Repatriation of bodies

When someone dies abroad or in England, Wales or Northern Ireland you can bring the body back to Scotland once you have received the certificate of death and an authorisation for the removal of the body from the country of death from the appropriate authorities.

You can then arrange a funeral in Scotland. For this you will need either an authenticated translation of a foreign death certificate or a death certificate issued in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, depending on the country of death.

You can however, if you wish, arrange a local burial or cremation to avoid the expense of bringing the body back to Scotland.

Repatriation of bodies outwith Scotland

Every country has its own regulations and it is always worth checking with the Embassy or Consulate first

The following documents are commonly required:

  • Copy of the Death Certificate Registrar
  • Certificate of Registration of Death, Form 14 Registrar
  • Embalming Certificate Funeral Director
  • Free from Infectious Diseases Certificate Attending Doctors
  • Furth of Scotland Certificate for Fiscal cases Procurator Fiscal
  • Declaration as to Coffin Contents Funeral Director
  • Air Waybill Documents, Flight Detail Summary Cargo Handling Agents
  • Customs Clearance H M Custom

The following documents may be required in addition:

  • Faxed confirmation from receiving funeral directors
  • Environmental Health Officer's declaration that the coffin is zinc lined and has been hermetically sealed and will not create a public health nuisance during transit and arrival.
  • A declaration from the Local Environmental Health Department that there is no epidemic of infectious disease in the area of death.
  • The deceased's passport or authenticated copy or laissez-passer document.
  • Consular sealing documents and receipts.
  • Cremation forms B & C can also be useful.

If someone dies in Scotland, the death must be registered in Scotland, this can be in any Registration office in Scotland. Please note that it is illegal for the body to be buried or cremated without certain specified documents being issued.