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ETRC hails US duty-free bags

27 August, 2008
Page 11 
The European Travel Retail Council (ETRC) has welcomed last month's decision by the US Transport Security Administration to allow air passengers departing the US for international destinations to use security tamper-evident bags (STEBs) for carrying duty-free liquids.

The move aims to bring US aviation security measures closer to those of the EU and the council believes using the bags on US departing flights should substantially reduce confiscations when passengers transfer at European airports.

However, it could take months for the EU to formally approve the US decision, so it remains unclear whether the use of STEBs will have any immediate effect.

The ETRC plans to lobby the European Commission to quicken the process of security recognition between the EU and the US.

"I am delighted with this move by the TSA," said ETRC chairman Frank O'Connell. "We have been working hard with our colleagues in the US to achieve this for some time.

"Our immediate problem now is to attain recognition of this move by the EU as quickly as possible, and ensure business as normal for EU-bound passengers by the summer."