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Repatriation of a deceased body

Repatriation of a deceased body to another country (other than Wales)

Some countries require a Cadaver Certificate before they will allow the body into the country for burial. The certificate, if issued, confirms that no epidemic of infectious disease occurred in the borough for some three months preceding the death.

The funeral director, making the arrangements on behalf of the relatives, usually handles this formality of obtaining the cadaver certificate. However, anyone can apply.

The funeral directors will also help with anything requested by the coroner and with requirements of the authorities in the overseas country to which the deceased is going. Some of these requirements may apply for burial in another part of the United Kingdom.

The certificate is issued by the Environmental Health Officer for the Council in whose area the person died, or from whence it is to be exhumed prior to reburial elsewhere.

Repatriation of a deceased body from abroad to England and Wales

If a death occurs abroad, the death should be registered according to the local regulations of that country and a Death Certificate should be obtained. To bring a body back to England or Wales you will need either the Death Certificate or an authorisation for the removal of the body from the country of death by someone authorised to do so.

To arrange a funeral in England or Wales you will need:

  • an authenticated translation of a Death Certificate showing the cause of death
  • a Certificate of No Liability to register from the Registrar in whose area it is intended to bury or cremate the deceased
  • to arrange a cremation, a cremation order from the Ministry of Justice or a form E from the coroner will be required. If the death was from natural causes, the Ministry of Justice will require the following documentation:
  1. application for cremation (Form 1)
  2. all original documentation from the country where death occurred
  3. translation of documents, if necessary.

If the death was not natural it will be referred to the coroner who will open an inquest to investigate the cause and circumstance of death. In this case the coroner will issue a Form 6 and a Form E for cremation.