MEPs and European Commission clash over airport security rules

27 August, 2008
Page 17 
The European Parliament has voted to scrap the year-old airport security restrictions in the European Union on liquids in hand luggage .

MEPs believe the rules, which have disrupted liquor sales to transfer passengers both within and beyond the E U, "caused substantial inconvenience" to travellers and were not effective in preventing terrorist attacks.

European Commissioner for Transport Jacques Barrot reacted angrily, saying: "Europe must not lower its guard, but on the contrary reinforce its vigilance and maintain the prevention instruments it has adopted."

Liquor suppliers are worried that the problem of liquids confiscated from transfer passengers unaware of the rules is causing long-term damage to duty-free.

"I don't think we will know the impact on consumer confidence to purchase in travel-retail for a while as a large number of the people affected are the less frequent travellers, and next time they travel they are much less likely to purchase," said Ian Williams, Pernod Ricard Travel Retail managing director Europe.