A Sedgefield-based company has received official EU approval allowing its liquid scanner machines to be used in all European airports.
The scanners can tell the difference between water and liquid explosives.
It is thought the development by County Durham company Kromek could mean the end of the liquid ban for passengers at airports.
It is expected the liquid ban could be lifted by 2013 if adequate security measures are in place.
The ban on liquids being taken through airport security in the UK was introduced in August 2006 following a foiled terror plot to bring down planes travelling from the UK to the US, though it has since been relaxed slightly.
Arnab Basu, from Kromek, said the machines would identify explosives or dangerous liquids that could potentially be harmful in an aircraft or airport.
He said: "The bottles and containers are individually put in machines and scanned.
"If there is anything dangerous in them the machine will pick it up and there will be an alarm."
The company will now try to sell scanners to airports across Europe.