Starting June 30 it will be more difficult for international travelers to bring powders on their trips, at least in large quantities. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has adopted a stricter policy on baby powder, protein powder, dry spices, coffee, tea, and more through airport security.
Basically, the new regulation states that any passenger on an inbound international flight with 12 ounces or more of powder might be subject to additional screening at security checkpoints. What’s more, if TSA agents can’t identify the powder, then it may be confiscated and thrown away. So while it may not be a problem for coffee and tea drinkers, since that’s easily identifiable, certain spices may pose a potential problem.
This means even dry baby formula could be subject to a search or even confiscation. Of course, this only affects international flights coming into the US. Flying from North Carolina to visit your sister in Portland, Oregon is still okay.
Still, if you’re trying to bring large amounts of powder through security, you may want to consider shipping it to your final destination anyway. This policy might not be limited only to inbound international flights for very long; it’s possible it could expand to domestic flights in the future.
The change was a result of increased security concerns: July 2017 saw a failed terrorist attack in Australia when someone tried to blow up an Etihad Airways flight with a powder explosive. This has put everyone on alert, and now we have to be concerned about how much powder we travel with in our luggage. However, the TSA has said this was not the only reason for the policy change.
Most international airlines have voluntarily implemented screening for powder according to the TSA. Canada, for example, has added powder and granular material to its list of items prohibited on flights, although baby formula, protein powder, coffee, and tea in any quantity are still allowed.
The TSA will also ask foreign airports with flights into the U.S. to adopt the same policy.
How will you be affected by this policy? Do you travel with larger amounts of powder in your luggage? (Be sure to pack it in a resealable bag, in case something goes wrong.) Tell us how you travel with powder in the comments below, on our Facebook page, or on our Twitter page.