lawsuits? This country is the most lawsuit happy country I have ever seen – No country has as many frivolous lawsuits on record than the US, but then the US always wants to be No. 1 and they are succeeding. Nr. 1 in crime rates; Nr. 1 in incareceraten rates; etc. Oh well, welcome to the USA!!

      April 22, 2011 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Summer Seale

      Here in France, it's still a tradition. In fact, they were everywhere (at work, at friends' houses, etc...) =) I'm American so I wasn't used to that practice at all, but 1) It tastes delicious and 2) I didn't see anyone dying from it.

      We Americans really can just be overcautious and over-legislating idiots. =P

      April 22, 2011 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  8. Tara

    Why do they have to take the eggs, can't the egg owner have the freedom to bring home the candy they choose? How many kids in all those other countries have choked on one of these eggs? Then again why is it almost every country has achieved Universal Health care and we spend our time fighting off the toy eggs?

    April 22, 2011 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
    • PolishKnight

      Tara asks: "Then again why is it almost every country has achieved Universal Health care and we spend our time fighting off the toy eggs?"

      Indeed! I'll be happy to answer that question because it is surprisingly astute and relevant!

      We fight off the toy eggs because lawyers are significant contributers to the Democrat party and make billions from lawsuits including against doctors and the medical industry. Hence, and therefore, the Democrat party will never be able to pass socialist healthcare or "single payer" because their own special interest group is against it. This is the fundamental flaw of socialism in that powerful special interests, including the wealthy that they supposedly are there to protect the commoner against, will always prevail.

      Regarding the USA being different than other nations. Indeed. The USA is a special place overall and therefore is unlike most countries around the world. It's rather funny that when I point out to someone griping that the USA is so bad compared to Western Europe that they should maybe move there they get all indignant "How dare you suggest I leave?" but simultaneously, they probably have an ancestor who chose to come here precisely because they didn't like where they were living.

      April 22, 2011 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Angelique

      Tara – very good questions 🙂 As far as the reply by POLISH NIGHT: don't assume that people only came here because they didn't like living in Europe – that's an assumption at best. I have a lot of friends and family from or in Europe and just because they or I voice our opinion doesn't imply that we don't like to live here or there. Isn't this the country claiming "freedom of speech?" Alright then. Since we are good enough to pay the same taxes and tolerate ridiculous law changes excluding those of power, status, and wealth, we should at least have the right to disagree with certain actions taken.

      April 22, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • RGP

      PolishKnight: We would be happy to move back to Germany. While not perfect it was a much better way of life that we had over there as compared to here in the US. And that includes our healthcare! Our experiences in Germany were much better than the craziness we've dealt with in the US healthcare system. The only problem? Other countries actually have strict immigration laws that they uphold. So it isn't quite as easy to immigrate an entire family from the US to another country as it is to come into the US.

      April 22, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • blazeyb22

      Cause I dont want universal health care. so suck on it.

      April 22, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  9. Jim Weix, Palm City FL

    Learn from the Middle East and African countries now having revolutions. The United States government is the enemy of the citizens of the United States. It is controlled by the top 2 percent of the population for only their benefit.
    Think about that when you read about issues like this and the next time you make your mortgage payment on your upside down house. The top 2 percent will not stop until the rest of the population is picking cotton or working in sweat shops.

    April 22, 2011 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Angelique

      Very well stated and to the point – at this rate, we will soon be back to the cotton fields and slavery. In the meantime, I still can't imagine that a child's mouth is THAT big to choke on a plastic egg – nevertheless swallow the same. If their mouths are that big, then one may recommend NOT to buy such items in the first place.

      April 22, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  10. gedwards

    "Last year, Customs and Border Protection seized 25,000 of them"
    Why do I think that if the GOP tried to cut the budget of the Customs, the Obama Administration would be screaming that 25,000 children will die every year because of it.

    "The GOP's budget would cause the deaths of at least 70,000 children around the world who rely on American funding, according to the government agency in charge of foreign aid....."I believe these are very conservative estimates," USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah told a House Appropriations subcommittee this week."

    April 22, 2011 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Hakori

      Good thing that Kinder egg isn't braindead and on lifesupport. If its Kinder mate wants to "pull the plug", the republican controlled house might call a special session to get involved in a personal matter. So much for the party of limited government the Kinder egg laments.

      April 22, 2011 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
    • jimbo

      Yea, you are probably another guy who pays little or no taxes complaining about what we cut from the budget. I did not rear the child so why should I pay for it whether it is here or abroad?

      Single folks that work here are taxed more than anyone. Those with large families get all the tax breaks when it is their families that are using up all the tax dough! Stop draining the SINK (Single Income No Kids)!

      April 22, 2011 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
    • jimbo

      Furthermore fool, it the the congress that controls our spending, not the president. As such it has been the democratic controlled Congress (yes even during Bush) that created, maintained, and has grown (exponentially with Obama n Dems) our national debt. Yes, go on blaming the GOP though.

      April 22, 2011 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Hakori

      Jimbo, Why don't you stop finger pointing and realize the GOP is as much to blame for our deficit as anyone. That's right–the GOP is as guilty as the Democratic party. Got it? Now that we realize that we can move forward. The dems are unwilling to make necessary cuts and the GOP only wants to bankrupt the government so cuts have to be made, even ones that are popular and necessary.

      April 22, 2011 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  11. Aerokid

    I don't understand the ban. Just like any toy, if its not something your small child can have don't buy it for them. Plus I was putting an easter basket together for easter and I bought a few eggs (not kinder) that said they had toys in them. Hypocritical law?

    April 22, 2011 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
    • RGP

      Very much a hypocritical law. Remember when child proof caps were all the rage? But then our elderly grandparents could no longer open the bottles with their arthritic hands? Ooops, back to the drawing board. So then they decided that we have the right to buy the product that fits our situation...if you have small children then buy the child proof cap bottles, if not, then we can now buy the regular bottles. Ok, so now we have so many warnings on the labels of medicine bottles (that should be common sense) that you now can't even see the dosage instructions without having to try to peel the secondary label off to get to the dosage chart. Half the time the label won't even peel off right so you can't even get at the important info.

      While I can sort of understand the whole child proof medicine bottle scenario, I still don't understand how the government has the right to tell me that I cannot have KinderEggs in my home when I do not have small children. Thanks for taking away yet another thing to protect the lazy and stupid.

      April 22, 2011 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  12. Devus

    Ha! Thanks, America. In these dark times it's healthy to give the rest of the world a good laugh. Banning Kinder Eggs! Absolutely ridiculous.

    April 22, 2011 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Angelique

      Amen – a good laugh it is – and I'm still going to buy them for my kids and others for Eastern 🙂

      April 22, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • RGP

      Good luck trying to find them. The local store I used to get them from can no longer get them shipped in and I am no longer allowed to buy them online from my usual online store. If you find a place to get them, I would be most interested in finding out who! I've been buying these for years and don't plan on stopping now just because our government is stupid.

      April 22, 2011 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  13. 10 men

    You can walk around with a loaded pistol, or leave it in your home for your kids to hurt each other with, but you can't have a Kinder Egg... ???

    April 22, 2011 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
    • truthseeker

      Agreed, America has there head up there ass

      April 22, 2011 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
    • RGP

      Agree with both of you 100%.

      April 22, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  14. Shimi

    Folks get real: the toy is wrapped in a plastic bag with paper instructions just like in a happy meal. The chocolate is so brittle that you it is difficult to place the whole egg intact inside your mouth. I had them in Iceland and apparently now I am a criminal since I sent some to my family members! Can someone please tell me why we are so strict about laws that protect children from toys when we aren't a bit strict about regulating food, water or shelter? Our infracstructure is falling apart, our school system is broken, our meat and vegetables are so toxic that cooking them won't help. But first things first: there are plastic parts in that chocolate!

    April 22, 2011 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
  15. Devus

    Might as well ban red jelly beans while your at it.

    April 22, 2011 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
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