Powders, liquids, aerosols, and gels

To help smooth the flow through the screening point, it is recommended that you de-clutter your bag. There are restrictions on the amount of powders, liquids, aerosols, and gels you can take in your carry-on luggage.

If you have less than 350ml of inorganic powder like salt, talcum powder, or sand, it can stay in your bag. If the total volume exceeds 350ml, it must be carried in your checked luggage, unless for a child or medical reasons – in which case it will be inspected.

Unlike liquids, the powders do not need to be put in a resealable plastic bag.


 

The restrictions

The quantity of powders, liquids, aerosols and gels passengers can carry on board international flights are restricted. The restrictions:

  • apply only to carry-on luggage for international flights
  • do not apply to domestic flights
  • do not apply to checked luggage for international flights.

 

Liquids, aerosols and gels

The restrictions limit the volume of liquids, aerosols, and gels carried by a single passenger on an international flight:

  • To individual containers of 100ml or less. This restriction applies to the size of the container and not its content.  If a container is larger than 100ml and the content is less than 100ml, the item will still be prohibited.
  • The total number of containers that are 100ml or less must not exceed one volumetric litre.  Passengers should present all the liquids, aerosols, and gels in a single re-sealable 20cm by 20cm [one volumetric litre] plastic bag. Any excess will not be allowed onto the aircraft. 

Powder

The total volume of inorganic powders must not exceed 350 millilitres, or 350 grams per person, or the approximate size of an average can of soda.

Powder is defined as fine dry particles produced by the grinding, crushing, or disintegration of a solid substance (for example, flour, sugar, ground coffee, spices, powdered milk, baby formula or cosmetics). Powders may also be presented in clumpy, grain, or compressed material forms.

Inorganic powder means a powder or a similar granular substance that does not consist of and is not derived from, living matter Examples include but are not limited to:

  • salt scrub
  • bath bombs
  • sand
  • some talcum powders
  • some powdered deodorant
  • certain foot powders
  • some cosmetics (both compressed and loose powders) dependent on the brand
  • some powdered detergent and cleaning products dependent on the brand

It may not be obvious that some items contain inorganic granular material, such as:

  • the fill (i.e. stuffing) of some toys and souvenirs
  • body powders (e.g. talcum powder, foot powders and powdered deodorants)
  • laundry powders and other powdered cleansers
  • dietary supplements (e.g. minerals or vitamins).

These restrictions are strictly applied. Aviation security officers have the final say if there is any doubt about what items can be carried on board.

Exemptions: Please read in detail below those items that are exempt from the 350ml limit. This includes items such as baby powder or formula for those travelling with a young child, cremated human remains, therapeutic products and medicines that are exempt from these restrictions. 

Categories of powders, liquids, aerosols and gels

The following table includes examples of the items affected by the restrictions.  Other items not listed, that have a similar consistency, will also be subject to the restrictions.

Food

 

 

With a high liquid content:

Cream, oil, soup, foods in sauces, sauces, stew, honey, seafood in liquid, syrup

 

That is spreadable:

Butter, margarine, sandwich spreads, jam, paste

 

Powders

Salts

Beverages

 

 

Cold beverages:

Alcohol, milk, water, energy drinks, soft drinks, fruit drinks, tea

 

Hot beverages:

Coffee, hot chocolate, tea

 

Drink powder mix:

Protein shakes

Therapeutic products

 

 

 

 

 

Non-prescription medicine:

Creams, lotions, lip balm, solutions, gels, pills, tablets, and powders 

 

Homeopathic products:

Limited products in pill, tablet, and powder forms

 

Minerals and vitamins:

Limited products in pill, tablet, and powder forms

Toiletries

 

 

 

 

 

Cleaners (products used to maintain a person's hygiene):

Creams, lotions, shaving products, toothpaste, gel, hair products, salt scrubs, body powders (e.g. talcum and foot powders)

 

Cosmetics (non-medical preparations that are applied to improve one's appearance):

Concealer, lipstick, moisturiser, mascara, primer, hair gel, hair spray, hair wax, and foundation and other compressed powders

 

Scents:

Perfumes, deodorants (includes roll-on, spray, stick, salt, and powder forms)

Trade products

 

 

 

 

 

With high a liquid content:

Cleaning products, oil, degreasers, paint

 

Smearable:

Foam, paste, waxy substances

Other

 

 

 

 

 

With a high liquid content:

Snow globes

 

Smearable:

Gel pads

 

Powder:

Hand warmers, laundry powders, sand, and crushed shells

All aerosol containers must have a fitted cap, or locking device.  

Medicine

You will be allowed to take creams, lotions, balms, gel solutions, pills, tablets, and powders in excess of the limits if:

  • they have been prescribed to you by a registered medical practitioner; and
  • the prescription is in your name which matches the name on your travel documents; and
  • the prescription is in its original packaging; and
  • you have evidence from your medical practitioner that you require the medicine during the flight [if this is not obvious from the prescription].

You will be allowed an amount necessary for the duration of your flight. When you are assessing how much medicine to take you should account for the time leading up to departure, the duration of the flight (including any transits) and the time to uplift your luggage when you arrive at your destination, and any delays. Remember you will be able to carry additional medicine in checked luggage.

If you are taking an amount that could be considered excessive you will need to provide information from a registered medical practitioner on why you should be allowed to carry excess medicine as carry-on.

If your medicine requires to be transported in a “Fridge-to-Go Medical Travel Wallet” or similar cooling container, the packs of cooling gel are also be exempt from these restrictions.

Medical products

You are allowed to take samples and substances relating to medical research or reproductive health, but only if you have supporting documentation from a registered medical professional authorising you to be possession of them.

Note: any material or containers that are required to maintain the temperature, quality or integrity of the samples or substances are also allowed as carry-on.

 

Therapeutic products

You will be allowed to take non-prescription medicine and homeopathic products with you to treat medical conditions, such as lip balm for cracked lips, creams and lotions to treat skin conditions such as eczema, or talcum powder if you have limited mobility. You will only be able to take an amount necessary for the flight.

If you take more than is necessary you may be prevented from carrying any of it onto the aircraft.  If the non-prescription medicine [e.g. cough syrup] comes in a non-liquid form (e.g. lozenge), it is advisable to carry the non-liquid form when flying. 

 

Special diets

Before you will be permitted to bring food in forms that are subject to restrictions you must present evidence from a medical practitioner that you are on a special diet for medical reasons and the specifics of your diet. 

You will only be allowed food or liquids that have been commercially packed, are unopened and in amounts considered reasonable for the flight.

 

Travelling with a young child

If you are travelling with a young child, you will be allowed to take more food, drink, baby powder and formula than the restricted limits, in amounts considered reasonable for the flight. When working out how much to take, include the time leading up to departure, the duration of the flight with any transits on the way, and the time to collect your luggage once you arrive at your destination. 

Aviation Security receives enquiries from parents travelling with young children about whether they can take the following:

Drinks

You can take:

  •   formula both in powder or liquid form
  •   milk (all types)
  •   fruit drink
  •   sterile water (in refillable flasks) 

Food

You can take baby food, both commercial or homemade

Toiletries

You can take:

  • wet wipes
  • Vaseline/nappy cream
  • talcum/baby powder

Therapeutic products

You can take:

  •   Pamol (or other child-specific pain reliever)
  •   teething gel

Toys

You can take:

  • soft toys containing granular material

Medicine

Refer to Medicine

 

Common problems

The following are examples of what happens when liquids, aerosols and gels restrictions are not complied with:

Refillable flask relinquished

Refillable flasks must be given up when there are no facilities at security screening for tipping out the contents and the passenger cannot consume the contents. Empty the refillable flask before you enter the security area.

Frozen food

Food that is frozen is still subject to the liquids, aerosols, and gels restrictions if at room temperature the food’s normal state is a liquid or is spreadable.

Packed food

You can bring your own food for the flight including sandwiches, muffins, cake, chips or crackers – or transport a [wedding] cake - but do not bring food with high water content or that is spreadable such as soft cheeses or yoghurt. 

The officer screening your luggage is authorised to decide whether an item is restricted. If you have any doubts leave it at home. At some airports you will be   able to buy food following security screening.

Duty free goods

Duty free goods purchased after security screening is not subject to these restrictions but if you are going through other countries on your trip check what you need to do at each airport you will be travelling through.

Useful links

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