Many people don’t know or realise this but Kinder Eggs are illegal in the USA. Yes. ILLEGAL! If you get caught trying to take them into the country, you can be fined $1200 per egg! (It’s not April Fools Day yet).
What’s the reasoning behind this? Well, apparently, having the toy in the middle of the egg is a choking hazard. That’s their reasoning. Even though no one has ever choked on a Kinder Egg toy by biting into the egg and accidentally swallowing the toy. Ever.
A report in the Independent on the matter claims:
‘…..getting caught trying to ‘smuggle’ Kinder eggs into the US is not much fun. We had friends travelling into the US from Canada who packed 10 Kinder eggs in their luggage for their children (all over the age of five) for Easter. Customs and Border Protection not only confiscated the Kinder eggs, but also fined the family $1,200 [£787] per egg, or $12,000 [£7,870] total.’
So no trying to fly or cruise into the USA with Kinder Eggs
Whilst Canada and Mexico still allow Kinder Eggs to be sold, Wikipedia has more details on the ban in the USA:
‘The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act prohibits confectionery products which contain a “non-nutritive object”, unless the non-nutritive object has functional value. Essentially, the Act bans “the sale of any candy that has embedded in it a toy or trinket”.
In 1997, the staff of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) examined and issued a recall for some Kinder Surprise illegally brought into the US with foreign labels. The staff determined that the toys within the eggs had small parts. The staff presumed that Kinder Surprise, being a chocolate product, was intended for children of all ages, including those under three years of age. On this basis, the staff took the position that Kinder Surprise was in violation of the small parts regulation and should be banned from importation into the US.
Kinder Surprise eggs are legal in Canada and Mexico, but are illegal to import into the US. In January 2011, the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) threatened a Manitoba resident with a $300 (Canadian dollars) fine for carrying one egg across the US border into Minnesota. In June 2012, CBP held two Seattle men for two and a half hours after discovering six Kinder Surprise eggs in their car upon returning to the US from a trip to Vancouver. According to one of the men detained, a border guard quoted the potential fine as US $2,500 per egg.
In 2012, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) re-issued their import alert stating “The embedded non-nutritive objects in these confectionery products may pose a public health risk as the consumer may unknowingly choke on the object”.
Kinder Surprise bears warnings advising the consumer that the toy is “not suitable for children under three years, due to the presence of small parts”, and that “adult supervision is recommended”.
Since 2017, Kinder Joy eggs (where a toy is not encased in chocolate shell) are sold in the United States, though Kinder Surprise eggs are still banned.’
What do you think? Is this Health and Safety gone mad?