This once again varies country to country. You can find each country's required documentation on the NFDA website.
If a country has not specified the documentation it requires, NFDA recommends the following:
- Death Certificate
- Cremation Certificate
- Passport of the deceased (if obtainable)
- Letter on funeral home letterhead stating that the urn/container contains only the cremated remains of the individual
NFDA also recommends that you check with the consulate or embassy of the country to verify whether any additional documentation is required.
Procedures for shipping cremated remains may vary by airline. The NFDA website has a list of the various procedures for each airline. Generally, cremated remains may be hand carried on most airlines so long as the proper documentation is brought and the urn/container is able to be x-rayed at security. The airline should always be contacted first to make certain there are no special documents required.
The United States Postal Service (USPS) is the only mail carrier that will accept cremated remains; no other carrier (UPS, Fed-Ex, DHL, etc.) will ship cremated remains. In order to ship cremated remains through the mail, the following conditions must be met:
452.2 Cremated Remains
Human ashes are permitted to be mailed provided they are packaged as required in 453b. The identity of the contents should be marked on the address side. Mailpieces sent to domestic addresses may be sent via Express Mail or Registered Mail service. Mailpieces sent to an international address must be sent via Registered Mail service, and the country listing in the IMM must show that cremated remains are permitted and Registered Mail service must be available for that country.
453 Packaging and Marking
b. Powders. Dry materials that could cause damage, discomfort, destruction, or soiling upon escape (leakage) must be packed in siftproof containers or other containers that are sealed in durable siftproof outer containers.