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New EU liquids regulation – same rules for passengers

7.1.2014 at 08:00
The new EU regulation on the security screening of liquids carried in hand baggage that enters into force on 31 January 2014 will not have much effect on air travellers' practical routines.

As before, passengers are allowed to carry liquids in containers with a maximum capacity of 100 millilitres, packed in one transparent, re-sealable plastic bag of not more than 1 litre. In addition, any baby food, medicines and liquids for special dietary requirements for use during the trip can be carried in the aircraft cabin.

Liquids carried in hand baggage will continue to be subjected to security controls. However, after 31 January, baby foods, medicines, dietary liquids and liquid products purchased at duty free shops will be examined using a liquid analyser or other suitable methods for the security screening of liquids.

The new method of screening may cause slight delays. Passengers are kindly requested to allow sufficient time for security controls and come to the airport well in advance.

Importing duty free liquids from third countries becomes easier

Despite much similarity to the earlier rules, the new regulation will bring about one tangible change: after 31 January 2014, transfer passengers are allowed to take duty free liquids bought at third-country airports or on board aircraft with them to any connecting flights via EU airports.

Carriage of liquids will be gradually liberated

Aviation authorities aim to ensure that the new methods of screening will not hamper the smooth flow of security controls. This is why liquid analyses are introduced gradually. Any decisions on further liberations will be made at EU level.

"If the experience gained is positive, we try to alleviate the restrictions on liquids as quickly as possible", says Special Adviser Arja Pulliainen of the Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Trafi).

Millions of euros into new equipment

The Finnish airport operator Finavia Corporation has acquired liquid analysers, which will be installed at security checkpoints by the end of January. Some of the devices are small and easy to move from one point to another at the airport. Some liquid analysers will be fitted to the existing x-ray equipment.

"We will make total investments of about three million euros into the new equipment. In addition, we need to train our entire security staff for the new screening method and also hire some new personnel", says Helsinki Airport Director, SVP Ville Haapasaari of Finavia.

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