U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced recently that egg smuggling has increased in the United States amid rising poultry prices and inflation.
CBP reports show that egg products and poultry seizures at southern borders increased by 108% between October 1st and December 31st last year. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, the price of one dozen eggs rose from $3.50 per dozen to $5.30 during the same time period due to an outbreak of avian influenza that caused farmers to kill 43 million chickens.
Datasembly reported that New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and Nevada saw the nation’s largest egg price increases in December. The cost of one dozen eggs increased by 64%. During the same time, Washington, California, Oregon, and California saw an 18% increase.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the cost of a dozen eggs in a carton was $1.79 in December 2021 compared with $4.25 in December 2022. This is a 137% rise.
Jennifer De La O, the director of CBP’s San Diego Field Office, posted earlier this week on Twitter about the rise in eggs confiscated at the border.
“The San Diego Field Office recently observed an increase in eggs intercepted at ports of entry. Reminder: Uncooked eggs are not allowed to enter the United States from Mexico. Failure to declare agricultural items could result in penalties up to $10,000,” De La O wrote.
Some Twitter users were prompted to question the priorities of CBP after De La O’s tweet about drug smuggling rampant and the migrant crisis at the Southern Border.
CBP states that uncooked eggs cannot be imported from Mexico to the U.S. because of the threat of Newcastle Disease and bird flu. Eggs seized at the border will be incinerated.
Charles Payne, a CBP specialist in agriculture supervision, told Border Report that egg smuggling has become more common with skyrocketing poultry costs.
Payne stated, “My advice to you is don’t bring them here.” You could face civil penalties if you fail to declare or attempt to smuggle the items.
Payne stated that the $10,000 penalty De La O referred to is usually for illegal, undeclared commercial shipments and not individuals. Payne stated that individuals who try to smuggle eggs into the U.S. may face civil penalties of $300 or more.
“The advantage of declaring it is, we will pick it up with no penalty issued. If you fail to declare it or if you attempt to smuggle it, there’s going to be a penalty,” he said.