Thursday, March 15, 2012

Reminder: Don't pack Kinder Eggs for U.S. travels

With Easter coming up, it seemed a good time for a reminder to those planning travel to the U.S. with kids.  A popular Easter basket treat, Kinder Surprise Eggs, are banned from sale or import into the U.S. and you can face a fine if you are found with them.

In January 2011, a Winnipeg woman crossing the U.S. border was selected for a random vehicle search.  On finding a single $2 Kinder Surprise egg, the customs officer seized the egg as illegal contraband and she was warned she could have faced a $300 fine.  Afterwards, the U.S. government sent her a seven-page letter asking her to formally authorize the destruction of her seized Kinder egg, adding if she wished to contest the seizure, she’d have to pay $250 for it to be stored while the parties squabble over it.  According to a CBC news story, U.S. officials claim to have seized over 25,000 Kinder eggs in the course of 2,000 separate seizures, so this clearly isn’t a one-time occurrence.

The Kinder Surprise eggs were launched in Italy in 1972 but have never been approved for sale in the U.S. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission determined Kinder Surprise eggs did not meet the small-parts requirement for toys for kids under three because of the choking hazard (oddly, Cracker Jack popcorn has never been subject to the same ban).  In Canada, Kinder eggs are permitted because it was determined the plastic container actually holding the toy is far too difficult for a child under three to get into.

So, if you are traveling to the U.S., stay on the safe side and leave your Kinder Surprise eggs at home!


  1. I am Canadian and this made me laugh, the US can be so weird sometimes.

  2. Wow so that's what's in Kinder Surprise!
    I was always curious about those eggs but never curious enough to buy one.
    Something new to learn everyday!
    Enjoyed reading your articles. Post more about your food


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