Shipping remains is a frequent request by families who plan to fulfill their specific memorial plans somewhere other than the city where the death occurred. Others simply do not want to pick up the remains and prefer to have them sent to their home. Regardless of the reason, there are things to know before shipping remains.
- The U.S. Postal Service is the only major carrier that will ship cremated remains. They will ship anywhere within the United States.
- Shipping remains internationally requires a different process. Cremated remains can be shipped to countries where cremated remains are not otherwise prohibited by the destination country. You can verify this by checking the Individual Country Listing in the Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service,International Mail Manual (IMM).
- Remains must be shipped Priority Express status.
- UPS, FedEx and DHL currently do not handle the transport of cremated remains.
- Most airlines transport cremated remains as air cargo, carry-on or checked luggage but you should check with the individual airline for specific guidelines. Some airlines may require advance notice.
- If taking cremated remains internationally, contact the Embassy of that country for any special requirements.
- A burial transit permit must accompany cremated remains.
Shipping remains on your own
The United States Postal Service has produced an information piece on how you can prepare and ship remains yourself. The document explains how to properly pack and ship materials.