U.S. reminds Easter travellers: Kinder eggs are banned
Kinder Surprise Egg
Published Friday, April 22, 2011 9:03PM EDT
To Canadian kids, Kinder Surprise eggs are a tasty chocolate treat with a fun little toy inside. But to Americans, they're contraband.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency issued a notice this week to remind Americans travelling outside the country for Easter that they are not permitted to bring home Kinder eggs. And if they do, the treats will be confiscated.
Kinder Surprise eggs are hollow milk chocolate eggs about the size of a large chicken egg, and are packaged in a white and orange foil wrapper. Within the egg is an oval-shaped plastic capsule that contains a toy, such as a mini animal or tiny puzzle. The egg contains a constantly rotating selection of toys, says the Kinder Surprise manufacturer, the Ferrero Group.
But the eggs are banned in the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration because they are classified as "a confectionery product with a non-nutritive object imbedded in it." The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says the toys within the eggs fail to meet their small parts requirements for children less than three years of age.
Health Canada has deemed the toys, which are difficult for small children to take apart without the help of an adult, safe.
Though they're sold everywhere in Canada. Europe, Australia and parts of Latin America, Kinder Surprise eggs have been banned in the U.S. since 1997.
Yet even 14 years after that ban was put into place, U.S. authorities still have to periodically remind Americans – usually around Easter and Christmas -- that if they pick up the eggs on their travels, they will not be allowed to bring them home.
Last year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized 25,000 Kinder Surprise eggs in around 1,700 incidents, the CBP says.
"While there are some commercial-sized seizures that occur, most Kinder Eggs are seized in personal baggage or at mail and express consignment facilities," the agency said in new release.