New carry-on powder restrictions

The Australian Government has announced new limits on the amount and type of powders travellers can pack in their carry-on luggage. Travellers on international flights out of Australia must now present their powders separately at airport security. But unlike your liquids, you do not need to pack these in a separate, resealable plastic bag.

What powders are restricted in your carry-on luggage?

The Australian Government has made a distinction between organic and inorganic powders. The new restrictions apply to inorganic powders only, which include:

  • Sand
  • Salt
  • Salt scrub
  • Some talcum powders
  • Some powdered deodorant
  • Powdered detergent and cleaning products
  • Certain foot powders

Travellers must limit the amount of these inorganic powders in their carry-on luggage.

On the other hand, organic powders are OK to pack in carry-on luggage, but they must also be presented separately at airport security. Organic powders include:

  • Baby formula
  • Coffee
  • Protein powder
  • Most powder cosmetics
  • Epsom salt
  • Flour
  • Spices
  • Sugar

Cabin luggage powder rules

Cabin luggage rules can be notoriously confusing, even to seasoned travellers. The latest powder restrictions also have a few tricky details:

  1. Travellers cannot take more than 350g (or 350mL) of inorganic powders in their carry-on luggage in total.
  2. Travellers can take as many containers packed with inorganic powder as they like, but the volume of those containers cannot exceed 350g in total.
  3. The volume of inorganic powder will be measured by the container volume, not the volume of the powder itself.

So if you have a 400g jar of sand, you can’t simply pour out 50g and take it in your carry-on bag!

What all travellers should know about taking powder on flights

Next time you fly out of Australia, remember these three rules on packing powder in your carry-on luggage.

  1. Just like your liquids, you are now required to present your powders separately at airport security.
  2. Volume restrictions apply only to inorganic powders.
  3. You cannot exceed 350g or 350 mL of inorganic powders in total.

As you can see, packing your carry-on bags continues to get more and more confusing. The best way to avoid any problems at airport security is to avoid taking unnecessary items on board. If you need to take powders with you on holiday, pack them in your checked bags.

If you absolutely need to have powders in the cabin with you, follow all of the rules above to enjoy a hassle-free security screening. If you’re still unsure whether or not your powders are allowed or not allowed, contact your airline directly and ask for their advice.


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