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. easter bunny

    I'm going to go to the store and get me a kinder egg!

    April 22, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  2. Enos

    What a sad pathetic country the US has become. It's only a step up from places like China and the mid east but still fairly oppressive. I've lived the last decade in the Caribbean and Costa Rica and I've experienced what living in truly free countries is like. The US is not a free country, it is a police state. I feel for you guys though for being duped into believing you are free. Terrible lie.

    April 22, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  3. DC

    I spent time in Canada with my grandson one summer and he loved getting those eggs. He would open them up and take out the toy, and while he ate the chocolate put the toy together. There was never a problem, in fact he considered it a treat to go to the store and pick out a new egg. Bottom line, it was my responsibility to ensure his safety and it should be left to the parents to ensure their childrens safety. This is one unnecessary law that is WRONG, and should be eliminated.

    April 22, 2011 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  4. Senigallia

    So I grew up in Italy… and I remember the joy it was to get our chocolate Easter egg, and yes they all had little toys inside. Myself and millions of other Italian kids survived the unthinkable offense…choking hazard.. please, please let’s not put our children in bubble wraps.
    This is definitely the devolving of human kind.

    Happy Easter everyone.

    April 22, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  5. Uwe

    Just for info these Kinder eggs are on the market in Germany since 1974. I'm German and wonder if I made the right decision to raise my kids in the US. This is so idiotic I have no words for that, in English or German. Can anybody tell me what is happening to our great country..........!!!!!!

    April 22, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  6. Dieter Romboy

    This is about as stupid as a regulation can be. Other countries have no problem with Kinder Eier and why should we. Just more of government meddling in areas that are insignificant to the well being of Americans. Time and money would be better spent in dealing with and solving the really important problems of our society such as crime, divisiveness, national debt and ad finitum, but not idiotic regulations to prevent a supposed problem where there is no problem. Typical government activity.

    April 22, 2011 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  7. James Murphy

    How come we keep electing "idiots" to our government positions and they keep appointing other idiots to the decision making positions?????? My family lived in Germany and Italy for a total of 9 years and Kinder eggs were a daily tradition for our young son. The eggs became a game with us. Most of the toys became my sons and we displayed them on a shelf in his room, that is unless the toy happened to be one of the miniture metal soldiers which then became a part of Daddy's militay minitures collection. The eggs are perfectly safe because the toy is encased in a plastic "egg" ( inside the fragile hallow chocolate shell ) which cannot be opened by a three year old. It must be opened by an adult, or older child, who is capable of determining if it is safe for the younger child. In many cases the toy is in peices that must be put together to create the completed toy, a skill learning task that certain law makers now feel our children do not need. If I had he opportunity to raise another child and make Kinder eggs a part of that ritual, I would do so with our any concerns.......not like those "idiots" who are running our economy into the ground with lousey decisions and wasted time activities, such as was spent on researching and banning "dangerous" Kinder eggs. God, I wish we could ban dumb bureaucrats as easily as they make their dumb decisions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! These bureaucrates need to get their heads out of their butts (maybe the head is up there looking for the Kinder egg they "swallowed" when the were an idiot kid) and concentrate on this country's real problems, like bank and credit card fees that a "choking" us all to death!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 22, 2011 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  8. Stephanie

    I grew up eating "SMUGGLED" Kinder eggs brought back by a family friend who travelled frequently to England.The toy inside of these things is cased inside of a big plastic egg which is NOT swallowable in size. If you're stupid enough to choke to death on one of these things you deserve to die.

    Darwinism. Survival of the fittest.

    I'd like my gov't to stop treating me like I'm an infant.

    April 22, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  9. Vincent

    I want to clarify that the ban on Kinder eggs is the result of an FDA regulation. CBP merely enforces this regulation at the ports of entry. So if you want to complain about the ban or get it changed, you should contact the Food and Drug Administration.

    April 22, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  10. James Murphy

    This is a follow-up to my previous posting. My wife wants me to find out who the moron is that made the decision to ban the Kinder eggs, and who hired him (or her). My wife says that I am just as capable of making idiotic decisions, therefore I should be perfectly qualified for this job. Anybody want to tell me who made this decision, who hired that individual and are there any openings in that politicians "Idiotic Decisions Department"? Working there would be more fun that being on un-employment!!!!!

    April 22, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Vincent

      Contact the Food and Drug Adminisration. You will find the moron there.

      April 22, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  11. Anne

    I am fascinated. As a German, I grew up with those eggs, and so did everyone around me. So actually did my children, and all my friends' children. Funny thing is, they are all still very much alive. As far as I'm concerned, not the eggs should be banned, but people who don't care enough about their children to watch over them while they eat the eggs (insert any other item here). Like any other toy that is unsuitable for Under-Threes, it has warnings on the package. Like any other mother I know, I did not give Kinder Eggs to my kids before they were old enough to comprehend that there is a toy, and what to do with it. ......... Simple.

    April 22, 2011 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  12. Cesar

    I want one

    April 22, 2011 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  13. BAN the FDA

    OH PLEASE. I hope Ferrero's and other chocolate confectioner associations' lobbyists and lawyers are working with whatever office at the FDA was in charge of this stupid rule. Power tripping, retarded bureaucrats once again. Can't the FDA focus on real and present dangers in their rule-making?

    April 22, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  14. dhhl

    I'm all for protecting children from harm, but this is ridiculous. The toys inside Kinder Eggs are completely inside a sturdy and pretty chunky plastic capsule that would be hard for any kid (or adult for that matter) to chew through.

    Not to mention that if a child is young enough that choking is a general worry, they should not be handed a big chocolate egg to eat unsupervised in the first place.

    April 22, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dieter

    Please forward the comments above and below to the mentally midget-sized bureaucrats who initiated this regulation!!!
    This is completely asinine, a waste of government resources and an unwanted intrusion into parental responsibility.

    April 22, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
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