Can Airport Scanners Detect Seeds?

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There are some occasions when you are on holiday and come across a beautiful flower or fruit you would enjoy having in your garden. But before you pack the seeds into your luggage, you need to know if they will pass the detection of airport scanners.

Airport scanners can detect seeds in your luggage or on your person. Due to the organic nature of seeds, they appear orange on airport scanners. Customs security will ask passengers to unpack their bags because the seeds are organic. However, the x-rays are not powerful enough to cause damage to the seeds.

Can Airport Scanners Detect Seeds?

No matter the fundamental reason, travelers will be pleased to know they can carry seeds on the plane. There are, however, specific criteria passengers need to be aware of when carrying seeds on a plane. And passengers also need to be aware that airport scanners can detect seeds either when they are in your luggage or on your person.

There are three types of scanners passengers go through at every airport. The full-body scanner, the backscatter x-ray scanner, and the baggage scanner. All these scanners can detect whether passengers carry seeds on their person or in their luggage.

The airport scanners cannot detect any specific seed type. They are only able to detect organic substances, which the seeds are. Over the scanners, the seeds appear as an orange image. Orange signifies any organic material like food, paper, or cannabis.

Inorganic substances appear as green images, indicating medium non-organic materials like plastic bottles. And metal or hard plastics appear as blue images. The scanners do not produce detailed images of the objects in the luggage. They merely send an outline highlighted in orange, blue, or green.

When airport security is unsure of the contents, they may request passengers to unlock their bags. And if they are suspicious about the contents, they test the seeds. At this point, the seeds are considered illegal until further inspection and testing are conducted.

When the security is still unsure about the seeds, as seen on the scanners, they call in the sniffer dogs. The dogs are trained to sniff out most illegal substances.

When traveling from any country into the United States or passing through any international airport, passengers require a phytosanitary certificate that proves the seeds are safe from pests and diseases. Travelers should declare any seeds they may be carrying with them. By declaring the seeds, they avoid unnecessary delays with airport security.

Do Airport Scanners Affect The Growth Of Seeds?

The x-rays on airport scanners are not strong enough to affect the growth of the seeds. The seeds are also exposed to the x-rays for a very short period, but they remain unaffected by the x-rays.

Reliable sources confirm that the scanners emit microwaves 10,000 times less than those from your mobile phone.

Therefore, passengers can be assured their seeds will germinate when they are planted. When they return home from their holiday, those concerned about their seeds sprouting can wrap the seeds in aluminum foil.

The scanners will detect the seeds, and passengers may need to unpack their luggage for security to inspect, but the aluminum foil provides an added level of protection for the seeds.

Passengers are also cautioned against carrying seeds contained in a liquid. The TSA and IATA restrict travelers from carrying more than 3.4 ounces (100ml) of liquid on domestic and international flights.

Passengers must ensure they carry only dried seeds. They should also retain the original packaging.

Can Airport Scanners Detect Cannabis Seeds?

The airport scanners can only detect organic material. They are not equipped to tell the difference between seeds. Therefore, the scanners cannot tell whether passengers are carrying cannabis or other types of seeds.

Cannabis is available as dried flowers or seeds. Over the scanners, they appear as orange images. And this is enough to alert the suspicious nature of airport security. They would then conduct further testing on the seeds before concluding they are narcotics.

Sniffer dogs are handy and well-trained to detect most types of narcotics, even when they are in seed form. In its dried form, cannabis emits an aroma that sniffer dogs are trained to detect.

Can Airport Scanners Detect Seeds On Your Person?

Body scanners at airports work by creating images via Advanced Image Technology (AIT). It works by sending millimeter microwaves around the human body, which appear as images on the screens.

The microwaves are powerful enough to pass through multiple layers of clothing. But they are not harmful to the human body in any way.

The image portrayed is the outline of the human body. The screen does not show gender, weight, or height. So, passengers are assured of their right to privacy.

The scanners send an all-clear or green signal when the passenger has no suspicious objects on themselves. But when the scanner detects metal or organic objects, it sends a stop or red signal. The security officers will conduct a further inspection, and in some cases, a full-body pat down is necessary.

If you have seeds on your person, the full body scanners can detect them. If a person has seeds in their pockets, the scanners send a signal around that area. And whether it is in your side or back pockets, the scanners can detect them.

Can Baggage Scanners Detect Seeds?

When your bags pass through the baggage scanner, they can detect metal, plastic and organic materials. The baggage scanner works by emitting a low-frequency x-ray that moves across the surface of your bags.

The scanners pass over the bags and send images to the screens. The security officers rely on their training and experience to determine the density of the objects in the bags. If their suspicions have peaked, they may request to search your bags.

The scanners can detect the seeds even when packaged in aluminum foil. But the seeds will show up on the scanner as organic substances.

Most travelers don’t have trouble carrying seeds through the airport scanners. Airport security is alerted when more than the required quantity of seeds is carried or when the seeds are not permitted into the country.

Travelers need to acquaint themselves with the seeds that are banned from certain countries or states ahead of traveling.

Is It Safe To Carry Seeds On A Plane?

All airlines, both domestic and international flights, permit travelers to carry dried seeds. Passengers are permitted to carry approximately 50 bags of seeds on a plane. More than that quantity is perceived as export and would follow a different set of regulations.

Passengers need to know they require a phytosanitary certificate and sometimes a Small Lot Of Seeds (SLOS) certificate when traveling with seeds. All seeds carried through the security must be declared. And only planting seeds are permitted.

Passengers should keep their seeds in their original packaging to facilitate the screening process, or keep them in plastic re-sealable containers.

When passengers carry seeds like cumin, coriander, or fennel, there may be some contention on whether they fall under the category of seeds or spices. It is, therefore, best to verify this before setting off on your journey.