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Repatriation of bodies

You need permission from a coroner in the local district before a body can be moved out of England and Wales.

You can find a local coroner using the Coroners’ Society of England and Wales website.

The rules are complicated but the coroner’s office will be able to give you information about what you need to do. You will need to give the coroner any certificate you have for the burial or cremation.

The coroner will let you know when the body can be moved. This is usually after four days, but in special circumstances the coroner can agree for the body to be moved sooner.

Repatriation from abroad

The coroner will issue a removal notice (form 104). Part of this notice is then sent to the registrar of births, deaths and marriages.

When someone dies abroad you can get help from the British authorities in the UK and overseas.

​If you wish to bring the body back to the UK, British Consular staff will help by putting you in touch with an international funeral director. The body will need to be embalmed and placed in a zinc-lined coffin before it can be removed from the country. It may take some time to bring the body home, especially if a post-mortem examination is held.

Before you can bring the body home, you’ll need the following documents;

  • a certified English translation of the foreign death certificate from the country in which the person died
  • authorisation to remove the deceased’s body from the country
  • a certificate of embalming
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