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Prohibited items

The Aviation Transport Security (Prohibited Items) Instrument 2012 provides descriptions of classes of items and examples of those items that are considered to be prohibited items and cannot be taken on board an aircraft as carry-on baggage.  Examples are as follows:

Sporting goods, kitchen utensils, tools, and other things with sharp edges or points capable of injuring a person:

  • Crampons
  • Knives (including leatherworkers’ knives)
  • Ice axes and ice picks
  • Rockclimbing equipment such as pitons, hooks, hammers and bolts
  • Ice skates
  • Meatcleavers
  • Axes, hatchets and similar things
  • Metal cutlery
  • Open razors (also called straight razors)
  • Scalpels
  • Ski poles
  • Darts
  • Drills
  • Boxcutters
  • Utility knives
  • Saws
  • Screwdrivers, crowbars, hammers, pliers and wrenches

Sharp things that are not weapons, but are capable (with or without modification) of causing harm by penetration, such as:

  • Letter openers
  • Bodkins
  • Pointed metal scissors
  • Razor blades
  • Hypodermic needles (whether or not attached to syringes)

Blunt objects that can be used to bludgeon or threaten to bludgeon someone, such as:

  • Baseball, softball, and cricket bats and similar items
  • Hockey and lacrosse sticks and similar items
  • Billiard, pool or snooker cues
  • Golf clubs
  • Any other piece of wood, metal or any other substance big enough to threaten someone

Household flammable goods like:

  • Aerosol containers, including cans of spray paint
  • Petrol and any other flammable liquid
  • Fireworks
  • Toy caps

Items capable of being used to restrain someone, such as:

  • Cable ties
  • Handcuffs

The following items may be taken on board in your carry-on bags at the discretion of the security screening officer at the airport:

  • A fork if the tines have square or round ends; and the handle has a round end and is not detachable
  • Allen keys (under 6cm)
  • Plastic cutlery knives
  • Safety razors
  • A pair of blunt ended or round ended scissors with blades less than 6cm long.
  • Walking sticks, crutches and other mobility aids
  • A hypodermic needle if the person carrying it shows proof that it is medically necessary for their own use or for another person in their care
  • Umbrella with metal points
  • Knitting needles
  • Crochet needles
  • Pointed metal nail files
  • Racquets used in squash, tennis, badminton.

There are some exemptions from the prohibited items restrictions.

Each airline operates under its own Conditions of Carriage, which may indicate what you cannot take onboard or pack in your checked baggage. You should check with your airline if you are unsure whether you can take a particular item onboard.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority also has a list of dangerous goods that are not permitted onboard an aircraft.

What happens to surrendered goods?

Airports and airlines are under no obligation to hold any surrendered items. It is better to check with your airline whether an item can be taken onboard before you get to the airport.


Last Updated: 16 March, 2016