San Diego Customs says there has been an increase in attempts to smuggle eggs across the border



CNN

Rising prices Increased attempts to bring eggs into the United States from Mexico, according to border officials.

Officers at Customs and Border Protection in San Diego have seen an increase in the number of attempts to transport eggs across the US-Mexico border, According to a tweet from Director of Field Operations Jennifer De La O.

“The San Diego field office recently noticed an increase in the number of eggs intercepted at our ports of entry,” De La O wrote in a tweet Tuesday. “As a reminder, uncooked eggs from Mexico are prohibited from entering the United States. Failure to declare farm items may result in penalties of up to $10,000.”

It is illegal to bring uncooked eggs from Mexico into the United States due to the risk of bird flu and Newcastle disease, an infectious virus that affects birds, according to Customs and Border Protection.

In a statement emailed to CNN, Customs and Border Protection public affairs specialist Jerrilyn Alcordo attributed the increase in egg smuggling attempts to the rising cost of eggs in the United States. An outbreak of deadly avian influenza among US chicken flocks has sent egg prices skyrocketing, rising 11.1% from November to December and 59.9% annually, According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The increase was reported at the Tijuana-San Diego crossing as well as “other southern border locations,” El Cordo said.

For the most part, travelers bringing eggs declared eggs as they crossed the border. “When that happens, the person can give up the product without consequences,” Alcordo said. “CBP agricultural specialists will collect and then destroy eggs (and other prohibited food/agricultural products) as in the course of a routine course of action.”

In a few cases, travelers did not declare their eggs and the products were discovered during inspection. In those cases, Alcordo explained, the eggs were seized and the travelers were fined $300.

“Penalties could be higher for violators or commercial-volume imports,” he added.

Alcordo stressed the importance of declaring all food and agricultural products when traveling.

“While many items may be permitted, it is best to declare them to avoid potential fines and penalties if they are deemed to be prohibited,” he said. “If it is declared and deemed prohibited, it can be given up without consequences. If it is not declared and then discovered during the examination, the traveler will be subject to penalties.”

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