You can make your security screening experience quicker and easier by packing your liquids, non-solid food, personal and toiletry items properly. At the airport, these items are referred to as “liquids, aerosols and gels.”
Below you will find information on various items that fall into these categories, a list of items that are exempted from restrictions, and tips on how to pack all of them.
Examples of Liquids, Non-solid Food and Personal Items that are Liquids, Aerosols and Gels:
- soft drinks
- bottled water
- maple syrup
- liquid soap
- insect repellent
- liquid/gel based hand sanitizers
- liquid based cosmetics (e.g. mascara, liquid foundation, liquid eyeliner)
- body spray
- static remover
- sunscreen spray
- shaving cream
- aerosol deodorant
- aerosol cheese strings
- hair styling gel
- mashed potatoes
- peanut butter
- chocolate spread
- cheese spread
- maple spread
- shaving gel
- gel-based deodorant
- gel-based cosmetics (e.g. gel blush, gel lip products)
Please note that if an item that is illegal in Canada (e.g. pepper spray) is found at a screening checkpoint, CATSA is required to notify the police.
How to Pack your Liquids, Non-Solid Food and Personal Items
- Containers of liquids, non-solid food and personal items in your carry-on must be 100 ml/100 g (3.4 oz) or less. All containers must fit in one clear, resealable plastic bag no more than 1L in capacity. The bag must be transparent so screening officers can easily see the contents.
- Each passenger is allowed a single 1 L bag containing liquids, food and personal items. The approximate dimensions of a 1L bag are 15.24 cm by 22.86 cm (6 in. by 9 in.) or 20 cm by 17.5 cm (8 in. by 7 in.).
- At the screening point, take your plastic bag out of your carry-on and place it in a bin.
- Any containers over 100 ml/100 g (3.4 oz) can be placed in your checked baggage as long as they are not prohibited items.
- Avoid packing gifts and souvenirs containing liquids, aerosols and gels in your carry-on. These include: liquor, wine, beer, snowglobes, cans of condensed soup, maple syrup, perfume, and lotion. Put them in checked baggage or ship them separately.
- Beverages: Drink or discard any beverages in containers of more than 100 ml before you get to security screening checkpoint. This includes water in your personal water bottle. You can refill your container once you pass through security.
- Duty-Free Alcohol: Be sure you know the rules for bringing duty-free alcohol as part of your carry-on baggage.
- Food is not exempted from restrictions on liquids:
- Non-solid food (e.g. yogurt, pudding, peanut butter, jam) in your carry-on must be in containers of 100 ml or less. All containers must fit in the same clear, closed, resealable 1 L plastic bag, along with all other containers of liquids, food or personal items you are carrying.
- Food over 100 ml that is normally a liquid or gel but has been frozen solid will not be allowed to pass through security in your carry-on. In order for a food to be considered a solid, it must be solid at room temperature.
- Solid food with less than 100 ml of liquid: Canned or jarred goods containing both solids and liquid that clearly contain less than 100 ml of liquid (e.g., can of tuna) are allowed. These items must fit in the same clear, closed, resealable 1 L plastic bag with all other containers of liquids, food or personal items you are carrying.
- Food in checked baggage: Both solid food and non-solid (over 100 ml) can go in your checked baggage; however, some restrictions may apply.
You can pack alcoholic beverages (including homemade wine and beer, and commercial products) in your checked baggage if:
- The percentage of alcohol by volume is 70% (140 proof) or less.
- The quantity does not exceed five litres per person for alcoholic beverages between 24% and 70% alcohol by volume.
Alcoholic beverages containing 24% alcohol or less are not subject to limitations on quantities.
Duty-free alcohol: See Duty-Free Purchases.
Personal items are allowed in carry-on baggage if they comply with the liquid restrictions. Some restrictions also apply to personal items in checked baggage.
The following items are allowed in limited quantities in your checked baggage:
- Insect repellent (limit of one aerosol canister per person)
- Aerosol items that are toiletry articles (e.g. hair spray, perfumes, cologne, aerosol deodorant)
Aerosols are subject to a maximum limit of 500 ml/500 g per container, with a total net quantity not exceeding 2 L/2 kg. Release valves on aerosols must be protected by a cap or other suitable means to prevent inadvertent release of the contents.
Some items are exempted from the 100 ml or 100 g (3.4 oz) limit and do not have to be placed in a plastic bag. However, you must declare these items to the screening officer for inspection. The exceptions are:
- Baby food/drink: If you are travelling with an infant younger than two years of age (0-24 months), baby food, milk, formula, water and juice are allowed.
- Breast milk: Passengers flying with or without their child can bring breast milk in quantities greater than 100 ml
- Prescription medicines are allowed.
- Essential non-prescription medicines, such as homeopathic products, pain relieving medication, cough syrup, decongestant spray, gel-based nutritional supplements, saline solution or eye care products, are allowed.
- Gel and ice packs are allowed, if they are needed to treat an injury, to refrigerate baby food, milk, breast milk, formula, water and juice for infants younger than two years of age (0-24 months), or to preserve medically necessary items or medication
- Liquids/gels for diabetes: Juice or gels are allowed if you need them for diabetic or other medical conditions.
- Distilled water for CPAP devices: The distilled water needed to operate Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices is exempt from liquid restrictions.
Documentation to support your medical needs or condition is not required; however, if you feel that it would help ease your screening, it should be presented to the screening officer along with your medically necessary items.