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Transportation of Cremated Remains

At Head & Wheble Funeral Directors, we understand that transporting cremated remains is a sensitive and important aspect of funeral arrangements. We want to ensure that families and loved ones have a clear understanding of the options available to them, as well as the regulations regarding the transportation of cremated remains both domestically and internationally.

UK Mainland Deliveries

It is crucial to note that cremated remains are prohibited in standard postage and parcel networks. Attempting to post them can have severe consequences, including disposal or destruction of the ashes.

Transporting cremated remains throughout England, Scotland, and Wales can be achieved without too much hassle. You will typically have the option of a same-day door-to-door service or a delivery via a parcel network service that is connected to the air and road freight industry with coverage across the nation. We can assist you in choosing which option is most suitable for your situation, taking into account the planned destination of the remains.

Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, and Channel Islands

For shipments to Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, and the Channel Islands, a door-to-door road freight service is available. All customs formalities are completed prior to delivery, ensuring a smooth transportation process.


For shipments to European countries, there are two options available. The first option is airfreight to the nearest international airport, where the customs clearance will attract a fee payable by the consignee upon collection. The second option is an accompanied courier service that includes all customs formalities. The consignee is met at the airport or delivery can be arranged to the designated address.

In the EU, as of July 2023, private individuals must now supply a personal Tax ID Number prior to shipping. If delivering to a business in the EU, the company EORI number will be required.

Due to the removal of free border controls post-Brexit, it is important to remember that door-to-door road parcel networks are no longer available for shipments to Europe. All shipments of this nature must be declared to customs in every instance.

Rest of the World

For shipments to countries outside of Europe, the process is similar to European shipments, with the exception that Tax ID and EORI numbers are not required. Delivery is limited to airport-only services, except for Australia and New Zealand where door-to-door deliveries are possible.

Exceptions and Specific Requirements

It is essential to be aware of the specific requirements for certain countries. For example:

  • China now requires original death and cremation certificates, and photocopies are no longer accepted.
  • In Germany, cremated remains can only be received by funeral directors or individuals linked to the funeral industry.
  • India requires a No Objection Certificate (N.O.C.) for all shipments of cremated remains, which can be obtained from the Indian Consulate.
  • Italy has specific regulations for the shipment of cremated remains, including the use of hardwood caskets, wax sealing by the consulate, and agreement on the port of entry.
  • Cultural issues may pose challenges for shipments from Southeast Asian countries such as the Philippines, Thailand, and Taiwan.
  • For shipments to the United States, certain regulations imposed by Homeland Security mean that those in the USA can only receive cremated remains from a funeral home.

Trust Head & Wheble to Handle the Transportation of Cremated Remains with Care

At Head & Wheble Funeral Directors, we are committed to providing a compassionate and professional service, and we aim to guide and support families during these difficult times. If your loved one’s remains should need to be transported elsewhere, our experienced team is available to assist you every step of the way. If you have any questions or require further advice regarding the transportation of cremated remains, please do not hesitate to contact us.