European Union Defers Change in Liquids Rules for Airline Passengers
The law that would have allowed transport of approved and sealed packages of duty-free liquids in hand luggage by passengers in transit at airports within the European Union has been deferred on the day it was scheduled to take effect.
Siim Kallas, vice president of the European Commission, recommended that EU countries defer the change because a number of countries were not going to lift the ban.
The new regulations would have allowed passengers traveling from outside the EU with approved packages of duty-free liquids in hand baggage to carry them onto connecting flights at EU transfer airports. The EU plans to remove all restrictions on liquids by 2013 and the change originally scheduled for today was the first step.
Typical liquid purchases at duty-free shops at airports include wine, liquor, perfume, and cologne.
“My main objective is to make life easier for air travellers,” said Kallas in a prepared statement. “However, it is clear that a situation at European airports which leads to confusion for air passengers as to whether they can travel or not with ‘duty-free liquids’, in particular for connecting flights to the United States, should be avoided. Therefore, the restrictions on carrying ‘duty-free’ liquids purchased outside the EU through European airports should remain in place until passengers can travel with certainty.”
According to the EU Commission, the change does not impact the current special rules that allow passengers to transfer duty-free purchases from airports in Canada and the United States as well as six airports in Croatia, Changi Airport in Singapore, and Kuala Lampur International Airport in Malaysia onto their next flight. Passengers who purchase any liquids at an EU airport or on board an EU air carrier may also transfer liquids without any restriction.
–Greg Spira is Executive Road Warrior’s Editorial Director.