30 APR 2011
• EU executive says liquid ban on flights should continue
• Fears of confusing rules delay partial lifting of ban
BRUSSELS, April 29 (Reuters) - The European Commission advised European Union member states on Friday to defer lifting a ban on carrying liquids on board flights, saying it wanted to avoid potential disruption for passengers.
A ban on taking more than 100 ml of liquids on board flights, in place since 2006, was due to be partially lifted in the EU from Friday, but around half the bloc's 27 member states were not expected to make the change, citing security concerns.
As a result, and to avoid a situation in which some countries lifted the restrictions and others maintained them, causing confusion for millions of air travellers, the EU executive said it was better to defer lifting the ban.
"It is clear that a situation at European airports which leads to confusion for air passengers as to whether they can travel with 'duty-free liquids', in particular for connecting flights to the United States, should be avoided," Siim Kallas, the European commissioner for transport issues, said.
"Therefore, the restrictions on carrying 'duty-free' liquids purchased outside the EU through European airports should remain in place until passengers can travel with certainty."
The ban on liquids on board flights was imposed after British police uncovered a plot to blow up transatlantic airliners bound for North America using bombs made from liquid explosives. Several men were convicted for the plot.
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