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. Guy Hawkes

    The United Stupids of America.

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

      Awww, I like that – gotta remember that one 🙂 Thanks for sharing 🙂

      April 22, 2011 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  2. TruProgress

    banned because of the 'nonnutritive object embedded in it'. what about all the hormones embedded in our meet??

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

      Really meet? Look, if you are that stupid that you spell meat like meet than you shouldn't have an opinion.
      I agree the ban is stupid but everyone downing America can go and live somewhere else if they don't like it. We don't want you here anyway.

      April 22, 2011 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
    • nkm

      bmo, you never made a typo in your life, I suppose?

      April 22, 2011 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Angelique

      ....and the toy in the happy meals? Are those nutritive? Ha, ha, ha. It's typical for the government to deal with these things that are not a problem – now of course somebody is reading this and before you know it, a lawsuit is filed for chocking or non-nutritive contents. Yeahhhhhh, they done it again – genius actions!!!!

      April 22, 2011 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  3. Daniel

    Sometimes, I hate being a Democrat. Regulations up the wazoo....

    April 22, 2011 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
  4. 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 8:28 am | Report abuse |
    • ltcoljpm

      I agree with you on this issue – but comparing all the freedoms you don't have in Germany and all the ones you enjoy in the US...no one in their right mind can be happy to live in Germany.

      And yes I know what I am talking about – I have family there.

      April 22, 2011 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • land of the free?

      not comparing freedoms. Comparing chocolate Eggs, regulations and silliness of the things the US bans that cause as little harm as things laying around the house.... if a parent feels their child will not eat it appropriately, than the parent should not buy it. If the government wants to waste tax money banning things parents should be responsible for than so be it. We just yap about it in blogs and cant stop it.

      April 22, 2011 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • grbar

      @ltcoljpm – your are right, please send help to free us from this oppressive police state – worst thing is, I enjoy living here, the government must have mixed happy pills into the water. gotta run, the Gestapo is at my door, we are not supposed to be on the internet......

      April 22, 2011 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Cori

      I happen to be one of the 1700 who got their Kinder Eggs confiscated! Originally from Germany, my mom sent these eggs to my kids (who happen to be way over 3 years old), because they love them (chocolate and toy). She sent 20 eggs to them as a surprise. Imagine our surprise when the package we received was ripped open, half heartedly taped shut with a note that the package was inspected by DHS, no note that anything was taken. My husband, who happens to work for DHS, emailed them immediately and that is when we found out that the eggs are illegal (this was the first illegal thing I have done since entering the US 20 years ago....shame on me!). A week later we received a 7 page letter stating that they would "reconsider" sending us the eggs if we send them $40.00...however it would not be a guarantee! Obviously we did not send them the money (since my mom had already spend a lot of money buying and then shipping the eggs). I hope whoever seized the eggs enjoys them immensely! And one last thought, why does America have to tell parents what they can and what they can't give their young children? If you are to stupid to know that your child can choke on small pieces...maybe you shouldn't have children!!!!!! Let's put a warning label on a soda bottle, because eventually some moron will find a way to choke on it....

      April 22, 2011 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Angelique

      @ltcoljpm – having family there and actually living there are two complete different things – You clearly know nothing about Germany or else you wouldn't write such trash. If anything speak for yourself as there are plenty people that are happily living there brainiac. Yes, there are a lot of rules and regulations which assures its citizen safety and respect.
      Why is everyone even opening these ridiculous politics – I thought this was about banning chocolate eggs with toys in it. Never mind – you are certainly not the one I should direct this question to.

      April 22, 2011 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Angelique

      The must be bored and have to come up with something every once in a while since they get paid for it. Those eggs have been around as long as I live, thus they are over 40 years old. Nobody ever choked on any of their contents and I think what makes this so ridiculous is the fact that it was banned because the content is non-nutritive; then it was changed into "concerns of child safety." I never heard of anyone choking or other harm as a result of these eggs; these eggs are simply too big; I must have consumed thousands of them growing up and I will continue to do so. My son likes the chocolate as well and the toys usually end up in the garbage anyway since he is too old for that now. We put them together to see who is faster and then we laugh – that's all. They can bann them all they want – they are easy to get over here and that is a way of getting them here too – just break the egg and seperate the toy from the chocolate; place the chocolate in a ziplock bag and the toy eggs in another and no longer are they Kinder Eggs 🙂

      April 22, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • RGP

      To ltcoljpm: I have lived in Germany and can tell you from first hand experience that I would go back to live there in a split second if I could. Was life perfect? No. But having lived in Germany and the US, I can say from personal experience that I much prefer the German way of life over the US. Many times over.

      April 22, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  5. Dave

    I see a lot of GOP vs Dem stuff here. This has been going on for YEARS and YEARS, meaning that it has been persued by administrations both dem and GOP. I would be interested to know how many children a year die in Europe from choking on the toy inside these eggs. I'm going to guess that it is a pretty rare occurance if ever. Some tinfoil hat wearer was saying it is all part of the top 2 percent trying to control us. I believe it is another example of how LAWYERS have made yet another mountain out of a molehill.

    April 22, 2011 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Aerokid

      7 since 1991

      April 22, 2011 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Angelique

      NONE have choked on the toy. Nevertheless, if a child doesn't know the difference between chocolate and a toy and attempt to eat the toy, perhaps it isn't such a good idea to buy them in the first place.

      April 22, 2011 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  6. JacquesL

    ... and we keep wondering why the USofA is the laughing stock of the world!

    April 22, 2011 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Barbara


      April 22, 2011 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Angelique

      You're still wondering? I don't – it is so very typical that it doesn't even raise an eyebrow anymore.

      April 22, 2011 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  7. JK

    This article is hysterical. My boyfriend and I spent time in Europe during college and loved Kinder eggs. One year, I wanted to use them in our advent calendar before Christmas, you know, one to open every day for the 24 days before Christmas, and had to order them online from a Canadian retailer becuase, as you know, American children are too stupid to eat Kinder Eggs. Two weeks ago, my mom and I were in an import store and they had a whole display of Kinder chocolate and, of course, no eggs. Again, I laughed and told her- again- American children are still too stupid for the eggs, I suppose.

    Mr. Obama, please leave me my mortgage deduction and reduce the Kinder Egg confiscation budget. This remains completely absurd.

    April 22, 2011 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Frank Dunn, Austin, TX

      The ban was implemented by the Bush Administration. This was done after Nestle tried to introduce a knock off here in the states and some kids got hurt.

      April 22, 2011 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  8. trp48

    I have had one before and it had a little tractor plow in it that actually had to be put together. Pretty neat idea. I can see how there would be a cult following of these. I can also see this being a choking hazard but come on, banning them! It sounds like these are a bigger problem or of more concern for our government than illegal aliens.
    War on Iraq
    War on Afghanistan
    War on Libya
    War on Illegals
    War on Drugs
    War on Kinder

    April 22, 2011 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Angelique

      I agree, but the issues you listed require a whole lot of work; it is much easier to bann chocolate eggs with toys in it 🙂

      April 22, 2011 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  9. Pat

    Safety is the most important thing, and the govt is the most-qualified to determine what will make you safer.

    April 22, 2011 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Barbara

      Oh please and how old are you?

      April 22, 2011 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Brandon

      This comment makes me want to throw up in my mouth. I pray that not everyone in America is as submissive to the government as this. Should the government start banning McDonald's, too? Because most of their menu sure isn't as healthy as it could be...

      April 22, 2011 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Hmmm

      I since heavy sarcasm in his comment.

      April 22, 2011 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
    • JJ

      I hope (and assume that it is) this a tongue-in-cheek remark.

      April 22, 2011 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
    • SCamper

      ... looking for the sarcasm emoticon...

      April 22, 2011 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Government couldn't find its ass with both hands! Leave my friggin eggs alone!

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

      Oh sure – if you cannot direct and maintain your own household and look out for the safety of your children, then by all mens let the government do it for you. I second the previous reply made to you: how old are you? Don't answer that, because age does not guarantee maturity and never has!

      April 22, 2011 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  10. JE

    I think it is ridiculous. I have to wonder, if they are willing to enforce the 'law' on these chocolate eggs for having a non-nutritive item inside then why don't they also ban fortune cookies?

    April 22, 2011 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave


      April 22, 2011 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
    • menwa

      And Apple Jacks, and toys in cereal, and candy rings, skittles, M&M's, jelly beans, starburst, the list goes on and on. I had one once, a coworker brought them back from Germany. Chocolate was okay but the little toy race car was cute. If memory serve correct the center of the candy is hollow thus allowing a parent to break the candy open and remove the toy before giving the candy to their offspring. A good parent would not even give the candy to a child under three and supervise children under 5 with the candy.

      What this once again boils down to is irresponsible parents that do not monitor their maggot's are falling back on the government to restrict EVERYTHING in our lives just so they can shed their responsibility. I am getting sick and tired of being told I cannot do something, say something, buy something, or look at something because someone elses maggot might be hurt by the object. Watch your maggot and let me have the FREEDOM that this once great country was founded for.

      April 22, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Angelique

      Oh I be dammned – that's just hilarious, but you are right; a much bigger chance exist to choke on the fortune cookie inserts than it is swallowing a plastic egg that size. LOL – I had to laugh so hard, I almost fell off my chair. Thanks for the humor 🙂

      April 22, 2011 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  11. Crys

    This shows the difference between Europeans and Americans. Europeans savor their food and chocolate. That allows them to be mindful if there is something "non-food" in it. Americans just hork it down in as few bites as possible, swallowing the toy whole. (and before you flame me, it's a joke)

    April 22, 2011 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
    • JJ

      the plastic toys go down much easier if you just hork the whole thing down in one bite! 😉

      April 22, 2011 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  12. Otto

    First they ban online poker, now chocolate eggs. What's next? Am I at least still allowed to play Risk and eat Cadbury Cream Eggs?

    April 22, 2011 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'First they ban online poker, now chocolate eggs'
      Actually the poker ban was recent, the egg ban was inforced in 1997 but they have technically always been illegal under a 1938 law.

      April 22, 2011 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  13. Barbara

    Welcome to the tainted freedom of the the USA. A land of too much money and too much to say. Parents should be parents and PARENT. It is typical of this country to take all the fun out of life. The LAND OF NO not FREEDOM! Our gov't would be better off keeping their noses in important issues and there is not enough room for me to list. Happy Easter or have I missed a news flash thats gone too.

    April 22, 2011 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
  14. Rainer

    Well, I'm glad people in Europe, Canada, Australia and Latin America know how to handle these dangerous eggs. Seems only people in the U.S. need to be kept safe from this great danger. But then again, it does seem like we live in a society where people use less and less common sense and love to blame (=sue) others for their own stupidity.

    April 22, 2011 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  15. Jeff

    This is hilarious, I'm Canadian and I used to get these for Easter every year. I never knew that they were banned in the US.

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