Those who travel by plane will face new restrictions at Transportation Security Administration checkpoints on powder-based items in their carry-on luggage.
Under the new set of guidelines, air travelers will only be allowed to carry up to 350 ml. of powder that can fit in an average soda can. More than that will warrant additional searching and have the powder placed in checked baggage.
Agents are now increasing their awareness strategy on the new rule and are encouraging people to pack bigger containers in their checked bags and take out the smaller ones when they are in the security checkpoint, similar to liquid baggage. The strict regulation will be implemented starting on June 30.
Powders are not being banned, according to the TSA. However, it is stepping up its focus on the said item, which includes baby powder, cosmetics, and protein or energy mixes. Gun powder is not permitted in both carry on or checked baggage.
Reason For The New Policy
TSA's new policy stemmed from a failed attempt to blow up a plane in Australia. The suspects planned to plant the improvised explosive device on an Etihad Airways flight but fortunately, it did not go past the airline's security in the check-in desk.
According to a TSA official, the dangerous plot last year contributed to its concern on improvised explosive devices.
Furthermore, when asked why it took a year for them to finally mandate the rule, TSA said that the agency wanted to assess the threat first and it needed necessary testing, discussions, and coordination. It also said the agency moved at the right pace.
TSA spokesman Michael England told CNN that most international airlines have been scrutinizing powders in any carry-on bags voluntarily and that it was part of the expanded security measures that started last year.
The agency also completed implementing a stronger set of regulations for the screening of carry-on items, including the requirement to separate food and powders that could obstruct clear images on the X-ray machine. If authorities cannot identify the powdered substance, it will be prohibited from entering the aircraft.
England added that the agency is now communicating with international partners to make sure that the last points of departure airports are similar with the pre-clearance requirements of domestic procedures as part of its effort to increase the baseline of global aviation security.
TSA expects other foreign airports, which offer non-stop flights to the country, to mirror its effort just as they did when the TSA put the electronics ban into action. The said ban required passengers to remove electronic devices that are larger than their phones on their carry-on baggage in order to be screened separately.
So next time tourists are traveling with Moroccan spice, make sure to have it in checked baggage or it might be confiscated or thrown away.