U.S. border officials report spike in egg smuggling attempts as poultry prices soar amid inflation

Border authorities are seeing more seizures of eggs and poultry as people continue to try to bring much-needed food into the United States amid soaring costs.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection reports a 108% increase in egg products and poultry seized at ports of entry starting October 1. 1 to Dec. 31 of last year, according to Border Report, a media outlet that focuses on the southern border.

“My advice is don’t bring them,” Charles Payne, a CBP supervisory agriculture specialist, told the outlet. “If you don’t report them or try to smuggle them, you face civil penalties.”

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A customer checks eggs before buying at a grocery store in Glenview, Illinois. Border authorities are seeing more and more egg seizures amid soaring prices and inflation. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh/AP Newsroom)

In December, egg prices rose the most in Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico, according to retail data firm Datasembly, which collects real-time data from more than 200 retailers in North America. North, including Walmart, Kroger and Target.

A carton of 12 eggs is up more than 64% in all of the aforementioned states, according to the retail data firm. That compares to the 18% increase seen in states such as Oregon, California and Washington, the data shows.

The average cost of a dozen Grade A eggs in November was $3.59, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A year ago, the average cost of the same cartoon was $1.72, according to Labor Department data

Jennifer De La O, director of field operations for CBP’s office in San Diego, tweeted Monday that officials there have noticed the increase in seizures of raw eggs.

“As a reminder, uncooked eggs are prohibited from entering Mexico into the United States. Failure to declare agricultural products may result in penalties of up to $10,000,” she wrote.

egg price

Half-empty egg shelves are seen in a supermarket on January 8, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (I RYU/VCG via Getty Images/Getty Images)

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Border officials generally don’t see eggs smuggled into the United States over other items like cheese or certain fruits and vegetables that have the potential to introduce foreign disease or harm American agriculture. . In October, CBP officers in El Paso, Texas seized 484 pounds of bologna found inside a pickup truck during an inspection and an additional 285 pounds of cheese in separate incidents.

The two suspects failed to declare the proceeds and were fined $1,000 each, authorities said.

Daniella Genovese of Fox Business contributed to this report.

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