Transporting Human Remains by Air
January 7, 2016
If somebody dies while in another country, the body goes back to the dead person’s own country. Nobody can summarily import or export human remains. You first need an import or export permit for transporting human remains from the Director-General of Health.
Transporting Human Remains – Laws to Obey
The funeral home will need to handle the arrangements for transporting human remains. That is because there are rules and regulations surrounding the transporting of a body to and from another country. Not only that, there are also laws that the airline must obey. They have a requirement that the bodily remains will need to be embalmed. The dead body must be in a suitable container.
Every country has its own rules and regulations regarding the transporting of human remains. Certainly there are certain documents that need to accompany the body. These include the death certificate, passport, embalming report as well as a letter from the physician. The letter states that the deceased did not die from a communicable disease.
Usually, a cargo plane carries the dead bodies. A funeral home employee then meets the container at the airport’s cargo terminal. The cost of shipping a body depends on the weight of the shipment. And also the distance between the place of origin and the destination.
Transporting Human Remains – Speedy, Safe Passage of Mortal Remains
In South Africa, South African Airways Cargo puts into transporting human remains. They want to ensure speedy and safe passage. This service is available to all South African Airways destinations. People making use of this service should consult their undertakers regarding health requirements –
● experts must embalm human remains claim them either in a proper polythene bag or hermetically sealed container made of metal and then placed in a sturdy wooden leak-proof coffin.
● the coffin must withstand all the different kinds of handling for air transport
● only the required label – AW143A cargo identification tag plus the name and address of the consignee may appear on the outer packaging of the coffin
● the undertaker must sign to the effect that the remains are in a special polythene bag with an SABS stamp.
● remains must be in a plastic bag in a funeral urn or casket in a wooden- or fibreboard outer packaging. A permit is not required for the exportation of cremated remains from South Africa, however a certificate of cremation must be produced.
Human Remains are treated as cargo, whether a coffin with a body or the human remains in ashes. This kind of cargo is handled with extreme care, even though the coffin is specially designed for robust air travel to prevent any chance of leaking.
Transporting Human Remains – The Final Destination
The transportation costs and commercial prices for human remains are quite a bit higher than your regular shipments, but this comes with the delicate product and treatment of the cargo. Once the body has been scanned at the airport and passed security checks, it is placed on the aircraft for safe passage to its final destination where the receiving funeral home will transfer the body into their care.
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All info was correct at time of publishing