Following the exposure of a terrorist plot to blow up a US bound aircraft in August 2006, stringent new security measures were introduced which banned all liquids being carried on board aircraft. A brief resumé of developments is given here, however, the situation is subject to frequent change and so for the latest information, visitors to this site are strongly recommended to check current travel advice provided by the UK Government and Civil Aviation Authority, which can be accessed via the links to their websites below.
The security rules introduced in November 2006 restrict the amount of liquids, aerosols and gels (“LAGs”) which passengers passing through airport security are allowed to carry in their hand baggage. Currently, LAGs in hand baggage brought from home to the airport must be in containers of no more than 100ml and fit into a small resealable plastic bag.
However, the rules allowed (and continue to allow) retailing in EU airports after security checks to be “business as usual” with no restrictions in purchasing LAGs for passengers travelling on direct flights, but a patchwork of restrictions for passengers who would be transferring at a intermediate airport during their journey.
Passengers originating in the EU, Switzerland, Iceland or Norway and transferring at EU airports or in Switzerland and Norway could carry liquids purchased from duty free and travel retail stores at their airport of departure onto their next flight, provided the goods were in security tamper evident bags (“STEBs”). Passengers from outside the EU, Switzerland, Iceland and Norway could NOT carry LAGs purchased at airports or onboard airlines when transferring within the EU, Switzerland, Iceland and Norway, unless they were flying from Singapore or Kuala Lumpur. Other complexities existed for passengers transiting at other airports across the world – and still do. Store staff are able to advise customers depending on the airports through which they will be passing.
Latest Regulatory Developments in the EU (+Switzerland, Iceland, Norway), USA and Canada
As a result of the introduction of new enhanced screening technology, restrictions on transferring passengers have been relaxed from 31 January 2014.
In practice, this means that passengers transferring at EU, USA or Canadian airports are allowed to continue their journey carrying LAGs bought at an airport or onboard an aircraft anywhere in the world, provided the item is
a) sealed, together with its receipt, in a STEB and
b) successfully screened at the transfer airport security check point.
There is no change for passengers on direct flights who can still take their purchases from tax free and duty free shops with them on their journey.
Future Lifting of Restrictions.
The European Union is working with other aviation authorities towards the full lifting of restrictions, depending on the success of the changes introduced recently.
UK Government and Civil Aviation Authority websites