Considerations When Conducting Cremations in a Foreign Country

Today, people can live in different countries whether they work there or visit them as tourists. In Australia, many foreigners live in the country, but citizens still reside abroad permanently or temporarily. If a person dies outside their country, several procedures are necessary to ensure that no one breaks the law.

Cremation is a cost-effective way of handling the remains of the deceased. In addition, you can easily transport these remains across international borders for preservation or disposal in your desired nation. This piece discusses several laws and protocols that impact repatriation, cremation and the disposal of remains across international borders.

Foreign laws

Some countries have strict laws which forbid cremation. If you are an Australian citizen living in such countries, these laws compel you to transport your loved one’s remains home for cremation. Cremation may also be expensive in other countries whose cultures forbid the process. For instance, governments might impose procedural restrictions that make cremation tedious and costly for foreign nationals.

Consult with your funeral director to establish the local cremation laws. This way, you have an idea of the dos and don’ts as you plan a cremation for your loved one. Moreover, you avoid penalties, sanctions and delays that could prevent you from giving your loved one a befitting send-off.

Laws on exportation

If you are a foreigner working in Australia, what happens when you want to transport the ashes of a deceased person to your home country? The country has no restrictions against the transportation of ashes. Still, your container should not have contaminants such as soil. You must also get a clearance from the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment if you have a wooden urn.

In addition, some international flights may have restrictions regarding the transportation of human ashes. Hence, ensure you communicate with the shipping or airline services before buying a ticket. The airline or shipping service can advise whether to keep the ashes with you or include them in the luggage when leaving the country.


You may choose to send the ashes abroad through the postal system. This option is preferable for a person whose family does not want to travel to Australia for the cremation. If you use a cremation service in Australia, the postal system can help you successfully ship the remains to your home country’s postal system. However, what do you do if your postal system does not handle ashes?

Postal systems in some countries do not carry the remains of the deceased, including ashes. If this is the case, you may pick up the ashes at the airport. This option saves you money and is convenient when the postal service in your country does not carry ashes.


Several documents are essential for the repatriation of one’s remains in Australia. First, you need a copy of the death certificate. The funeral director completes a form from the details you provide to register the death successfully. You also require a copy of the cremation certificate. The crematorium or funeral director can provide this document.

These two documents show the personal details of the deceased and the cause of death. You also need a third document declaring the contents of the container. This statutory declaration tells authorities, airlines and shipping services that the contents are the remains of the deceased. You may also confirm whether rules in your home country require documents from the health ministry.

Losing a loved one is devastating, especially if it happens away from home. At Cremations Only, we can assist you with burial procedures and advise you on the best way to handle the remains of a loved one across international borders. Our team guarantees convenience and costs-savings as you cremate your loved one in Australia.