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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 16 July 2018

Powders in hand luggage restricted on flights into the US

Flying from the UAE to the US soon? The new ruling officially comes into effect on Saturday June 30 - here's what you need to know 

Flying out of somewhere like Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Washington, D.C. soon? Well, make sure to pack any powders over 350ml in your check-in luggage. Bloomberg
Flying out of somewhere like Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Washington, D.C. soon? Well, make sure to pack any powders over 350ml in your check-in luggage. Bloomberg

Travellers flying into the United States are used to packing gels and liquids into clear bags and taking off shoes at security points, but there's now another process to be aware of.

The US Transport Security Administration has made a change to its carry-on luggage rules, and from June 30, any powder-like substance of more than 350ml will not be able to be checked in. This will mean powders will be checked as you board the plane at Dubai Airport, or any starting point.

But, don't worry, most powdered substances come in smaller amounts than this: 350ml is the same size as a standard soft drink can. The new ruling will affect things like protein shakes, talcum powder, flour, powdered milk, coffee, spices and some cosmetics.

Cremated remains are exempt from the rule: however, the TSA has some guidelines for carrying these, you can read those here.

The TSA has said that powders in carry-on bags are subject to search and they may be opened or potentially discarded. Any powdered substances that are larger than 350ml can still be put in checked baggage.

While the rule comes into official place on June 30, TSA has been investigating powders in carry-on bags since last year on domestic flights in the US.

An airline official told CNN that the new move is in connection with the foiled plot to bomb an Etihad plane flying from Sydney to Abu Dhabi last year. The "Australia plot contributed to the current focus on powders," the official is quoted as saying. The would-be attackers tried to board with an explosive device, but it didn't get past the airline's check-in desk.

In March 2017, the Department of Homeland Security enforced an electronics ban, including on laptops, on flights arriving into the US from 10 major airports in the Middle East. The “laptop ban” was later lifted after other security measures were put in place.

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