As opposed to scattering a loved one’s ashes in the UK, some people wish to scatter the ashes in a sentimental location which may be overseas. Taking ashes abroad is entirely possible, as long as a few precautions are considered ahead of time. Certain countries have very particular guidelines on the scattering of ashes, so be sure to do your research.
Taking ashes abroad to scatter
To travel with the ashes of a loved one, you will be required to have the death certificate and the certificate of cremation. It is also wise to have proof of your relationship with the deceased, as well as a document from your funeral director or the crematorium explaining that the urn contains the ashes of the person who has passed.
Guidelines to consider
The advice you’ll receive on scattering ashes abroad will vary depending on where you are going and the mode of transport. After you have gathered the relevant paperwork, the next step is to get in touch with your airline and ask about their regulations.
In most cases, the airline will advise the following:
- Arrive early at the airport to avoid any delays at airport security
- The ashes should be kept in a non-metal container and will be x-rayed at the airport
- You will be able to take the ashes on the plane as hand luggage
- You may be required to declare the ashes at Customs (with the required paperwork)
- The final step is to make contact with the British consulate, embassy or high commission of the location you are flying to. It is important to ask what their regulations and requirements entail, as all countries will vary.
What sort of container should be used?
When you’re transporting the ashes of a loved one from one country to another, the safe carriage of the ashes is paramount. However, it is not unlikely that you will be searched at customs, particularly if you have protected the ashes using multiple containers.
To avoid any such mishaps, consider the following:
- Ensure the container is secure and tightly sealed
- Don’t store the ashes in a metal, stone or ceramic container
- Consider layering a few containers using bubble wrap or a plastic bag as a safety precaution
- Label the container clearly with your name, address and contact details
Transporting ashes abroad unaccompanied
Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to post ashes abroad as you normally would a package. To ensure the ashes of a loved one are transported safely, use a courier that specialises in repatriation.
For more information or if we can offer further help and advice, call Your Funeral Choice on 01983 754387.