New Australian airport security rules restrict travelling with powder

By Chris Chamberlin, June 22 2018

Passengers departing from Australian international airports will soon be subjected to new security screening rules, restricting powdered items in carry-on baggage on all flights from June 30.

Under the new policy, all powders must be presented separately for inspection at the international security checkpoint. This includes everything from cosmetics – such as powdered foundation, blush and other similar items – through to baby formula, ground or powdered coffee, sugar, spices and more.

Further restrictions apply to ‘inorganic powders’, which the Australian Government defines as “a powder not consisting of, or derived from, living matter”, like salt, sand, talcum powder, powdered deodorant, foot powder, detergents and cleaning products.

These inorganic powered items will only be permitted through the checkpoint from June 30 if carried in a container no larger than 350 millilitres or 350 grams.

The total volume of inorganic powder each passenger can carry is also capped at 350 millilitres or 350 grams, so while there’s no restriction on the number of containers of inorganic powder per person, the total volume of all the containers must be 350ml/g or less.

Advice from the Australian Government is that “passengers cannot tip (inorganic) powders out to fall under the 350ml threshold, as the restriction is calculated on total container volume”, not how much inorganic powder is inside each container.

Passengers carrying inorganic powders in excess of this limit are advised to place them in their checked bag, as these restrictions only apply to cabin baggage.

The new ‘350ml/g rule’ will also not apply to organic powders – such as cosmetics, food, baby formula, coffee, protein powder, flour, spices and sugar. You’ll still need to present these items separately at the checkpoint, but that’s it.

Unlike liquids, aerosols and gels (LAGs) which are also subject to restrictions on international flights – and this remains so – powders do not need to be carried in a clear resealable plastic bag: just place the containers directly onto the X-ray tray, just as you’d do with your laptop and ‘LAG bag’.

These rules all come into play on June 30, affecting all passengers departing from all Australian international airports, bound for any destination with any airline.

Passengers travelling on domestic legs of international flights – such as QF9 from Melbourne to Perth – are also subject to the new powder rules, as are passengers transiting Australia internationally, such as with China Airlines from Taipei to Auckland via Brisbane, when clearing transit security in Australia.

Security screening requirements on Australian domestic flights departing from domestic terminals remain unchanged, with no restrictions on the types or volumes of powder that travellers can bring with them.

The United States is also adopting powder restrictions at its own TSA security screening points from June 30 – affecting both domestic and international flights from the US, including international flights to Australia – with passengers permitted up to 12 ounces (340g/354ml) of powder per person in carry-on baggage.

For more information, visit the Australian Government's TravelSECURE website.

ChrisCh
ChrisCh

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

GSP

GSP

24 Feb 2017

Total posts 10

I think they are already onto it. I got pulled up (international - not US) with a tub of Gatorade on my hand luggage a couple of weeks ago and through for a second round of screening. Come to think of it, the same thing happened a few months earlier.

My wife who travels far less frequently than I do gave me "stick" about not being "in the know", particularly after than my more than efficient speed she was impressed with getting to the scanner dodging the faffing.

Rufus1

Rufus1

04 Dec 2013

Total posts 122

Looks like I picked the wrong week to start trafficking cocaine...

dimi

dimi

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Jul 2012

Total posts 113

That’s organic powder, so you are all clear.

Nick Sydney 2

Nick Sydney 2

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Jul 2015

Total posts 223

Careful Rufus.....the TSA and other agencies have a wide reach and don't share a sense of humour like most normal folk do....LOL

eminere

eminere

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1127

Ooh boy. Security screening is going to get even more fun now.

tommygun

tommygun

Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

16 Oct 2017

Total posts 82

Now wait for the updated advice: "you should check in 8 hours prior to your flight..."

tommygun

tommygun

Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

16 Oct 2017

Total posts 82

Why do we have the liquids, powders and removing laptops farce on trans-Tasman flights?

mickeyg

mickeyg

Virgin Australia - Platinum

26 Jun 2011

Total posts 44

Because we haven't conquered New Zealand yet! The "All Blacks" are too strong!

h15t0r1an

h15t0r1an

29 Jan 2015

Total posts 20

Because NZ is not yet a colony of Australia?

QF WP

QF WP

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Aug 2016

Total posts 55

Damn, lucky I am leaving BNE on 28 June and dodge another bullet...sorry that should read personal screening

Johns

Johns

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Apr 2017

Total posts 17

So the practice of many/most airlines only opening flights for AP check-in 3 hours before take off.... might need a review?

Of course, these PLAG's are all fine down below... the laws of physics & chemistry don't apply to the cargo hold of aircraft... right?

Doktor

Doktor

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 3

Who comes up with this stuff?

Himeno

Himeno

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 920

Stupid people come up with this nonsense. It's just fear mongering and baseless paranoia.

These bans and limits they come up with for carry on baggage do absolutely nothing for security, have no basis in science and does nothing more then give the appearance of "security", while in reality, it is only a distraction which takes time and resources away from looking for things that do matter (like WEI).

Kentown45

Kentown45

25 Feb 2017

Total posts 26

Politicians and Senior Government Officials who are of course exempt from standing in Line like the Majority of Frequent Flyers has nobody in Australia considered the USA Style Known Traveller System.

mspcooper

mspcooper

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2013

Total posts 108

Can passengers book themselves for MEL-PER and not travel to LHR, if so, how would these apply on the domestic legs of international flights @ securtiy?

Do domestic flights have the liquid restrictions now (as well)?

Himeno

Himeno

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 920

If you fly on QF9/10 between MEL and PER, you go through the international screening. The only difference is that you aren't subject to the normal international customs and immigration rules.
Domestic sectors of international flights are treated the same as any other international flight regaruding security.

Russjking

Russjking

12 Aug 2017

Total posts 75

Good idea. Keeps us as safe as possible. Annoying but accept

Himeno

Himeno

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 920

"As safe as possile" How?

Private Pilot

Private Pilot

26 Sep 2017

Total posts 43

Safe as possible?....you can take a cigarette lighter aboard...and a lighter can bring an airliner down...you can't take scissors on board...and there's no chance scissors would bring an airliner down!!!....don't be silly!!

EdS

EdS

QF

21 Jul 2016

Total posts 37

Hang on, the araticle in one place says organic compounds are included, then say they are excluded. Which is it?

Gerardf

Gerardf

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

04 May 2016

Total posts 7

How will they know a substance is organic or non-organic. For example sugar -vs- salt

Mikec007

Mikec007

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

04 Jul 2015

Total posts 1

You ask who comes up with these ideas

The company or companies

People or peoples

That’s are making

Millions and millions of dollars out of this and I mean Millions

Perth airport is the worst disorganized inefficient and pathetic

Having 6 people tested for explosives with one swab

When asked what happens if it’s positive

Answer was we take you all for retesting...

it’s a joke

Go to Singapore airport

30 times the traffic

And quick and easy...

Someone is laughing all the way to the bank..

P

P

17 Jan 2018

Total posts 12

Way over the top. Makes you want to avoid Australian airports whenever possible and transit in more user friendly locations. The inconsistency of these rules always amazes me from one country to another. Like the rediculous rule that liquid duty free has to be picked up at gate for OZ bound flights.

GCC05

GCC05

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

27 Nov 2017

Total posts 7

I was pulled aside 2 weeks ago to unpack a ~150ml bottle of psyllium husk (sprinkled on breakfast muesli) which looks like dessicated coconut. Was told powders like this display the same as liquid on their x-ray screens. Which is a bit surprising considering the totally different characteristics.

So the real issue is with their scanning equipment (maybe needs updating?). I recall NRT had liquid scanners for bottles years ago that could distinguish between water & more risky substances, allowing water bottles to be brought through security.

Himeno

Himeno

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 920

Japan has had liquid scanners for years and has made them available to the US and others still insisting on these silly nonsensical liquid bans.
The US doesn't want them because they aren't US designed and made.

Traveller14

Traveller14

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 391

While I don't carry it. Metamucil is sold in as large as 673g containers, so one wonders how many will be 'caught short' by this. It is an 'organic powder' but will security staff obsess over it and think it's subject to the 350ml/g maximum new rule?

Kev2003

Kev2003

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Apr 2016

Total posts 12

Can we take in Air or do the lungs have to be empty.

TimHughes

TimHughes

25 Oct 2010

Total posts 16

Here is the proper test for whether or not a security test is legit/needed. Do they do is in TLV? I have just flown into and out of Ben Gurion. The Israelis have the best and toughest security. Yet they do not require powder to be separately screened. Means this is bogus. Who's the winner with this policy? Duty free powder sales will go up.

RSD

RSD

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

12 Dec 2016

Total posts 5

Slightly off topic but worthy of note. I just flew SYD/SFO and after checking into Hotel and opening suitcase, saw a note inside from TSA saying they had opened my bag for checking. No problem with that however on further unpacking noticed they had removed two sealed Panadol Osteo 96 tabs boxes. I don’t understand why they removed these unless there is a poor TSA person with arthritis! I had slight revenge on return journey when they broke lock on spare bag I had added to luggage and it was full of accumulated dirty laundry! I have had medical supplies taken by them on a previous trip.

tommygun

tommygun

Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

16 Oct 2017

Total posts 82

I think each of these tabs has about 650mg paracetamol? The largest one allowed in the U.S. without prescription is 500mg - they call that "extra strength". If you could get a prescription before your next USA trip they'll most likely let it through. If you had a prescription and if that was attached to the Panadol Osteo they were wrong to take it. Either way, having it in your carry on next time will give you the chance to explain.

P

P

17 Jan 2018

Total posts 12

The logic of extreme security measures for outgoing international and transit passengers also makes no sense! Whos security/interests are we putting first? Surely focus should be on inbound (but only if justified). And restrictions on domestic flights much lower. A big hole/blind spot in the whole process.

Sula

Sula

07 Jun 2016

Total posts 29

Surely you’re not saying that protecting the lives of your fellow countrymen and those of other countries by protecting them from their plane being blown up mid-air is only important in one direction but not the other?

Remember Thies items can still be transported in checked luggage so the rule is all about in-flight security not what happens with these items on the ground.

Racala

Racala

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 May 2018

Total posts 23

Yep RSD.. the TSA managed to inspect my used grotty socks/jocks etc a couple years ago ex Dallas.. hope they had fun.

There was a great cartoon a couple years back (I think that it was a Bill Leak one), when full body scanners were introduced..with the travellers having to be nude and one guy being told that he would get his false teeth back at his destination. Personally I don't take anything other than a days pills and a hand sanitiser in cabin baggage on an international flight. The comments re confiscating medication out of checked baggage are a worry.

flyingdr

flyingdr

22 Dec 2017

Total posts 22

I wonder if the mass spectrometer they use for explosives detection will have capability added to to distinguish organic from inorganic power - or if they'll just buy another new expensive machine - or just not bother.

GCC05

GCC05

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

27 Nov 2017

Total posts 7

Very doubtful considering their current scanners can't distinguish between a low density organic powder & liquid. This deficiency probably initiated the new regs.

quick_dry

quick_dry

21 Dec 2012

Total posts 26

So, umm... wouldn't potential trouble makers just act like a Captain Planet and "with their powders combined" have a greater amount than 350ml? Now, I've never done that counter-terrorism course that was being advertised all over facebook for a while, but it just seems to make sense.

"Is that organic or inorganic inside that container?" "organic" "ok, carry on".

I can't be the only one irked by the travelsecure site talking about grams in a bullet point about maximum volume.

OZjames70

OZjames70

15 Mar 2018

Total posts 16

All medication should be carried in hand luggage with proper documentation, which includes copies of prescriptions and a signed doctors letter saying the carrier needs this medication. If you don't do this, not only can some medications be confiscated, but in some countries, our local Australian dispensed medications can be illegal to carry.

In addition, insurance companies and airlines will not compensate for medication lost in checked baggage. As a result, if you do have bags go missing, you can face a steep bill to get your scripts reissued. With your paperwork, there are deals that Medicare does that eases the pain.

OzDino

OzDino

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 May 2015

Total posts 28

Can we have security Express lanes marked "5 items or less" please?

jsm2090

jsm2090

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

04 Apr 2018

Total posts 8

Pointless. Far better use of resources would to do a quick TSA style ID-check prior to entering security. I find it a bit strange in this day and age that ID is not required to book, check in or board a flight. These sub-contracted security guards wouldn't have a clue which passengers are actually a threat or not.

Himeno

Himeno

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 920

You think ID checks are needed, yet give a reason they are pointless in the same comment.

There is no security need what so ever for ID checks. The ONLY reason for ID checks in aviation is revenue protection.

surfersimon

surfersimon

11 Oct 2017

Total posts 4

The problem I have with all the airport security operations is that yesterday the personnel were warehouse security guards and today they are now managing airport security including explosive searchers. Go through Adelaide domestic and you have to take an umbrella out of your carry on....when asked why it occurs only in Adelaide I was told its their rules. I was under the impression, mistakenly obviously, that Australian airports were a federal facility as evidenced by AFP being on duty and that uniform federal laws should be applied.....ahhh the glamour of travel!!

NB

NB

11 Oct 2017

Total posts 6

Can anyone please explain exactly what is the supposed problem with powders.

Racala

Racala

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 May 2018

Total posts 23

Hi NB

it goes to a current court case in NSW.. regarding the attempt to blow up a plane Etihad going Sydney to the middle east a year or so ago.

KL92

KL92

30 Aug 2018

Total posts 1

I have some vitamin tablets that was confiscated at the checkpoint for failing the powder rule, because the powder is ‘compressed’. Looking through the officia TSA/home affairs guideline no where did it mention that tablets are not permitted. I think this the intention is good but getting abit excessive

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