EUROPE/NORTH AMERICA. In a big industry breakthrough, passengers buying duty free LAGs (Liquids, Aerosols and Gels) in the US and Canada will be able to keep their purchases when transferring onto flights at EU airports from tomorrow.

Until now, passengers were unable to take duty free liquids bought in the US and Canada onboard transfer flights at EU airports.

For example, if a passenger was to travel New York -London -Dublin, until now, duty free liquid purchases made in New York would not have been allowed on the flight from London to Dublin.

ETRC President Frank O’Connell: Predicts “a major boost” for sales at North American airports

US and Canadian airport retailers must pack the duty free liquids and gels in sealed, tamper evident bags (STEBs) with clear proof of purchase within 36 hours of time of sale.

The US and Canada have not yet granted equivalent rights to passengers originating in the EU who then connect onwards at a US or Canadian airport.

ETRC President Frank O’Connell said: “I am delighted that these rules will come into effect tomorrow and am sure that it will be a major boost for sales in North American airports. I would like to thank the European Commission for the work that they have done to create this agreement.

“The timing for these rules to take effect was critical. European travellers visiting North America to watch the Winter Olympics no longer have to fear their duty free liquids will be confiscated when returning home.

“The US and Canada have not yet granted equivalent rights to passengers originating in Europe which is having a marked effect upon sales in European airports. Duty free liquor sales have been particularly affected. I would urge the US and Canadian governments to consider a similar arrangement.”

US travel retailers were informed of the new rules in December, though the Canadian duty free industry only received the go-ahead within the past two weeks, The Moodie Report understands. One retailer noted the lengthy time lag between order and receipt of the necessary quantities of STEBs, which meant that the new rules were unlikely to take practical effect this week.