Taking bodies out of England and Wales (repatriation)

Anyone wanting to move a body out of England and Wales (including to Scotland) must have authority from a Coroner.  This will normally be the Coroner for the jurisdiction where the person died.  This applies even if the death was completely natural and did not need to be reported to the Coroner before registration.

If you wish to repatriate your relative's body, your funeral director will make the arrangements for you.  They will need to contact the office using the attached request form and, unless an inquest has been opened, provide a copy of the death certificate.  This means you must register the death before you can arrange repatriation.

The regulations which cover repatriation require 5 days notice be given to the coroner.

Once the request is made, it can take up to one working day to obtain the signed authority from the Coroner.  This is in addition to any time needed for post mortem examination, identification, etc, if this applies to your relative.  Therefore it can take up to 5 working days to be able to release a body that is being transported out of England or Wales.  Funeral directors should not book repatriation flights until they have the signed authority in hand.  We unfortunately cannot take responsibility for missed flights that were booked against our advice.

You do not need authority from the Coroner to repatriate cremation ashes.  If you intend to transport them by air, contact your airline for advice about their particular arrangements.