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Body Repatriation From UK
Written by DFCP News | BBC
Friday 22 July 2016 11:36

When two women were arrested at Liverpool John Lennon Airport accused of trying to check the body of a relative on to a plane it made international news. The two Gitta Jarant and Anke Anusic, allegedly arrived at check-in with the body of Curt Willi Jarant for a flight to Berlin at Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

The women - his widow and step-daughter - said they thought the 91-year-old, who was wearing sunglasses and was in a wheelchair, was asleep, but the pair were arrested on suspicion of failing to give notification of a death.

The plan was most likely motivated by lack of funds to properly repatriate their loved one. is particularly handy in that it’s a funeral insurance which pays out US$ cash/equivalent immediately of proof of death.

But what is the proper procedure if the unthinkable happens and the body of a loved one needs to be transported from the UK?

In terms of finances, the family would need cash to cover expenses like body repatriation, family travel, burial costs on arrival not to mention other expenses like church service, flowers, food etc.

Once the person is confirmed dead the first key stage is to get a death certificate.

This also fulfils the need for the death to be registered in the country where the person passed away, which is a legal requirement.

Armed with the deceased proof of ID/passport and death certificate one can engage a funeral director who specialises in body repatriation.

The funeral director will liaise with the coroner to gather the relevant documents needed to arrange body repatriation which are:

1.     A "free from infection" certificate
2.     An embalming certificate
3.     An "out of" certificate [or fiscal certificate in Scotland]

In some cases, consular staff representing the country that the body is being sent to may arrange to inspect the coffin and seal it. However, such arrangements would be made through the funeral director.

Although the body can be clothed, under no circumstances should the bereaved place other items - such as some of their loved one's belongings - in the coffin/casket.

Under regulations imposed by the International Air Transport Association, coffins being used for repatriation must be lined with zinc to create a hermetic seal. If the deceased is bing repatriated in a casket it also needs to be lined with zinc.

Zinc is used because it doesn't prevent checks by X-ray machines, which are a necessary part of airline security.

In the case of people who have been cremated, the urn containing ashes must be hermetically sealed but it doesn't have to be zinc-lined.

And planes are the usual mode of transport and it is rare for bodies to be repatriated by sea, rail or car because it usually isn't economically viable or practical.

The funeral directors assisting with the body repatriation would normally know the carriers/flights that accept coffins as cargo.

Consular staff representing the country the deceased is being sent to can also be contacted for advice. In some countries you need statutory approval from the receiving before a body is flown out. You would also arrange for funeral directors who would receive the body on arrival. Good funeral directors would guide with all this from start to finish. The cost of repatriation varies depending on where the body is being repatriated to.