New EU Security Rules at Airports




T protect you against the new threat of liquid explosives, the European Union (EU) has adopted new security rules that restrict the amount of liquids that you can take through security checkpoints. They apply to all passengers departing from airports in the EU whatever their destination.

This means that, at security checkpoints, you and your hand luggage must be checked for liquids in addition to other prohibited articles. However, the new rules do not limit the liquids that you can buy at shops located beyond the point where you show your boarding pass or onboard an aircraft operated by an EU airline.

The new rules apply from Monday, 6 November 2006 at all airports in the EU and in Norway, Iceland and Switzerland until further notice.


While packing
You are only allowed to take small quantities of liquids in your hand luggage. These liquids must be in individual containers with a maximum capacity of 100 millilitres each. You must pack these containers in one transparent, re-sealable plastic bag of not more than one litre capacity per passenger (see photo below).


At the airport: 
To help screeners detect liquids, you must :

  • present all liquids carried to the screeners at security checkpoints for examination;
  • take off your jacket and/or coat. They will be screened separately whilst you are screened;
  • remove laptop computers and other large electrical devices from your hand luggage. They will be screened separately whilst you are screened.

Liquids include :

  • water and other drinks, soups, syrups
  • creams, lotions and oils
  • perfumes
  • sprays
  • gels, including hair and shower gels 
  • contents of pressurised containers, including shaving foam, other foams and deodorants
  • pastes, including toothpaste
  • liquid-solid mixtures
  • mascara
  • any other item of similar consistency


You can still:

  •  pack liquids in bags that you check in – the new rules only affect hand luggage;
  • carry in your hand luggage medicines and dietary requirements, including baby foods, for use
    during the trip. You may be asked for proof that they are needed;
  • buy liquids such as drinks and perfumes either in an EU airport shop when located beyond the
    point where you show your boarding pass or on board an aircraft operated by an EU airline.
    If they are sold in a special sealed bag, do not open it before you are screened – otherwise, the contents may be confiscated at the checkpoint. (If you transfer at an EU airport, do not open the bag before screening at your airport of transfer, or at the last one if you transfer more than once).

All these liquids are additional to the quantities in the re-sealable plastic bag mentioned above.
If you have any doubts, please ask your airline or travel agent in advance of travel.
Please be courteous and cooperate with airport security and airline staff.


* This document has been developed by the European Commission, the Association of European Airlines and Airports Council International Europe. Disclaimer: This document summarises for your information the main elements of the relevant EU legislation; it is not the actual legal text.

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