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Transportation of a human body

The most preferred way to transport a deceased human body to another state or country is by air. Airlines have their own regulations about shipping human remains. Usually it is required that the body be embalmed and contained in an approved container (or “air tray”). 

For domestic air transportation, the paperwork is fairly straightforward: a burial transit permit and a flight itenirary. You will need to choose a receiving funeral home, and the shipping will be coordinated with them. You will need to contact the receiving funeral home to arrange for the services you expect from them. We can help you with all of this.

For international shipping, the process is more complicated. Each country has its own regulations on receiving human remains. Some additional requirements may be an embalming report, passport for the deceased, and a letter from the doctor stating that the deceased did not die from, or have as a complicating factor, a communicable disease (in addition to the death certificate document). Some countries require that the remains be contained in a sealed casket in addition to the air tray.

Almost every country has a consulate here in the United States. We will help you coordinate with the consulate regarding their country's requirements. 

Transportation of Cremated Human Remains

For domestic transportation, whether you transport by land or air, you will need to have the basic paperwork on hand: burial transit permit and a cremation certificate. In some cases, you may need the certified death certificate. Most major air carriers have no restrictions for carrying (or checking) cremated remains on the planes, other than passing the security checks. For this reason, it is recommended that you use the temporary plastic urn for transportation instead of an ornate or decorative urn. The plastic urn will usually pass the security check with no problems.

We can help you coordinate with a funeral home at your destination, but for cremated remains, the involvement of a funeral home is not required if the final disposition of your loved one will not involve the services of a funeral director.

For international transportation of cremated remains, it is always wise to check with the country's consulate to determine current regulations regarding bringing cremated remains into the country. Typically, the same basic documentation will be required.

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