The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has issued a statement regarding the ban on the carriage of larger electronics onboard flights to the US and the UK originating in some Middle Eastern and North African countries.

ICAO also addresses questions raised on the repercussions of transporting electronic devices powered by lithium-ion batteries in checked luggage.

ICAO’s statement in full follows:

Montréal, 22 March 2017 – A number of ICAO Member States have begun to set out new restrictions on electronic items which can be carried on board passenger flights originating from other States.

The international aviation security requirements in this area are contained primarily in Annex 17 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention), which stipulates that passengers and all their baggage must be screened.

In line with States’ responsibility to keep the level of threat to civil aviation under constant review, and to adjust relevant aviation security provisions accordingly, ICAO is constantly assessing threat and risk, and adjusting Annex 17 to address new and emerging threats.

Additional Reference: ICAO Security and Facilitation

Additional and related aviation safety concerns have also been identified through ICAO’s work on the carriage of dangerous goods. In this regard, ICAO will continue to work with the relevant safety and security authorities on the carriage of dangerous goods, including electronic devices containing lithium batteries in checked baggage, to support a safe, efficient and secure air transport system.

Additional Reference: ICAO Dangerous Goods

Finding an effective balance between safety and security approaches is always a priority in global aviation. While ICAO supports global standards to ensuring the facilitation of international mobility and connectivity, the extent to which the facilitation aspect is optimized is at the discretion of sovereign ICAO Member States. ICAO and its Member States will continue to review the evolving aviation security environment in the coming weeks.

A specialized agency of the United Nations, ICAO was created in 1944 to promote the safe and orderly development of international civil aviation throughout the world. It sets standards and regulations necessary for aviation safety, security, efficiency, capacity and environmental protection, amongst many other priorities. The Organization serves as the forum for cooperation in all fields of civil aviation among its 191 Member States.

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