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Feds Say Cross-Border Egg-Smuggling Has Soared

'My advice is, don’t bring them over,' CBP official says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 22, 2023 1:45 PM CST
Feds Say Cross-Border Egg-Smuggling Has Soared
The price of eggs in the US more than doubled last year.   (AP Photo/Teresa Crawford)

Eggs are much cheaper in Mexico but anybody caught trying to bring them across the border could have to shell out a lot of money, officials say. American egg prices were up 60% year-on-year in December due to factors including avian flu, making Mexican eggs an appealing prospect for residents of states including California, where a dozen eggs can cost around $8, compared to less than $3 in Tijuana, the BBC reports. "The San Diego Field Office has recently noticed an increase in the number of eggs intercepted at our ports of entry," tweeted Jennifer De La O, the office's director of field operations. "As a reminder, uncooked eggs are prohibited entry from Mexico into the US. Failure to declare agriculture items can result in penalties of up to $10,000."

"My advice is, don’t bring them over," CBP Supervisory Agriculture Specialist Charles Payne tells Border Report. "If you fail to declare them or try to smuggle them, you face civil penalties." He says the fines up of to $10,000 are for commercial operations caught smuggling eggs. For ordinary consumers, the penalty is around $300. According to Department of Agriculture statistics, egg and poultry seizures at the border rose 108% between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 last year. Payne says that if people declare eggs when they're crossing into the US, the eggs will be seized but no fine will be issued. "If you fail to declare it or if you attempt to smuggle it, there’s going to be a penalty,” he says. (More eggs stories.)

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