Moving a body

Moving a body out of England or Wales

Only the coroner can give permission for a body to be moved out of England or Wales. You'll need to get this permission at least four days before the body is to be moved (although sometimes permission may be given sooner).

This applies in all cases where a body is to be moved out of England or Wales, not just where a death was reported to the coroner.

Document you'll get

You'll be given a removal notice (white form 103), part of which is sent to the registrar after the funeral. You must get permission if the funeral is to take place outside England or Wales.

Bringing a body home

To bring the body home you must:

  • get a certified English translation of the death certificate
  • get permission to remove the body by a coroner (or equivalent) in the country where the person died
  • tell a coroner in England if the death was violent or unnatural

Once the body is home you need to take the death certificate to the register office in the area where the funeral is taking place.

As the death has already been registered abroad, the registrar will give you a 'certificate of no liability to register' which you need to give to the funeral director so the funeral can go ahead.

If you're arranging the funeral you need to give the certificate back to the registrar after the funeral has taken place (within 96 hours).

Bringing ashes home

If you're bringing human ashes home you'll need to show:

  • the death certificate
  • the certificate of cremation

Each country has its own rules about departing with human ashes and there may be additional requirements.

You'll need to fill in a standard customs form when you arrive home and you should check with your airline about travelling with human ashes.

If you want the coroner to hold an inquest into a death, you shouldn't have a person cremated abroad.