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Deaths - repatriation to England and Wales

Information about arranging for the burial or cremation of a person who died outside England and Wales, e.g. on a foreign ship or aircraft, in Scotland, Northern Ireland or other part of the UK or abroad.

The death must be registered according to the regulations of the relevant country. A certificate must be obtained from that country, showing the cause of death. Please note a Certificate of Registration of Death issued in Scotland does not give the cause of death.

Before returning the body to England or Wales, you will need the permission of the coroner or other responsible public official, in the country where the death occurred to remove the body.

In all cases after the body is returned to England or Wales, if the cause of death is unknown or if it was a sudden, violent or unnatural death, it will be referred to the coroner.

To arrange a burial in England or Wales

You will need a 'certificate of no liability to register' issued by the registrar in whose area it is intended to bury the body. The registrar will need a death certificate showing the cause of death issued in the country where the death occurred. If any documents are not in English, you will need an authenticated translation.

To arrange a cremation in England or Wales

If the death was in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Channel Islands or Isle of Man, the registrar in whose area it is intended to cremate the body may issue the "certificate of no liability". The registrar will need a death certificate showing the cause of death issued in the country where the death occurred.

To arrange a cremation if the death occurred elsewhere other than in part of the British Isles, the matter will be referred to the coroner. If any documents are not in English, you will need an authenticated translation. After the coroner has completed the necessary investigations, they can issue a Form 6 which the crematorium will need to allow the cremation to proceed.

However, you may also need to obtain one or more additional documents before the cremation can take place. You should ask the crematorium staff or your funeral director (if you are using one) for an application form to complete and details about other documents which have to be obtained.

Further advice and assistance

For further advice and assistance, see the GOV.UK - what to do after someone dies web page.

This page was last updated on 13 October 2016