EU security rules at airports
A BRIEF GUIDE TO HELP YOU
To protect you against the threat of liquid explosives, the European Union (EU) has adopted 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 rules do not limit the liquids that you can buy at shops located beyond the point where you show your boarding pass or on-board an aircraft.
The rules apply at all airports in the EU and in Norway, Iceland and Switzerland until further notice.
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.
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.
- water and other drinks, soups, syrups;
- creams, lotions and oils;
- gels, including hair and shower gels;
- contents of pressurised containers, including shaving foam, other foams and deodorants;
- pastes, including toothpaste;
- liquid-solid mixtures;
- any other item of similar consistency.
You can still:
- pack liquids in bags that you check-in - the 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;
As of 31 January 2014, duty free liquids purchased at any Schengen or non-Schengen airport or on board any airline may be carried as hand luggage, provided the following conditions apply:
- The duty free liquid and receipt must be sealed at the time of purchase inside a security bag with a red border.
- The security bag is not opened until arrival at the passenger’s final destination.
- For security screening at transit airports, the duty free purchase will be taken out of your hand luggage and screened separately (similarly to what is done with laptops).
- The security officer may need to open the security bag for screening. In case the passenger has a connecting flight at another airport, he/she shall alert the security officer so the duty free liquids can be re-sealed in a new security bag.
Please note, the new procedure may result in longer queues at security control points. Make sure you leave yourself enough time to reach the gate for boarding!
If you have any doubts, please ask your airline or travel agent in advance of travel.
Please be courteous and co-operate 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.
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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