APTRA proactively addressing “ongoing and protracted” LAGs issue at Changi

By Luke Barras-hill |

APTRA President Sunil Tuli.

The Asia Pacific Travel Retail Association (APTRA) says it continues to consult with regional DF&TR stakeholders to explore ‘viable options’ to protect the industry from the detrimental effect of a LAGs rule change at Singapore Changi Airport.

Passengers transiting* through the Asia Pacific hub on route to EU destinations are prohibited from carrying LAGS over 100ml in their hand luggage.

This stems from a One-Stop Security (OSS) agreement between the EU Commission and Singapore in 2018, which is intended to streamline processes for transferring passengers when they first arrive in the EU prior to onward travel to another EU destination (removing the need for a second round of security checks).

While the agreement was made in 2018, it was delayed due to the pandemic and implemented in November last year.

“Adverse commercial impact”

Since then, APTRA has been liaising with retailers, suppliers and airports in Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan and Singapore and with government representatives.

In addition, the association has held in-person meetings with senior officials from the Singapore Ministry of Transport and the security executive at Changi Airport Group.

Sunil Tuli, President of APTRA & Group CEO King Power Group (Hong Kong) updated: “Security is absolutely the top priority in aviation and APTRA fully supports that imperative. However, the repercussions of this new procedure have created an adverse commercial impact on retailers and airports in the main countries of origin that hub through Changi to Europe, notably Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan.

“As the industry’s regional trade association it is important for APTRA to take the lead in gaining a better understanding of the security protocol, gather facts on the ramifications for retailers and suppliers and to proactively seek solutions.

EU-bound passengers transiting through Singapore Changi Airport are no longer able to carry LAGs over 100ml, including those purchased at their originating airport, following the delayed implementation in November of the OSS arrangement on security screening, originally agreed by Singapore and the EU in 2018. Source: Shutterstock.

“Given the obvious sensitivity around aviation security, we are unable to share more specific details of conversations relating to operational security measures. This is a protracted and ongoing issue, and our ultimate objective is to explore viable options to alleviate the commercial pain without compromising the security objectives of the OSS.”

At last month’s TFWA Asia Pacific Exhibition & Conference in Singapore, APTRA and members of the Duty Free World Council held constructive discussions with senior security representatives from Changi Airport to explain the concerns of travel retail operators and suppliers and to understand the requirements that Changi is having to work to under the OSS arrangement.

APTRA adds that its immediate priorities are to ‘investigate and scope out, with relevant stakeholders, the feasibility of solutions such as location-identifiable STEBs’.

Click here to read APTRA’s assessment of Asia Pacific travel retail’s growth prospects.

*EU-bound passengers beginning their journey at Changi Airport are unaffected by the rules.

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