Taking Ashes to Australia From the UK
Travelling with ashes to Australia couldn’t be simpler as there are no special rules or regulations to bring them into the country. You’ll need to take some paperwork, but only what your airline requires.
We explain the process in order to make this as easy as possible for you
Can You Take Ashes to Australia?
Yes, you can take ashes to Australia. There are multiple options available to you:
- Ashes can be taken in your carry-on or hold luggage on many airlines.
- Ashes can be transported from the UK to an international airport in Australia for collection.
- Ashes can be transported directly to an address in Australia by a funeral director (not a courier).
- We can handle all paperwork and transportation of ashes to Australia if you wish.
We Can Transport the Ashes for You
If you would like us to handle the paperwork and transportation, please fill in the form below for a free quote
Read our guide for more information about shipping ashes abroad
Paperwork You Will Need
Officially there are no requirements for importing human ashes into Australia. We do recommend erring on the side of caution, however, and taking the following paperwork:
- Death certificate
- Cremation certificate.
- The deceased’s passport (can be expired).
- Funeral Director’s Declaration/Sealing certificate/ Customs sealing letter – This document is issued by a funeral director or crematorium and states the ashes container is airtight and only contains the remains of the deceased named on the form. It also includes information on the deceased.
Australian Restrictions / Things to Know
Australia has restrictions on the container you can use to hold ashes:
- On arrival, containers made from wood must be declared to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.
- It must be free from contaminants, such as soil.
You must ensure that the container used is airtight and security-friendly – non-metallic and made from lightweight material that an x-ray can scan.
Plastic, wood, zinc, ceramic or glass are all feasible options for transporting ashes. If you’re travelling with the ashes, you must ensure your container is allowed under your airline’s policies before boarding. There’s no blanket rule for this; every airline is different, so do your research beforehand.
Qantas is the most popular airline flying into Australia from the UK. They allow you to transport ashes in your carry-on or hold luggage as long as you follow their protocols.
Scattering Ashes in Australia
Scattering ashes in Australia is legal on private land as long as you have the landowner’s permission. However, scattering ashes on public land depends on the local council’s views. Technically it is legal, but it might infringe on the law by contravening specific terms of environmental law in the local area.
We recommend checking with the local council before scattering any ashes. It will help ensure you avoid any rule-breaking or possible fines.
If you wish to scatter ashes at a cemetery, you will need permission from the cemetery administration.
It’s legal to scatter ashes at sea, but you’ll need permission from the master of the boat and must comply with any local environmental protection authority guidelines.
You can charter boats specifically for scattering ashes, and there are a lot of different companies in Australia that offer this service. If you would like additional information about scattering ashes at sea, we’ve written at length about it.