TravelSECURE

Travelling with powders, liquids, aerosols and gels

Domestic flights

Flights within Australia are not subject to restrictions on how much powder, liquid, aerosols and gels you can carry onboard.

However, if you are travelling domestically, but departing from an international terminal (for example, Terminal 1 in Sydney or Terminal 2 in Melbourne—your boarding ticket will confirm if you are departing from an international terminal), you are subject to powder, liquid, aerosol and gel restrictions.

In particular, all aerosol containers must have a fitted cap, or locking device.

International flights

Australia restricts the quantity of liquids, aerosols, gels and certain powders you can carry onboard international flights only. These restrictions do not apply to your checked-in baggage. This applies if you are:

Restrictions on liquids, aerosols and gels also apply if you are arriving on international flights.

These restrictions are strictly applied. Security screening officers have the final say if there is any doubt about what items can be carried onboard.

You are also advised to check the dangerous goods restrictions.

What are powders, liquids, aerosols and gels?

Powders, liquids, aerosols and gels are:

  • Liquid—a substance that is liquid when at room temperature.
  • Aerosol—a substance kept in a container under pressure.
  • Gel—a jelly-like substance.
  • Powder—fine dry particles produced by the grinding, crushing, or disintegration of a solid substance (for example, flour, sugar, ground coffee, spices, powdered milk, baby formula or cosmetics). Powders may also be presented in clumpy, grain, or compressed material forms.
    Note: Inorganic powder is a powder not consisting of, or derived from, living matter.

What are the quantity restrictions?

Powders

  • There is no limit on organic powders, such as food and powdered baby formula.
  • There are quantity restrictions on the amount of inorganic powder that can be carried, such as salt, talcum powder and sand.
  • Inorganic powders must be in containers of 350 millilitres (volume), 350 grams (weight) or less.
  • The total volume of inorganic powders must not exceed 350 millilitres, 350 grams per person. 
  • Passengers cannot tip powders out to fall under the 350ml threshold as the restriction is calculated on total container volume.

There are no restrictions on the number of containers of inorganic powders per person, provided the total volume of all the containers of inorganic powder is 350 millilitres or less.

At the screening point all powders in your carry-on baggage must be separately presented for screening. Unlike liquids, they do not need to be put in a re-sealable plastic bag.

Liquids, aerosols and gels

  • Liquid, aerosol or gel items must be in containers of 100 millilitres (volume), 100 grams (weight) or less.
  • Containers must fit into one transparent and re-sealable plastic bag like a snap-lock sandwich bag.
  • The four sides of the bag's sealed area must add up to no more than 80 centimetres (e.g. 20x20 cm or 15x25 cm).
  • Only one bag is allowed per passenger, with exceptions for carers who may carry the bag/s for people in their care, including children.

Containers larger than 100 millilitres or 100 grams, even if only partially-filled, containing liquids, aerosols or gels will not be allowed through the security screening point. For example, a 200 gram toothpaste tube that is half-full will not be permitted.

At the screening point all liquids, aerosols and gels in your carry-on baggage must be separately presented for screening.

Examples of powders

Inorganic powders
(restrictions apply)
Organic powders
(not restricted)

All powders must be separately presented for screening.  The total volume of inorganic powders must not exceed 350 millilitres (volume), 350 grams (weight) in total container (based on container volume/weight).

  • Salt
  • Salt scrub
  • Sand
  • Some talcum powders
  • Some powdered deodorant
  • Certain foot powders
  • Powdered detergent and cleaning products
  • Powdered baby formula
  • Powdered food
  • Coffee
  • Protein powder
  • Flour, spices, sugar
  • Most cosmetics
  • Epsom salt

Some items may not be obvious, such as snow domes or toys and souvenirs with sand or granular material inside. If you are unsure if an item will pass screening, pack it in your checked baggage.

Examples of liquids, aerosols and gels

LiquidsAerosolsGels
Liquid, aerosol or gel items must be in containers of 100 millilitres (volume), 100 grams (weight) or less.
  • Perfume
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Mouthwash
  • Oils
  • Vinegar
  • Sauces—e.g. salsa, gravy
  • Soups
  • Stews
  • Salad dressing
  • Soft drinks
  • Juice
  • Bottled water
  • Canned food with high liquid content (abalone, sardines, tuna)
  • Creams
  • Liquor—e.g. wine, beer
  • Deodorant
  • Hairspray
  • Sunscreen spray
  • Shaving cream
  • Lipgloss
  • Hairstyling gels
  • Jam
  • Yoghurt
  • Honey
  • Peanut butter
  • Cheese spread
  • Soft cheese—e.g. brie, camembert
  • Vegemite
  • Shaving gel
  • Toothpaste
  • Gel filled tablets—e.g. fish oil tablets

Some items may not be obvious, such as snow domes or toys with liquid inside. If you are unsure if an item will pass screening, pack it in your checked baggage.

What is exempt?

Powders

Powdered baby formula, prescription and non-prescription medicines (including special dietary products), and medical items required during a flight are exempt. For medicines and medical items, you will need to present these items along with proof (e.g. doctor's letter) at the screening point. Cremated human remains are also exempt.

All organic powders are exempt. This includes most powdered foods, coffee, protein powder and baby formula.

Liquids, aerosols and gels

Baby products, prescription and non-prescription medicines (including special dietary products), and medical items required during a flight are exempt. For medicines and medical items, you will need to present these items along with proof (e.g. doctor's letter) at the screening point.

For more information on exemptions, refer to: