US border authorities report increase in egg smuggling efforts as poultry prices rise amid inflation

US border authorities report increase in egg smuggling efforts as poultry prices rise amid inflation

Authorities are seizing more eggs and poultry at the border as people continue to try to bring much-needed food into the United States amid rising costs.

US Customs and Border Protection reports a 108% increase in egg and poultry products seized at ports of entry from October 1 to December 31 of last year, according to Border Report, a news outlet that focuses on the southern border.

“My advice is, don’t bring them over,” CBP Oversight Agriculture Specialist Charles Payne told the outlet. “If you fail to declare them or try to smuggle them, you will face civil penalties.”

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Inflation affecting egg prices

A shopper checks eggs before buying at a grocery store in Glenview, Illinois. Border officials are seeing more egg seizures amid rising prices and inflation. (AP Photo/Name 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 across North America including Walmart, Kroger and Target.

A carton of 12 eggs increased by over 64% in all of the aforementioned states, according to the retail data firm. That compares to the 18% increase seen in states like Oregon, California and Washington, according to the data.

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 for the same cartoon was $1.72, labor department data show

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

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

egg prices

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

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Border officials typically don’t see eggs being smuggled into the United States compared to other items like cheese or certain fruits and vegetables that have the potential to introduce a foreign disease or be harmful to US agriculture. In October, CBP officers in El Paso, Texas seized 484 pounds of bologna found inside a pickup truck during an inspection and another 285 pounds of cheese during a separate incident.

Both suspects failed to declare the products and were assessed a $1,000 penalty each, authorities said.

Fox Business’s Daniella Genovese contributed to this report.

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