The policy of screening liquids, aerosols and gels before international flights is to be updated to include powders, with the new regulations taking force from this Saturday, 30 June 2018.

The reason for the worldwide crackdown on powders, reportedly, is the foiled plot to blow up an Etihad flight from Sydney to Abu Dhabi last year. That’s according to CNN in the US, which cited an unnamed airline official.

The Sydney plotters allegedly planned to get an improvised device aboard the flight but couldn’t get it past the airline’s check-in desk. Charges have been laid and the case is proceeding.

Now, certain powders are to be banned – specifically, inorganic powders. The reason behind it is to prevent anyone bringing anything aboard that could be used to create a do-it-yourself explosive.

All passengers departing on international flights from Australia will have to present at security any forms of powder they may be travelling with in their cabin baggage.

The Australian Government has placed restrictions on passengers carrying certain amounts of inorganic powders into the sterile area at international airports. This change to security screening is similar to restrictions placed on certain liquids, aerosols and gels in 2007.

Qantas has advised that inorganic powders such as sand, salt, certain types of talcum powder and some cosmetics will not be allowed in carry-on baggage when over 350 ml or 350 grams.

Organic or inorganic?

There are no restrictions on organic powders such as baby formula, coffee, spices, hot chocolate and protein powder. Further detail is available on the Australian Government’s TravelSECURE website.

This change means customers with an international connection in Australia, for example SIN–SYD–AKL, will be able to bring the inorganic powders into Australia but will have them confiscated when they transit through to New Zealand.

Powders, liquids, aerosols and gels can still be carried internationally in checked baggage, subject to dangerous goods restrictions. Opens external site in a new window. There is no change to domestic travel.

Qantas has advised that it appreciates the assistance of agents in updating their customers about this change.

Edited by Peter Needham