TSA Adds Powders to Prohibited List on Flights

The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has added powdered substances to the list of prohibited items carried on all inbound international flights. Not completely prohibited, passengers are still allowed to carry a maximum of 12 ounces of powders of things like cosmetics, talcum powder, dry spices or protein mix. While this was already in effect for domestic flights, going forward, the TSA has stipulated this rule for all international flights as well.

What You Need to Know About TSA’s New Powder Rule

  • Only 350 ml of approved powders are permitted in the carry-on baggage.
  • All powder forms should be packaged in transparent ziplock bags.
  • These should be taken out of the carry-on baggage and placed in separate trays before going for security checks.
  • All powders should be preferably labeled and identifiable. If the TSA agent is unable to identify it on first inspection, they have the rights to dispose it off.
  • Anything more than this stipulated quantity should be packed into the checked-in baggage.
  • Familiarize yourself with the airlines’ policy of acceptable items within the luggage. Gun powder, for example is completely banned aboard the plane, be it in check-in or carry-on baggage.
  • The previous restriction on 3.4 ounces of liquids, gels and aerosols still stands.
  • Restriction on powders is in addition to liquids.
  • Given the new stipulation, travelers should anticipate delays during security checks and cater for additional time before check-in.
  • The most affected will be infants traveling internationally on long flights. While TSA has given a broad definition of all powdered substances, baby formula may also fall under this category. Hence, it is highly recommended that these be properly labeled and categorized in the required ziplock bags.
  • Travelers who need medication while flying should travel with copies of all prescriptions and have a doctor’s note explaining the need to consume the powdered medication.
  • Travelers from certain countries like India travel with local spices. They should be particular about quantities as well as take precautions to follow all directions about packaging.
  • In order to facilitate a smooth transition through security checks, all uncommon spices should be avoided on flights.
  • Travelers can consider shops within the United States wherein these can be purchased locally.
  • Certain inbound flights to the US have a port of entry outside of the country like in Abu Dhabi. Travelers should be vigilant of the rules here and ensure there’s minimum delays.
  • Travelers transiting via other countries or having layovers may be subjected to additional screenings and should make provisions for potential delays.

Stay tuned for more information if the TSA announces any more changes while traveling.