What You Need to Know About Transporting Cremation Ashes

As cremation has increased in popularity, many people have wondered if they need to concern themselves with any rules for the transportation of cremation ashes. Since cremation remains only consist of a few pounds of nontoxic minerals, there aren’t really any actual safety issues. However, it might help to understand a few rules for different ways to transport cremated remains and urns.

Transporting Cremation Ashes

These are some things to learn about different forms of transportation for cremation remains:

Commercial planes: According to the Transportation Security Authority, you are free to take cremated ashes on airplanes. You can even take them aboard the plane in your carry-on luggage. However, the TSA has to be able to X-ray the ashes, so you might need a wood, plastic, or other non-metal urn. For example, some ceramic urns are lined with metal, so you have to be careful. You can ask your urn provider if your permanent urn contains metal, or you might buy a temporary urn for air travel.

U.S. Mail: The U.S.P.S. allows you to mail cremation ashes domestically or internationally. The Post Office does have a few rules about the proper way to pack, label, and document remains for shipment. You can find updated rules on the official website at USPS.com.

Private carriers and couriers: You have to ask different courier services if they will accept cremated remains. Some of the larger U.S. courier services don’t accept this kind of shipment. Very often, you can ship your urn and ashes via a mail carrier. It’s simply best to call them to ask if they will accept your shipment and if they have specific requirements before attempting to ship via a private courier.

Ships at sea: Some people want to carry an urn aboard a ship in order to scatter the ashes at sea. Most cruise ships will allow this as long as the passenger conforms with their rules. For instance, the line may have specific requirements about the kind of urn and ask for the scattering to be coordinated with their guest services. Typically, a scattering has to take place at least 12 miles out to sea and away from certain restricted areas.

Except for these examples, you can mostly just rely upon your common sense in order to transport cremation ashes. For instance, you should always carry them in a durable and leak-proof container. You should also label the container to make sure it can be traced back to you in case it gets separated from you in transit. Typically, it’s also best to take the deceased person’s death certificate with you if you plan to make a long journey with the ashes.

At Boston Cremation, we can help you select an urn for travel and can help you plan your travel in such a way that there are no unexpected issues with how you are transporting a loved one’s ashes. Call us today for more information at 781.322.0909.

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