Repatriation of the Deceased
You can arrange a local burial or cremation in the country where the death occurred, you may wish to repatriate the body back to the UK for cremation or burial, or if someone dies here while away from home you may wish to move the body abroad to be buried or cremated.
How can I hold a funeral abroad?
You can arrange a local burial or cremation in the country where the death occurred should you wish.
The British Consul there can register the death and record it at the Register Office.
In the case of a cremation, the cremated remains can be repatriated to the UK following the cremation service.
How do I move the deceased into England or Wales?
You may wish to repatriate the body back to the UK for cremation or burial.
Most Funeral Directors should be able to give advice on how to do this and there are several firms that specialise in this.
Where the deceased had a valid travel insurance policy, repatriation and its costs may be arranged and met by the Insurers if specified in the cover document.
You will need the death certificate from the place where the person died, and an authorisation for the removal of the body from the country of death from the coroner or relevant authority.
Once the body has been repatriated you will need the following:
- An authenticated translation of a foreign death certificate, or a death certificate issued in Scotland or Northern Ireland. These must show the cause of death;
- A certificate of no liability to register from the registrar in England and Wales in whose sub-district it is intended to bury or cremate the body. This certificate is not required if a coroner has issued a certificate for cremation (form E) or an order for burial.
To arrange the cremation in England and Wales of a person where the death occurred abroad (outside England and Wales) you will need a cremation order from the Home Office or a certificate of cremation (form E) from the coroner.
Either of these dispenses with the need for the two doctors' certificates for cremation (forms B and C).
If the deaths occurred in Scotland, Northern Ireland or the Channel Islands the local equivalents of forms B and C may be acceptable.
If the death was from natural causes, the Home Office will issue an order on production of the application for cremation form (form A) and original documents (which must clearly state the cause of death) from the country where death occurred.
The Home Office may require authorised translations of documents in some foreign languages.
How do I move the deceased out of England or Wales?
If someone dies away from home, or away from the place in which they wish to be buried or cremated, or where the funeral will be held, the body will have to be moved.
There are special regulations concerning moving a body over the borders between England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands or abroad.
Only a coroner is authorised to permit the body to be moved out of England or Wales.
Notice to the coroner should be given at least 4 working days before the body is to be moved so that any necessary enquiries can be made.
Afterwards you will be given a removal notice (form 104), part of which is sent to the Registrar of Births Deaths & Marriages.
This procedure applies to all cases where the body is to be moved out of England and Wales, not just when the death was reported to the coroner.
Some countries require a Cadaver Certificate before they will allow a body into the country for burial. If issued, the certificate confirms that in the borough where the death occurred there was no epidemic of an infectious disease for three months preceding the death.
However, Lambeth Council’s Environmental Health unit does not issue cadaver certificates.
The unit issues a 'Free From Infection' certificate. This certificate confirms that the area where the coffin of the deceased was sealed was free from infection. Some countries may require this certificate.
To request the issuing of a ‘Free from Infection’ certificate, please contact the Customer Services & Statutory Funerals Manager. This officer will need to be present when the coffin is sealed. Please note that there is a fee for this service.
For further information please contact:
Customer Services & Statutory Funerals Manager
Environment and Culture
26 Wanless Road
London SE24 0HW
Tel: 020 7926 8864
Fax: 020 7926 8919