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Indiaexportnews.com

EU may to rethink the ban on liquids

  13.11.2009    

The EU has been urged to rethink the ban on liquids such as toothpaste or baby bottles being carried as hand baggage by travellers at European airports, the Parliament.com informs.
The ban is due to expire next April but parliament's mini plenary in Brussels heard that a latest commission proposal may seek to extend the restriction until 2014.
This has put many MEPs on a potential collision course with the commission.
British Socialist deputy Brian Simpson, who chairs the transport committee, said that once new technology is available in airports the current ban on liquids will be "totally unnecessary".
His comments were echoed by Austrian Green MEP Eva Lichtenberger, who said, "It is time to rethink current security checks for liquids at airports, which are costly and inconvenient for authorities and travellers.
"We have no solid evidence to prove that these procedures provide any real guarantee for the safety of passengers."
A ban was imposed on all liquids over 100ml being taken on board aircraft within the EU after the attempted liquid explosives attack on planes leaving from London's Heathrow airport in 2006.
The commission has sent a draft proposal to MEPs and member states which proposes a phase out of the current ban when airports introduce new 'type C' scanners that can detect more than 20 types of explosive liquids.
By 1 January 2012 all upgraded type C liquid screening machines should be certified by member states for use throughout Europe and by 1 January 2013 all airports must have the capability to screen liquids, aerosols and gels.
But the commission is thought to be keen on extending restrictions until 2014.
Simpson said, "Obviously, we still need strict security rules in the fight against terrorism so we still need strict security in regards to liquids.
"The technology now needs to be tested and installed in all European airports. This should not take as long as four or five years as some EU member countries have suggested.
"All passengers in transit in EU airports should be able to buy products in duty free, which will not be confiscated.
"We put a realistic date of 1 January 2013 for all airports to be fitted with 'type C' scanners, allowing passengers to travel on board with liquids and personal belongings.
"We are also calling for an immediate lifting of the ban on liquids obtained from airports outside the EU."
He added, "The transport committee has tabled an alternative to the commission proposal which I am now confident will be accepted by commission and council."



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