Currently, Australia has tough restrictions on liquids for both departing and arriving flights. These mean that for a flight to Australia, you will be re-screened before boarding the plane, with liquid restrictions in force again at this point.

As we saw with an earlier question on Kuala Lumpur airport, this is that you can't buy duty free in Europe and take it with you to Australia on a "direct" flight, as you won't be allowed to take it with you through security when boarding the 2nd part of the flight. (Your only option would be to only check your bags as far as the change of planes, then collect your bag, clear customs and immigration, put the duty free in your suitcase and re-check. This'll only be possible on a long layover, and is impossible on the usual 1-2 hour stop on most "direct" Europe to Australia flights)

At some airports with direct flights to Australia, it's possible to purchase duty free at the airport, and have it delivered in a secure way for collection at the gate. (This is different to many airports, where they put your duty free in a bag at the till and give it to you, and may be something they only do for Australia flights). At other airports, they don't offer this, so you're unable to buy any duty free liquids before boarding, and have to buy them (at normally much higher prices) on arrival in Australia.

What's the situation at Hong Kong International Airport - can you buy duty free liquids for delivery to the gate, or are Australian-bound passengers unable to buy?

  • 1
    I presume you're asking about duty-free alcohol here? If yes, uncovery's already answered that, but for completeness: duty-free cigarette allowance is 50 cigs/grams (=two packs), and a A$900/person limit on other goods (although this is not really enforced). Dec 12, 2013 at 20:20

2 Answers 2


While I never tried to bring alcohol to Australia from Hong Kong personally, there are plenty of reports saying it's not possible. I have never seen the required duty-free sealed packages in Hong Kong on the airport.

Both this report from 2012 and this one here from last year say that it's impossible. Also this here from August this year confirms that.

I know that when going to Australia, they will check your carry-on manually 100% in the hallway between the boarding gate and the airplane.

Like so many things in Hong Kong, duty-free is targeted at mainland Chinese tourists who make up the bulk of spending tourists in the city. Since they do not require such services, it is unlikely that they will be implemented for Australians.

  • More reports of it not being possible from 2011 and 2012.
    – dlanod
    Dec 12, 2013 at 21:30
  • I can confirm that it wasn't possible to buy duty free alcohol yesterday either :( They were very apologetic in the duty free shop, but very clear that it wasn't possible going to Australia. There was a fairly half-hearted bag check between the gate and the plane checking for liquids as in the answer
    – Gagravarr
    Dec 12, 2013 at 23:58

As I just found out to my dismay at the airport, Australia-bound passengers are unable to buy, although there doesn't seem to be any liquids/security re-screening at the gate. The duty free cashiers told me I would have to buy on arrival. I have just looked up the price and it seems to be 30% higher at Melbourne airport duty free. Feel like I've been scammed.

  • 1
    Couldn't you ask another passenger to buy it for you?
    – JonathanReez
    Apr 1, 2014 at 15:11

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