Mortuary Shipping Services
The passing of a loved one is undeniably one of the most painful experiences in life. As loved ones navigate grief and sorrow, they also have to endure the process of saying goodbye and making funeral preparations, which may include transporting the remains of your dearly departed. It’s a crucial yet delicate process requiring the utmost respect and care.
Mortuary shipping services become essential when transporting a loved one’s remains. Specialists can help with the details of essential documentation and other legal requirements. You can leverage their expertise as they recommend the appropriate shipping options to ensure that your departed loved one is relocated with dignity. In this guide, we’ll explore the mortuary shipping process, including the legal requirements, transport options, and value of cremation shipping services.
What You Should Know About Mortuary Shipping Services
The National Funeral Directors Association has provided guidelines regarding the shipping of remains. There are several steps and factors to consider when arranging to transport cremated or embalmed remains. You must also pay attention to specific laws when crossing state lines or shipping across the country and other parts of the world. Pay attention to these details when making arrangements for mortuary shipping services.
Am I Shipping the Remains Domestically or Internationally?
Shipping the remains of a deceased person domestically and internationally will have varying requirements and policies. Compliance with legal, documentary, and other essentials is vital. For instance, according to the Texas Health and Human Services, a Burial-Transit Permit must be obtained from the Local Registrar if the body is to be removed from the state. However, you need to secure a Disinterment Permit from Vital Statistics, if you need to transport the remains of a deceased person into Texas. The remains should be encased in a rigid container and covered by a shroud or cloth. On the other hand, transporting the remains into the U.S. will require a death certificate, transit permit, embalming or cremation certificate, and flight information. Work with your funeral services provider to secure documentation and other requirements.
What Type of Remains Am I Shipping?
There are different rules and requirements for shipping a body with a casket and ashes with an urn. As mentioned earlier, a death certificate will be required, and local officials will inspect its details, especially the cause of death. If that document isn’t available, the authorities may provide a mortuary certificate.
It is important to note that all remains coming from abroad into the U.S. will be embalmed prior to shipping. This process eliminates the need to quarantine any embalmed remains. Our processes at Community Mortuary and Cremation do not involve any form of quarantine when shipping your loved one’s remains from a foreign country or across state lines.
What Documents and Procedures Are Needed to Ship Remains on an Airplane?
The most common documents needed to ship the remains of a deceased individual include the following:
- Death Certificate: A certified copy of this document is required to establish the cause of death and other details of the deceased. However, it is important to note that it is not enforced domestically within the U.S.
- Transit Permit: This permit is issued by local authorities where the remains will be transported or where the death occurred.
- Certificate of Cremation: If you require cremation shipping services, you need to acquire this certification, which provides the details of the crematory service.
- Embalming Certificate: This document provides the details of the funeral home that performed the embalming, which will help ensure the preservation of the remains while in transit.
If the remains are being transported into the U.S., the State Department has provided a list of documents that will be required:
- Consular Mortuary Certificate: This document is prepared by a consular officer, which helps facilitate customs clearance. Together with the death certificate, which is also required, this document details the cause of death and other pertinent information about the deceased.
- Transit Permit and Affidavit of Foreign Funeral Director: The local funeral director issues an affidavit that attests to the contents and packing materials of the remains being shipped. In addition, local health authorities at the port where the casket will be coming from will issue a transit permit.
- Shipment of Unembalmed Remains: The consular officer where the mortuary shipment will be coming from will notify the U.S. Public Health Service and U.S. Customs in advance regarding the shipment. They will also fax all the necessary documents, such as the affidavit of the foreign funeral director. They will also fax a statement of an examination by foreign authorities that the deceased person didn’t die of any infectious disease.
- U.S. Quarantine and Customs Requirements: If all the documents mentioned earlier have been provided, they will be sufficient to cover all customs and quarantine requirements. If a passenger isn’t accompanying the remains of the deceased individual upon arrival, the airline will be required to issue a bill of lading.
What Is the Known Shipper Program?
Established by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in 2004, the known shipper program is a security initiative that applies to any cargo entering U.S. territory. This program requires all supply chain and cargo teams to undergo a vetting process providing all detailed information, including the shipper’s security procedures, business address, locations, personnel, and other relevant details. This requirement aims to create a barrier against terrorists from using cargo and transport systems for malicious intents and purposes.
Funeral homes must be registered as known shippers with each airline they work with. It is important to note that every airline will have its requirements for registration as a known shipper and will charge a fee for the process.
What Do I Need to Ship Cremated Remains Through the Mail?
It’s important to note that only the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is the only agency currently authorized to provide transport service, locally and internationally, to deliver cremated remains to residences and business addresses. The remains need to be shipped either through the Priority Mail Express International service or Priority Mail Express service, which will require using Label 139 for all cremated remains.
Do I Need Translated Documents If It’s Being Shipped to Another Country?
Many countries will require a death certificate and the other documents mentioned here. However, country-specific requirements will vary, and it is best to consult with the receiving country’s embassy for any documents they will require.
Transporting the remains of your departed loved one deserves respect and care. Our team at Community Mortuary and Cremation has extensive experience processing cremation and mortuary shipping services. We will be happy to assist you during these difficult times.