liquids, aerosols and gels (lags) & security tamper evident bag (stebs)

Liquids, Aerosols and Gels (LAGs) & Security Tamper Evident Bag (STEBs)

Because it simplifies your air travel experience. It’s as simple as that.

Because if you opt for packing your liquids, aerosols and gels correctly prior to setting off to the airport, you will unquestionably ensure SECURITY as well as speed up the security screening procedure.

Because they were regulated in order to increase your safety while traveling by plane. In fact, the rules related to LAGs and STEBs are considered necessary to protect you from the hazard of liquid explosives which might otherwise be easily carried aboard the plane.

It is therefore good to know that…

…each recipient containing liquids, aerosols or gels that is placed in your carry-on luggage ought to be of 100 milliliters or even less. All the recipients should be placed in a bag that is sealed, transparent, has a maximum capacity of one liter and is made of plastic. You may only carry one such bag with you. What is more, you may use any type of resealable bag of one litre capacity or less.

…baby formula or food, prescription medicines or even special diet food and duty-free acquisitions are considered EXCEPTIONS. However, these items are more than likely to be carefully inspected by the security staff who may ask you to taste baby food before their eyes so that they may rest assure that you are not carrying anything hazardous aboard. In case of medicines, they may also ask you to show the prescription which demonstrates that you really need the medicines placed in the carry-on bag. You should therefore be prepared to provide the security personnel the proof that you need these.

… the security personnel will certainly ask you to give in every type of liquids, aerosols or gels larger than 100ml which you may still have on you.

… on plastic, or better said, security tamper evident bag ought to be prepared before the check-in procedure. This will help to save time in case to will have to place whichever recipients which are too large into your check-in luggage.

Hence, prior to CHECK-IN make sure that….

Your LAGs are of 100ml or even in a smaller amount

LAGs is an acronym for Liquids, aerosols and gels. According to ICAO, they comprise, but are not limited to such items as “water and other drinks, soups, syrups, jams, stews, sauces and pastes; foods in sauces or containing a high liquid content; creams, lotions, cosmetics and oils; perfumes; sprays; gels, including hair and shower gels; contents of pressurized containers, including shaving foam, other foam and deodorants; pastes, including toothpaste; liquid-solid mixtures; mascara; lip gloss or lip balm; and any other item of similar consistency at room temperature.”

Or, as ACSA (Airports Company South Africa) put it,” if you can POUR it, PUMP it, SQUEEZE it, SPREAD it, SMEAR it, SPRAY it or SPILL it, it is considered a LAG.”

How do you know how large a LAG recipient is? Just look at its label. Generally speaking, a common medicine bottle will usually be of 100 milliliters the maximum.

Once you have identified which products you are allowed to carry with you aboard the plane, make time to sort them out. And DO pack any container that is larger than 100 ml in you check-in luggage even though they are partially filled. No airport will permit you to have any container that is, let’s say, 250 ml in capacity filled with only 90 ml of water or soup or whatever permitted. In so far as what is permitted or not as cabin luggage, we particularly like the list compiled by The Department of Transport and Regional Services from Australia  , i.e.


Drinks – Any drinks in cans, bottles, and plastic containers, etc

Cosmetics & Toiletries – All cosmetics and toiletries in liquid/gel form, for example:

·      Fragrance and perfume

·      Liquid foundations and lip-gloss or mascara

·      Toothpaste

·      All products in pressurized containers (e.g. hairspray and shaving foam/gel)

·      Deodorants

Food – Any liquid-based food products in packets, tubes, plastic or tin containers, for example:

·      Jams and syrups

·      Sauces

·      Pastes

·      Yoghurts

·      Soups (carton or otherwise)

·      Stews or curry

Empty Containers – Empty containers such as flasks or mugs

Cosmetics & Toiletries

·      Sanitary towels and tampons

·      Talcum powder

·      Contact lenses and contact lens solution


·      Sandwiches

·      Fruit

·      Vegetables

·      Other solid foods

Baby Products

·      Empty containers such as empty bottles, beakers or flasks

·      Baby milk

·      Sterilized baby water

·      Baby juice

·      Baby products in liquid, gel or paste form

·      Baby food powder


·      Essential prescribed medication

·      Essential non-prescribed medication, e.g. cough syrup

·      Insulin

·      Medical devices

Pretty comprehensive, don’t you think?

Right… now, put all the allowed recipients that you feel you in as cabin luggage in a transparent, resealable plastic bag or a STEB (Security Tamper Evident Bag).  Let us remind you that, this bag should by no means be larger than 1 liter in size, .i.e. 20x20cm or 15x25cm while such bags may be found in most of the ordinary supermarkets, keep in mind that you should place your recipients in such a manner that they fit comfortably inside the bag or else, you may be asked to remove some of your containers. Last but not least, we would like to point out that you may carry only one bag with you.

Why are these rules on LAGs and STEBs relevant?

As pointed out before, all these rules were enforced to protect you from the danger of liquid explosives, plain and simple.

For example, subsequent to the incident when the terrorists tried to blow up several airplanes during their voyage using homemade explosives at London-Heathrow Airport in 2006, the European Commission adopted supplementary regulations regarding aviation security to tackle this threat.

These rules are roughly summed up herein and were laid down only as a provisional restriction that will to be removed once a suitable and reliable technology to screen liquids for explosives will be available.

Therefore, in so far as the European Commission is concerned, it is currently working towards lifting all the PROHIBITIONS related to the carriage of liquids in hand luggage as long as they will be able to apply screening as a method for controlling liquids, rather than imposing bans.

To conclude with, we need to point out that as the Commission has already brought forward proposals to amend the existing legislation on LAGs in the fall of 2012, with the agreement of the Member States and the European Parliament.