Thursday, April 13, 2017

Kinder Eggs - Contraband #AtoZChallenge

I imported illegal goods into the United States. Chocolate Kinder Eggs.
Kinder Eggs I got
in Ecuador
Top is unopened
Bottom is opened

Ecuador is a major exporter of chocolate. One chocolate candy sold here is the Kinder Joy Egg. I mistakenly thought they were from Ecuador because I never had seen them in the US.

Kinder's web site explains the eggs as follows.

Kinder Joy: is an experience for kids taste, heart, imagination

Kinder Joy is the only product that combines the tastiness of a milky cream and a cocoa cream, with two crispy wafer-balls and many new & surprising toys


When I was looking for treats to bring to the US for grandkids, nieces and nephews, I bought a bunch of Kinder Eggs.  I brought them back and everyone enjoyed them.
Tasty goodness on left; small toy on right

Unwittingly, I imported a banned substance. I was lucky my luggage was not searched. Apparently the small toy inside is considered a choking hazard.

The eggs are popular around the world. Not in the USA. US Customs and Border Patrol seized 60,000 of them in 2011.

A Canadian couple was threatened with a $2,500 fine per egg while entering the US. A Canadian woman had hers confiscated at the border. A reporter´s friends had theirs confiscated and were fined $1,200 per egg.

Have you ever accidentally brought illegal substances to another country?

If you are visiting from the #AtoZChallenge please include your blog link in your comment so I can check it out.

P.S. If any US Customs and Border Patrol agents are reading this page, it is fiction. I would never actually import a banned substance into the US.

34 comments:

  1. Can I plead the 5th?

    https://1001armchairadventures.wordpress.com/

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  2. My daughter recently visited Canada on a school trip and may or may not have imported a few eggs back into the US. She thought they were great (the ones she enjoyed in Canada, I mean...).
    Discarded Darlings - Jean Davis, Speculative Fiction Writer, A to Z: Editing Fiction

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    1. I agree with your daughter - they are great. (When enjoyed outside of the US.)

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  3. Bwahahaha, made the same mistake once... :D Kinder eggs were a staple back home in Hungary, I would get them as treats whenever I deserved a treat (and sometimes when I didn't). When I came to the US, I was stunned to find out people did not know what it was. My mother mailed me a box for Easter so I could give them to my friends. Good thing USPS doesn't bother with such things... My American friends were delighted, though!
    (Also, it looks like you get the melting-proof versions. Ours is a full chocolate shell with a little plastic egg inside)

    The Multicolored Diary: WTF - Weird Things in Folktales

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    1. Yeah, good thing they arrived!

      I wondered why ours were different than a lot of others I saw on line. Now I know - they are melting-proof. Thanks!

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  4. Haven't we all done this?!? ;) I brought some back with me from Germany. I knew what they were from my German class. I had also seen them in a local "German" town, but I had no idea they were illegal in the states. I was a babysitter when I went to Germany for the first time, so of course I had to bring them back to share with the kids I was watching. I am SO GLAD we didn't get caught, and I haven't dared try it again. I've heard of fines upwards of a thousand dollars, and I certainly don't want to pay that! Luckily, there are a few places around in the states to get them should I ever want them. But I think I'd probably rather have regular chocolate over kinder eggs. :)


    With Love,
    Mandy

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    1. I suspect that most of the 60,000 confiscated by the border patrol in 2001 were probably confiscated from people who had no idea they were illegal. Some of the fines are incredibly high for a chocolate egg.

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  5. Now this is a rare event! We can buy Kinder eggs here in South Africa. Usually we get nothing of this nature from overseas. K is for Kindle and KDP as you Build a Better Blog. #AtoZchallenge.

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    1. I know what you mean! It is unusual that both South Africa and Ecuador have something that the US does not have.

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  6. Oh! They are banned? I didn't know that. They're very popular with kids here in India. Mostly for the toy!

    Stopped over from AtoZ. Do visit mine some time.
    Happy AtoZing!
    Chicky @ www.mysteriouskaddu.com

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    1. They are popular with kids in Ecuador, too. They are only banned in the US as far as I know.

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  7. I have only one thing to say: Yummmmmmmmmmm.

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  8. Kinder eggs were my children's favourite when they were younger, more for the toy treat inside than the chocolate itself!
    We packed a packet of Xmas crackers in our cabin bags once, on our way to the US. I'd bought the slightly expensive ones as we would be landing for Xmas meal at my sister's. Sadly, they were chucked in a bin by the security at LHR! Well..our fault really:)
    K is for Khamir

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    1. Bummer about the crackers but thanks for stopping by and sharing your story.

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  9. This post makes me value the humble Kinder eggs that my son loves even more. I had no idea it was available in other countries except mine. That it is banned to be taken into US is news to me. Thanks for the info.
    I know that it is illegal to carry poppy seeds into Dubai. Someone got detained for it in a big way once. If only one knows about these things before hand it would help.

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    1. Note to self: Do not bring poppy seeds to Dubai. Thanks for the tip!

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  10. Who knew! Glad you didn't get caught!

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  11. wow- In Australia we have a very slightly different version called a kinder surprise- all kids know and love them growing up.
    Our border control of substances is super strict- but more around plant matter. Accidentally brought a necklace made of seeds back once. They tend to just take it away rather than fine you.

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    1. The Kinder Surprise appear more prevalent globally. It seems that we have the melt proof ones - these must be more common in hot climates. Glad you did not get fined for the seeds but sorry you lost it.

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  12. This is so interesting - all of your posts have been!! I think I'm going back to Israel in 2018 . . .I'll have to see if they have them there. Are they available year round or just at Easter? When we were in Israel last year, they had just trimmed the trees in the Garden of Gethsemane and some people in our group may or may not have picked up some branches . . . and some people (but maybe not everyone) in our group may or may not have been detained in the Tel Aviv airport by a cute sniffing dog!

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    1. Thank you Lisa! Great story about what may or may not have happened with the branches :)

      They are available year round and it looks like they are available in Israel. Hope you find them and enjoy! Kinder Israel products

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  13. Hi Emily - yes and not accidentally too ... the hoping to get away with it sort! I know they've been worried about tiny toys here ... not sure if they're banned and also the lethal lead paint on toys too ... Interesting post - can't stand the eggs though - so I won't be a problem! Cheers Hilary

    http://positiveletters.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/l-is-for-legendary-beasts-of-britain.html

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    1. I would look much too guilty if I tried to purposely bring something banned with me.

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  14. We had never heard of these candies until we met a couple of RVers from Canada. Yup, they were confiscated.

    L: Las Vegas & Leesburg
    DB McNicol, author & traveler
    Theme: Oh, the places we will go!

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    1. I can only imagine how long it takes to search an RV.

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  15. These are extremely popular here in Mexico and YES, those little toys are choking hazards. But then Mexico still sells pacifiers filled with honey for babies.

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    1. Pacifiers filled with honey? What a useful but I-wouldn't-give-it-to-my-kid idea!

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  16. I had heard of that, but didn't know that the fines are really stupendous. In Hawaii, there are strict laws about not bringing in invasive plants or animals or soil, etc., and also certain fruits - because of insects hiding in the fruits. A friend brought an apple on the plane but didn't eat it, so when she arrive, the airport security fined her $50 - because apples have some bug that could spread in Hawaii. Maui Jungalow

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    1. I remember that on a flight to Hawaii, a flight attendant warned us to eat any fruit we had before we landed. I ate my apple. Lucky the flight attendant said something or I might have gotten the $50 fine, too. That is an expensive apple!

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