EU relaxes air flight hand carry rules

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Following in line with the relaxation of rules for hand carry items
of passenger air flights from the US, the European Union has also
approved yesterday a new set of airline security rules that allow a
small amount of liquids to be carried on board air crafts.

The rule means that up to 100ml of cosmetics products, or any other liquid, can now be carried on board, a move that should be well received by both passengers and the industry, following a ten week period of confusion that many cosmetic companies claim will impact sales.

Previously the EU had ruled that no cosmetics could be carried on board, following the thwarting of a suspected trans Atlantic terror threat aimed at passenger aircrafts travelling between the UK and the US.

These rules fell in line with similar rules enforced by both US and UK authorities in reaction to the suspected threat the plot posed to national and international security.

In line with the new rules introduced by the US authorities, the EU has said that all liquids must be displayed in one re-sealable plastic bag to a maximum size of 1 litre that should be clearly displayed at passenger check points.

Likewise the rules emphasise that larger amounts of liquids, e.g. fragrances and other cosmetic products, can be bought in aiport retail outlets.

The new EU rules are now contrary to the official stand taken by the British Airport Authorities, which still has an official ban on all liquids being carried on board by passengers. The latest update to its security procedures occurred on September 22, when it declared that it would allow solid cosmetics to be hand carried on board.

US airport authorities last week confirmed that passengers would be able to carry shampoo, toothpaste, hand lotion and other liquids on board aircrafts on the basis that they are contained in packaging of less than 3oz and they are carried in clear zip-top plastic bags.

Likewise any item purchased at an airport retail outlet has to be contained in a clear, sealed plastic bag, with the purchase receipt also showing.

During the past six weeks Confusion has reigned following the security alert that initially forced airport authorities in both the US and the UK to place a total ban on a list of products that included all liquids as hand carry items.

Initially the ban affected sales of products at airport retail outlets, and since then confusion as to whether or not passengers could or could not buy fragrances and then carry them on board flights is said to have impacted sales.

The move led a number of the world's biggest cosmetic companies to warn of a possible impact on sales of premium fragrance and cosmetic ranges.

Indeed, Estee Lauder, which estimates that approximately 7 per cent of its annual $6bn in sales revenue is derived from airport retail outlets, drew attention to the fact that action by airport authorities to limit cosmetic on board aircrafts could have an impact on its current quarter.

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