Liquid analysis to be introduced at security checks in 2014

Published
12.11.2013 - 12:00
The new EU Liquids Regulation concerning airport security checks will take effect in two-and-a-half months, at the end of January 2014. The Regulation will change the methods used in airport security checks in EU member states and many other countries. In practice, the Regulation will not have an impact on passengers.

According to the new Regulation, food and drinks for children under two, liquid pharmaceuticals and special diet products allowed to be carried in hand luggage, as well as the tax-free purchases of transit passengers from outside the EU, are to be analysed as of 31 January.

From the passenger viewpoint, existing liquid limitations and packing instructions of hand luggage will remain unchanged. The process will become slightly easier for transit passengers. When switching planes, they can also take tax-free products purchased from an airport outside the EU or on the airplane through the security check as long as they have packed them safely and correctly.

At its airports in Finland, Finavia will acquire liquid sensors which will be installed next to the existing X-ray devices.

"Finavia will invest about three million euros in new equipment and will provide training to all its security staff members on the new operating model, and will also hire some new employees," says Ville Haapasaari, Helsinki Airport Director at Finavia.

He estimates that about 5% of passengers carry tax-free purchases, baby food and drinks as well as liquid pharmaceuticals and special diet liquids, which will all be analysed next year.

Particularly at the beginning, the change may cause delays in security checks and lead to queuing. Passengers are advised to pack baby food and liquid pharmaceuticals so that it is easy to remove all of them from your bag at the same time to show them to the security check employee.

The airport operator Finavia and the Finnish Transport Safety Agency will communicate more on the change in January when the change is about to occur.

How to pack liquid correctly

  • You may still only carry only few liquid packages of 100 ml each in your hand luggage, and you must pack them in a transparent, re-sealable plastic bag.
  • You may carry baby food and drinks for children under two, as well as liquid pharmaceuticals and special diet liquids, on board as before. As of January 31, they will be analysed in the security check.
  • All other liquids must still be packed in cargo hold luggage. Liquids forbidden in hand luggage, such as drinking bottles, cosmetic products in excess of 100 ml, frozen food, etc. have to be removed from passengers and disposed of.

Transit passengers may take tax-free products which they have purchased from the security checked section of EU countries and from airplanes to their connecting flight. As of January 31, this will also apply to passengers arriving from non-EU countries further continuing their trip on another flight. For example, as of January 31, products purchased from the tax-free area of Tokyo, Beijing, or Moscow airports can be taken through the Helsinki Airport security check to a European connecting flight.