New Australian airport security rules restrict travelling with powder

New Australian airport security rules restrict travelling with powder

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.

Chris Chamberlin
Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business 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!
 

51 comments

  • Geoff Pell

    GSP

    22 Jun, 2018 09:15 am

    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.
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  • Rufus1

    Rufus1

    22 Jun, 2018 10:31 am

    Looks like I picked the wrong week to start trafficking cocaine...
    Members who gave thanks

    DiveTravel, aussie-flyer, Doubleplatinum

  • Dmitry Abramov

    dimi

    22 Jun, 2018 10:40 am

    That’s organic powder, so you are all clear.
    Member who gave thanks

    DiveTravel

  • mickeyg

    mickeyg

    22 Jun, 2018 01:05 pm

    HAHAHA @ dimi! You're clear to go @ Rufus1!
    No member give thanks

  • Nick  Sydney 348

    Nick Sydney 2

    22 Jun, 2018 04:15 pm

    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
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  • eminere

    eminere

    22 Jun, 2018 10:39 am

    Ooh boy. Security screening is going to get even more fun now.
    No member give thanks

  • Tom Wilson

    tommygun

    22 Jun, 2018 12:07 pm

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

    Gerardf

  • Tom Wilson

    tommygun

    22 Jun, 2018 12:09 pm

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

    mickeyg

  • mickeyg

    mickeyg

    22 Jun, 2018 01:08 pm

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

    QF WP

  • Lindsay Wilson

    QF WP

    22 Jun, 2018 02:42 pm

    Damn, lucky I am leaving BNE on 28 June and dodge another bullet...sorry that should read personal screening
    No member give thanks

  • Tim Johns

    Johns

    22 Jun, 2018 02:42 pm

    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?
    No member give thanks

  • Doktor

    Doktor

    22 Jun, 2018 02:46 pm

    Who comes up with this stuff?

    No member give thanks

  • Himeno

    Himeno

    22 Jun, 2018 03:06 pm

    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).
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  • Traveller14

    Traveller14

    22 Jun, 2018 06:46 pm

    Totally on the ball Himeno. These schemes are dreamt up by bureaucrats and probably lobbyists, the latter expert at getting in ill-infomed Ministers' ears. Security companies benefit, but I don't know of one that is listed on ASX so can't recommend purchasing shares in one.

    Kickbacks anyone?

    Given that many ladies carry such products routinely, will this slow security screening further? I already have to wait at the supermarket because more women than men do not have their credit or debit card in their hands.

    We seem powerless against this bureaucracy that just irritates travellers. I will bow to Himeno's obviously greater knowledge and meekly agree that true safety is not improved by all these rules.
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  • SeaVisionBurma

    SeaVisionBurma

    23 Jun, 2018 07:36 pm

    "We seem powerless against...."

    *powderless
    No member give thanks

  • worldwanderer

    worldwanderer

    23 Jun, 2018 12:03 am

    This new "super-ministry" of Home Affairs is totally out of control.

    Harebrained ideas left right and centre for political show to try and justify its existence.

    If only someone in that department would re-focus on the real issues and not this cr.p
    No member give thanks

  • worldwanderer

    worldwanderer

    23 Jun, 2018 12:14 am

    Wonder who friend of a friend in Canberra will get the contract for millions of dollars for a mini laboratory at each security point in the country to test powders and determine if they are organic or inorganic while large numbers of passengers miss their flight due to this stupidity.
    No member give thanks

  • Kentown45

    Kentown45

    23 Jun, 2018 04:14 am

    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.
    No member give thanks

  • outthere1000

    outthere1000

    23 Jun, 2018 11:18 am

    You overrate the Known Traveller System. I have a Nexus card (I'm resident in Canada; card is issued by the US Government) but it does *not* exempt one from security checks and the rules remain the same for everyone. In my home city it only means that I'll never be randomly sent to the line for a super-thorough check (aka get taken apart); and the line is shorter only when the Nexus line is actually open, which isn't all that often. Even at LAX I've found the Nexus / Trusted Traveller line closed (early evening). As a trusted traveller you may get lucky and be approved for TSA Pre-Check, and that really is much faster - but that's only outbound from the US, never inbound.
    No member give thanks

  • Vas Srinivasan

    mspcooper

    22 Jun, 2018 03:04 pm

    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)?
    Member who gave thanks

    surfersimon

  • Himeno

    Himeno

    22 Jun, 2018 03:08 pm

    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.

    No member give thanks

  • Russjking

    Russjking

    22 Jun, 2018 03:10 pm

    Good idea. Keeps us as safe as possible. Annoying but accept
    No member give thanks

  • Himeno

    Himeno

    22 Jun, 2018 03:23 pm

    "As safe as possile" How?
    No member give thanks

  • Private Pilot

    Private Pilot

    22 Jun, 2018 04:33 pm

    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!!
    No member give thanks

  • quick_dry

    quick_dry

    22 Jun, 2018 08:24 pm

    don't forget the humble roll of electrical tape. I've had that one confiscated because it could be used to restrain people... I was flattered the security guy thought I had the ninja skills to creep through the plane wrapping everyone's wrists to the armrests without being detected (and displaying incredible rationing of one tape roll for a whole A330) ;)
    Member who gave thanks

    Rkwm

  • outthere1000

    outthere1000

    23 Jun, 2018 11:25 am

    At a supplementary gate check (SYD to YVR) I had a plastic knife (taken from an aircraft) confiscated, even though I was travelling in J where the knives are metal. They also took a 35ml plastic container of moisturiser because it didn't have a label, and when I said I needed it for a long flight the officer said I could put some on my face before he confiscated the rest (which I did). Oh yes, and a paperclip - admittedly a large one - which is a pointed object when bent out. When I raged about this to the flight attendant on board, she said, "That's nothing. Last week one of our pilots had his razor confiscated. Security was unmoved by the fact that he was actually flying the plane, and furthermore, had a machete in the cockpit. So, he can have a machete but not a razor".
    No member give thanks

  • EdS

    EdS

    22 Jun, 2018 03:21 pm

    Hang on, the araticle in one place says organic compounds are included, then say they are excluded. Which is it?
    No member give thanks

  • Gerard Forsayeth

    Gerardf

    22 Jun, 2018 04:36 pm

    How will they know a substance is organic or non-organic. For example sugar -vs- salt
    No member give thanks

  • Mike Campbell

    Mikec007

    22 Jun, 2018 03:32 pm

    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..
    Member who gave thanks

    Ecab54

  • P Pack

    P

    22 Jun, 2018 03:37 pm

    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.
    No member give thanks

  • GCC05

    GCC05

    22 Jun, 2018 03:47 pm

    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.
    No member give thanks

  • Himeno

    Himeno

    22 Jun, 2018 04:04 pm

    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.
    No member give thanks

  • Traveller14

    Traveller14

    22 Jun, 2018 06:52 pm

    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?
    No member give thanks

  • Kevin Gould

    Kev2003

    22 Jun, 2018 04:04 pm

    Can we take in Air or do the lungs have to be empty.
    No member give thanks

  • Tim Hughes

    TimHughes

    22 Jun, 2018 04:12 pm

    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.
    No member give thanks

  • Bobby  Doyle

    RSD

    22 Jun, 2018 04:26 pm

    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.
    No member give thanks

  • Tom Wilson

    tommygun

    23 Jun, 2018 11:11 am

    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.
    No member give thanks

  • P Pack

    P

    22 Jun, 2018 04:40 pm

    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.
    No member give thanks

  • Sula

    Sula

    22 Jun, 2018 05:42 pm

    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.
    No member give thanks

  • Ian Whillas

    Racala

    22 Jun, 2018 06:51 pm

    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.

    No member give thanks

  • flyingdr

    flyingdr

    22 Jun, 2018 07:38 pm

    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.
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  • GCC05

    GCC05

    23 Jun, 2018 05:08 am

    Very doubtful considering their current scanners can't distinguish between a low density organic powder & liquid. This deficiency probably initiated the new regs.
    No member give thanks

  • quick_dry

    quick_dry

    22 Jun, 2018 08:36 pm

    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.
    No member give thanks

  • OZjames70

    OZjames70

    22 Jun, 2018 08:49 pm

    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.
    No member give thanks

  • OzDino

    OzDino

    22 Jun, 2018 10:28 pm

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

    jsm2090

    23 Jun, 2018 11:40 am

    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.
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  • Himeno

    Himeno

    23 Jun, 2018 04:43 pm

    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.
    No member give thanks

  • surfersimon

    surfersimon

    24 Jun, 2018 02:00 pm

    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!!
    No member give thanks

  • Neil Beverley

    NB

    26 Jun, 2018 05:13 pm

    Can anyone please explain exactly what is the supposed problem with powders.
    No member give thanks

  • Ian Whillas

    Racala

    26 Jun, 2018 07:51 pm

    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.

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  • KL92

    KL92

    30 Aug, 2018 11:09 pm

    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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21 Sep, 2018 08:59 am

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