Repatriation of Ashes
After we've completed a funeral or memorial service the family may wish to take some or all of their loved ones ashes overseas.
Misinformation and uncertainty can make this process more stressful than it needs to be.
The simplest way to repatriate ashes is to take them yourself - most airlines prefer the ashes to be carried in hand luggage and all will require some documentation (usually a certified copy of the Death Certificate and Certificate of Cremation) which can be supplied by your funeral director.
The ashes must be packed in a sealed, secure, leak proof container, preferably protected by bubble wrap or similar.
If you are not able to travel personally with the ashes, your options are :
- Australia Post - the same packing and documentation requirements apply, however not all countries will accept cremated remains into their incoming mail system (for example, the UK, many European countries and some Pacific nations will not accept). Some national postal systems will accept a maximum of 50g (for example) of cremated remains, which is roughly 2% of the total average ash quantity.
- There are a few specialist commercial couriers who handle human ashes, however the cost is high (starting at AUD$1,970 from Sydney to London). The ashes are shipped as commercial freight and a nominated person is needed for collection on arrival to the airport for customs clearance. If door-to-door service is needed, costs start at around AUD$3,600.
- An interesting alternative for repatriation to the UK and Ireland is to use a personal delivery where a funeral director collects the ashes in person and takes them as accompanied carry-on luggage at a far lower cost than a commercial courier. The ashes can then be delivered in person at the other end or can be collected from a UK or Ireland address by a family member at a convenient time. The cost for this starts at just AUD$1,350 and as such is the lowest cost and most secure method of transport available. While there is usually a delay, most families are happy to wait up to 6 months in order that their loved ones ashes are delivered personally, professionally and sympathetically. A return service operates on the same basis from UK/Ireland to Australia.
Have a look through their website, or Contact Us directly to find our more information.