Well, the TSA is at it again and effective June 30, 2018, airline passengers within and to the United States will not be allowed to have more than 12 ounce (350 mL) containers of powdered substances in their carry-on bags without special screening. Containers with over 12 ounces of the materials in your carry-on must be placed in a separate bin for X-ray screening and may need to be opened. If, after all that, TSA agents still can’t identify the substance, it may get tossed in the trash.
The TSA encourages passengers to place non-essential powders greater than 12 oz. into their checked bags.
On June 20, 2018, a TSA official said the “Australia plot contributed to the current focus on powders.” But the official also said the plot wasn’t the only reason for the scrutiny, and that improvised explosive devises containing powder explosives have always been a concern. The official said the agency “wanted to assess the threat” and that “testing needed to be done, discussions and coordination were necessary,” which is why the new screening process begun almost a year after the Australia incident.
Included in the new scrutiny will be dry spices, talcum, baby and similar body powders, powdered cosmetics, protein mix, drink mixes, powdered sugar, powdered artificial sweeteners, and most other powdered materials. When I heard about the upcoming rule, my first thought was the powdered candy that they sell at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, in those huge plastic straws – when filled, are they over 12oz?
Powdered baby formula, medicines, and cremated human remains will be exempt from the new rule, and flyers who are in the TSA Pre-Check program will not have to remove powders from their bags.
Some international airlines have already been doing this voluntarily since last year, but now all airlines entering the United States, as well as planes flying within the U.S. will be subject to the new powder rule.
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