CATSA Carry-On Liquids Rules Canada - 2024

CATSA (Canadian Air Transport Security Authority) is responsible for security screening at Canadian airports. These are the 2024 rules for flying with liquids and gels in your carry-on baggage, so that you know what can and cannot be brought on board, and how to pack it. Please review this prior to your flight in order to have a smooth trip through airport security.

Please also check the 2024 CATSA Prohibited Items List for information about flying with potentially dangerous items such as electronics, tools, lighters, etc. [AMZ asins='']

If planning on flying with cannabis or cannabis oil, take a look at the Rules for Flying with Marijuana in 2024 page for up-to-date information regarding the legalities of flying with medical and recreational marijuana in Canada and the USA.

Flying through the USA? - TSA Regulations

If flying through the USA, TSA Regulations also apply. Please review the 2024 TSA Carry-On Regulations page for more information.

How to Pack Liquids in Carry On

Containers of liquids, 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.

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.

Types of Liquids, Aerosols and Gels

Here is a list of examples of what is considered a liquid, aerosol, or gel, and is subject to the carry-on restrictions. Some exceptions may apply. Please note that frozen items are still considered liquids, and the same restrictions apply.

    Examples of Liquids
  • Coffee
  • Soft Drinks
  • Juice
  • bottled water
  • maple syrup
  • alcohol
  • shampoo
  • conditioner
  • mouthwash
  • toothpaste
  • perfume
  • cologne
  • liquid soap
  • insect repellent
  • liquid/gel based hand sanitizers
  • creams/lotions
  • hairspray
  • liquid based cosmetics (e.g. mascara, liquid foundation, liquid eyeliner)

  • Examples of Aerosols
  • deodorant
  • hairspray
  • body spray
  • static remover
  • sunscreen spray
  • shaving cream
  • aerosol deodorant
  • aerosol cheese strings

  • Examples of Gels
  • lipgloss
  • hair styling gel
  • jam
  • jelly
  • pudding
  • yogurt
  • gelatin
  • peanut butter
  • chocolate spread
  • cheese spread
  • maple spread
  • shaving gel
  • gel-based deodorant
  • gel-based cosmetics (e.g. gel blush, gel lip products)

Food and Drink

Food is not exempted from restrictions on liquids, foods and personal items

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.

You can bring solid food in both carry-on and checked baggage. Examples of solid food products include meat, bread, fruits, vegetables, sandwiches, chips, cookies, cakes, muffins, granola bars, hard candies, cheese, nuts, crackers, chocolate bars and other similar food items.

Exceptions for Babies and Medicine

CATSA does offer some exemptions from the 100 ml or 100 g (3.4 oz) limit, specifically for medical reasons and baby items. These items do not need to be placed into the 1L plastic bag, and are not limited to the same quantity restrictions, but you must declare these items to the screening officer during the inspection. 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.

Duty-Free Liquids as Carry-On

Since January 31, 2014, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority accepts, subject to screening, duty-free liquids, aerosols and gels purchased from any airline or airport retailer that are properly sealed in official security bags and accompanied by a receipt.

These do not count as part of your carry-on allowance.

Screening officers may open your security bag to screen its contents, then re-seal it after inspection.

You may be asked to surrender your duty-free purchases if:

  • either the bag or the product within does not pass required security screening;
  • the retailer did not use an official security bag;
  • the clerk improperly packaged your purchases at the point of sale or did not include the receipt;
  • you opened the bag yourself after making the purchase and before screening; or
  • more than 48 hours have passed since you made the purchase (official security bags are only valid for two calendar days).

Please note that duty-free liquids, aerosols and gels may be intercepted if you pass through pre-board screening at a connecting airport in another country.

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