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I bought some whisky in Kuala Lumpur and have since travelled to Bogotá for a few days. Can I bring the sealed duty free bag with the whisky from KL back through security at Bogotá on my return flight to London (as hand luggage)? Is the sealed, tamper-proof bag exempt from the liquids 100ml requirement?

I have a feeling it is not allowed, but thought I'd check.

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    I do believe the sealed bag is allowed only for a limited time (24-48 hours), and in fact you can see the receipt in the sealed bag. I've passed through security with those bags at non-connecting airports before, but it was always on the day I bought it or the day after. Aug 23, 2022 at 20:33
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    thanks - I also found this on the web a few seconds ago - confirming what you said "You must carry the receipt for this purchase with you on all legs of your flight, and the duty free items must have been purchased within the last 48 hours. The TSA changed this rule to permit use of secure, tamper-evident bags in August 2014." Good to know for future - thanks for the quick response! Aug 23, 2022 at 20:52
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    The TSA is a United States government agency. The rules could well be different in Colombia.
    – phoog
    Aug 23, 2022 at 21:01

2 Answers 2

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Highly Unlikely.

I don't think you can get a definitive answer before you actually get there, but chances are low. In most places you need present a receipt or it's packed in the bag and must be visible. Trying to explain how a bottle of whiskey bought a week ago in Kuala Lumpur is still somehow a "sealed duty free" status when you enter Bogota airport seems a stretch.

The main purpose of the bags is

  1. Discourage customer from consuming alcohol before and during the flight
  2. Granting carry on status for duty free liquids if a security check is happening during a transit for the same itinerary where the duty flight was purchased.

You'll never know, but my recommendation would be to check, drink it, or gift it.

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  • You could always try to bring it as well and hope for the best, assuming the alternative is to throw it away.
    – JonathanReez
    Feb 28 at 1:00
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I know this is an old question and not really related to the EU and the UK, but this is what I found as current rules (as of 02/2024) in the UK and the EU for duty-free liquids that you can take through security with no mention of date bought or if it's a connecting flight. The only thing you need to make sure is that it is sealed and you have the receipt.

UK rules

Here is what it states on gov.uk:

Exemptions

You can take liquid containers larger than 100ml through security if they:

  • are for essential medical purposes
  • are for special dietary requirements
  • contain baby food or baby milk

You can also take liquids bought at an airport or on a plane (such as duty free) through security if:

  • the items are sealed inside a security bag when you buy them
  • the receipt for the items is sealed in the security bag and visible

You must not open the security bag until you reach your final destination. Airport staff may need to open the items to screen the liquid at the security point.

EU rules

Here is where it gets complicated.

On this europa.eu page it states:

When travelling by plane from an airport in the EU, you should keep in mind certain security requirements when packing and boarding:

  • ...
  • Duty free liquids purchased from any airport or airline may be carried as hand luggage as long as the item and the receipt remain sealed inside the security bag (with a red border) provided at the time of purchase. You may not open the security bag until arrival at your final destination. However, security officers may need to open the bag and the bottles for screening. If this happens, and you have a connecting flight at another airport, tell the security officer so the liquids can be re-sealed in a new security bag.
  • ...

As you can see from the above regulations, you can take any liquids bought from any airport or airline with no mention of timestamp, as long as it's sealed and you have the receipt. This is at least the case in the EU and the UK.

But when digging deeper in the EU regulations you get to this europa.eu page:

...

New rules restrict passengers on carrying liquids, aerosols and gels (LAGs) past screening points, whether on their persons or in their hand luggage, with the following exemptions:

  • ...
  • EU duty free liquids which have been obtained at EU airports or on board of an aircraft of an EU carrier on condition that they are packed in packed in security tamper-evident bag (STEB), inside which proof of purchase at airside at that airport on that day is displayed, as recommended by International Civil Aviation Organization;
  • duty-free liquids purchased at certain airports in Croatia, Malaysia, Singapore or at international airports in Canada or the U.S on condition that they are packed in a STEB inside with satisfactory proof of purchase at airside at that airport within the preceding 36 hours is displayed.

Final thoughts

In the UK, the regulations are simple. If you have a duty-free bag, you can take it through security as long as it's sealed with the receipt. I don't know if the security agents will allow you with old stuff but it's technically allowed.

In the EU it's not so clear, in one place it states the same as the UK, in a different site it does require you to have it bought within a certain time and it only allows from certain countries.

Regarding other countries, I don't know, if anyone knows any rules from different countries, please feel free to edit my answer and add those rules. The same is if in the future any rules have changed, please feel free to edit and change it.

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    In the UK the regulations is simple. You have a duty free bag, you can take it through security as long as it's sealed with the receipt. I don't know if the security agents will allow you with old stuff but it's technically allowed. the gov.uk page is not a full explanation of the regulations. In the UK, transit passengers pass through a dedicated security area. I do not believe sealed duty free bags will be permitted through security from landside.
    – MJeffryes
    Feb 27 at 16:14
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    I wouldn't trust that gov.uk page to be the full, detailed rules, just a simplified version covering most cases. It's probably exactly like the EU pages: one gives a short version which does not mention any dates, but somewhere else they will tell you there's a limit on the dates. Why would they need the receipt to be visible if the date wasn't relevant?
    – jcaron
    Feb 27 at 17:25
  • @jcaron This might be the case, but with the EU page hidden in the first place I do think you can get your way around. I only got to that page when clicking on a link from the previous bullet point (which I didn't include in the answer as it's not relevant).
    – Shmiel
    Feb 28 at 14:58
  • @MJeffryes I know there's a security check for connecting passengers, and they might not accept the sealed bag when you're not connecting airside. But the same as my other comment, if you show them this rule they might allow it. Maybe there's a different page where there's more, I didn't find it... Anyway, in the UK you will soon be allowed without a sealed bag due to the new scanners (up to one litre).
    – Shmiel
    Feb 28 at 15:02
  • @Shmiel I sincerely doubt it. If we assume that liquids are a security hazard (which the liquids rule presupposes), the tamper evident bags are not designed to resist dedicated tampering from someone who has left the airport and has any tools they need at their disposal. For example, cutting a slit along a seam and carefully re-sealing with a heat gun.
    – MJeffryes
    Feb 28 at 16:50

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