Thousands of People Caught Trying To Bring Eggs Into The U.S. Amid Price Increases

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said it had more than 2,000 incidents related to people attempting to bring eggs from Mexico to the U.S. from November 1 to January 17. In the same period last year, they reported about 460.

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By Gabrielle Bienasz • Jan 25, 2023

It's egg-actly what people might need these days: Cheaper eggs. And they're trying to getting them from across the border.

According to The New York Times, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has reported a large increase in the number of incidents at border checkpoints related to people attempting to bring eggs from Mexico to the U.S., amid a massive jump in the price of the breakfast staple.

Still, a CBP spokesperson told the outlet that this doesn't "necessarily" indicate there's a massive egg smuggling operation going on, "but rather increased encounters of people traveling with eggs."

In Mexico, as the spokesperson noted, eggs are "significantly less expensive."

The agency recently issued a press release reminding people not to bring "certain agricultural items such as raw eggs and poultry from Mexico."

Jennifer De La O, director of field operations at a CBP office in San Diego, even Tweeted a warning about the issue: "The San Diego Field Office has recently noticed an increase in the number of eggs intercepted at our ports of entry," she wrote.

"As a reminder, uncooked eggs are prohibited entry from Mexico into the U.S.," the Tweet added.

From November 1 to January 17, agents have reported 2,002 incidents of people attempting to bring eggs into the U.S., the Times reported. In the same period last year, the agency had about 460 of those types of incidents. The numbers come from four field offices, the outlet added.

In San Diego, the jump was the most dramatic, with 1,077 recently compared to 230 in the same time period last year, the outlet added.

Over a dozen eggs in Mexico wholesale currently cost between 30 and 51 pesos. That's about $1.59 to $2.71.

A "very small" number of people were fined about $300 for bringing eggs into the country and not declaring them, the spokesperson told the Times. People can declare eggs while crossing, and the agency will dispose of them with no punishment to the traveler.

Egg prices are up 60% from December 2021 to December 2022, according to the Consumer Price Index, which tracks the average change in the price of a basket of goods for an urban consumer. The increase is due to several issues, including the loss of flocks due to the avian flu.

Related: 'Are the Chickens On Strike?': Consumers Furious As Egg Prices Skyrocket Over 64% In One Month In Some U.S. States

Gabrielle Bienasz

Entrepreneur Staff

Gabrielle Bienasz is a staff writer at Entrepreneur. She previously worked at Insider and Inc. Magazine. 

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