Repatriation of bodies from abroad
Information about deaths which occur outside of England and Wales.
Deaths outside England or Wales
If the death occurred abroad, or on a foreign ship or aircraft, you should register the death according to the local regulations of that country and get a Death Certificate. Also register the death with the British Consul so that a record of the death will be kept in England. You will be able to get a copy of the Death Certificate from the consulate later or from the Overseas Registration Service:
Overseas Registration Section
Depending upon the circumstances of the death, or if the information about the death abroad is incomplete, this may have to be reported to a coroner in the same way as if the death occurred in England or Wales.
You can arrange a local burial or cremation. The British Consul in that country can register the death and a record will be kept at the General Register Office. This avoids the expenses of bringing the body back.
Bringing a body back to England or Wales
You may be able to bring the body back to England or Wales. Most funeral directors should be able to advise you on the practicalities of the particular case and the likely cost. There are several firms that specialise in repatriation.
You will need the Death Certificate from the place the person died, or an authorisation for the removal of the body from the country of death from the coroner or relevant authority.
Arranging the funeral in England or Wales
To arrange a funeral in England or Wales you will need:
- An authenticated translation of a foreign Death Certificate, or a Death Certificate issued in Scotland or Northern Ireland. These must show the cause of death.
- A Certificate of No Liability to Register from the registrar in England and Wales, in whose sub-district it is intended to bury or cremate the body. This certificate is not required if a coroner has issued a Certificate E for Cremation or an Order for Burial.
Arranging a cremation
To arrange a cremation in England or Wales, where the death occurred abroad, you will need a cremation order from the Home Office or a form E from the Coroner. Either of these dispenses with the need for forms B and C, or the equivalents in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands.
If the death was from natural causes, the Home Office will issue an order on production of the application for cremation (form A) and original documents (which must clearly state the cause of death) from the country where death occurred. The Home Office may require authorised translations of documents in some foreign languages. You should send the forms to the Home Office:
Constitutional and Community Policy Directorate
50 Queen Anne's Gate
Mark your envelope 'Cremation Urgent'.
If the death is not due to natural causes, it must be the subject of a UK coroner's inquest. In these cases, the coroner will issue form E for cremation on opening the inquest.