Member countries of the European Union, as well as Iceland, Norway, Japan, Singapore, Australia and others – have implemented new regulations regarding liquids in carry-on bags. As a result, there are potential implications for passengers who purchase liquid duty-free items (e.g. perfume and liquor) while traveling to and from international destinations.
Because many duty-free shops in other countries are located before the security checkpoint, all liquid duty-free items purchased in those airports will be placed in special sealed tamper-evident bags in order to be permitted through those countries’ security checkpoints. The tamper-evident bag is not currently accepted through U.S. checkpoints.
To avoid the risk of having to abandon your liquid duty-free items in the U.S. and abroad, please follow the guidelines below.
For passengers traveling to an international destination from the United States:
Duty-free purchases of liquids of any size from shops in the U.S. are permitted if you have a nonstop flight to an international destination.
If you have a connecting flight in Europe, Japan or another international destination, U.S. duty-free liquid purchases in containers larger than three ounces will not be permitted through security checkpoints because they will not be in the an approved tamper-evident bag. Note: If you purchase a liquid duty-free item in the U.S. you will not be able to get a tamper evident bag for it before going through international checkpoints.
For passengers returning to the United States from an international destination:
On nonstop flights bound for the US, duty-free liquids purchased in an international airport will be permitted through the checkpoint only if they meet U.S. requirements for the use of tamper-evident bags. Duty-free delivered to the aircraft for passenger pick-up, bought on the plane or purchased after the security checkpoint are allowed.
If you are flying to the U.S. and have a connecting flight, duty-free liquids that meet U.S. requirements will NOT be permitted through U.S. security checkpoints. If you have a connecting flight, liquid duty-free purchases must be placed in your checked baggage. Since you will be required to reclaim your checked bags prior to passing through customs inspection, you can place duty-free liquids into your bags and recheck them for your connection.
Please note, this information applies only to liquid, aerosol, or gel duty free purchases that exceed the three ounce restriction for single containers.
Transportation Security Administration Tips
- When traveling to an international destination with a connection, buy your duty-free liquid items on the last leg of your trip.
- In Europe and other countries that use the tamper-evident bag, passengers should not open the bag before the security checkpoint, or else the duty-free contents may be seized.
- When returning from an international destination on a connecting flight in the U.S., use your time in customs to place any duty-free liquid items in your checked bags.