From 6 November 2006, the new EU regulation on the transport of liquids in cabin luggage applies to all flights departing from an EU airport, whatever the destination and nationality of the airline.
Since its entry into effect, liquids in cabin luggage must be put into individual containers with a maximum capacity of 100 millilitres each. These containers must be placed in a resealable, transparent plastic bag of not more than 1 litre (e.g. a freezer bag) and must be presented to the security personnel for inspection. ‘Resealable bag’ means that the passenger can close it securely and that the security personnel can open it to check its contents. It can be a bag that closes by press-seal or by zip (‘Ziploc’-type bag).
The regulation provides for exceptions for medicines and products for special dietary needs, in particular baby food which must be used during the journey. The quantity of essential medicines varies depending on the length of the journey and the person concerned and may, for this reason, exceed 100 millilitres.
The following are considered to be liquids under the new regulation: water and other drinks, soups, syrups, perfumes, gels (including hair gel and shower gel), pastes (including toothpaste), creams, lotions and oils, sprays, the contents of pressurised containers (shaving foam, deodorants, etc.), liquid/solid mixtures and other substances of a similar consistency.
The rules that apply to the transport of liquids in checked luggage remain unchanged.
Liquids purchased in retail outlets located after the point where boarding passes are checked will be placed in a sealed bag. These liquids are not subject to the above limits of quantity. However, passengers in transit to another EU airport must take care to keep these purchases in the sealed bag and to keep the proof of purchase, as they will be subject to control.
Important clarification on the limits for liquids on board aircraft as regards medicines and products for special dietary needs
In light of a number of complaints made by diabetics who were asked by certain airlines and certain airports to limit the volume of insulin in their cabin luggage, the AEA (Association of European Airlines) authorities would like to provide clarification to avoid an overly strict application of the new regulation to patients such as diabetics.
The rules allow passengers to carry with them any medication and special dietary products they need during their journey. The ‘journey’ means the outbound flight, time spent at the destination, and return flight. The meaning is therefore different from the term ‘flight’.