Shipping cremated remains in the United States and internationally is legal and very common. It’s not at all difficult, and it’s a safe, effective way to get cremated remains to another location.
There are a number of reasons why someone might need to ship cremains. If the deceased’s final wishes were to have their ashes scattered at a location distant from where the cremation occurred, shipping may be the most convenient, cost-effective way to make this happen.
Alternatively, someone may be interested in dividing up their loved one’s ashes so that multiple family members or friends can have a portion to remember them by.
Finally, ashes can be added to keepsake jewelry, blown glass displays, or other artistic items. Shipping is a great way to deliver cremains to the artisan.
Some people may bristle at the idea of having their deceased’s ashes out of their control and might opt to fly with them, but that option is significantly more expensive. Shipping through the mail is just as safe, so there’s no good reason to pay more.
What Services Allow You to Ship Cremains?
USPS, the United States Postal Service is the only carrier that allows human and pet cremated remains to be shipped, both nationally and internationally. The other major carriers, like FedEx, UPS, and DHL will not ship cremains if they’re aware of the package’s contents.
As a result, you should always ship cremains with USPS. Because you can make them aware of what you’re shipping, you’re afforded certain protections you wouldn’t get with the other services.
It’s also worth noting that there are a few countries that won’t accept cremated remains through the mail or don’t accept USPS Priority Mail Express shipments, which is the required shipping method for cremains. Check the guidelines for the country you’re shipping to.
Are There Rules That Need to Be Followed When Shipping Cremains?
There are a few guidelines you need to follow to ship human and pet ashes through the mail, but you’ll find they aren’t particularly difficult.First, crema
ted remains must be shipped Priority Mail Express. This is the only legal method for shipping with USPS. This has the added benefit of getting your loved one’s ashes to their desired destination in one to two days.
Next, you need to properly protect the ashes you’re shipping. This involves three elements.
● The ashes must be contained in a durable, sift-proof, sealed inner container. This is to make certain the ashes won’t leak mid-shipment.
● The inner container must be shipped in a strong outer container that adequately protects its contents. You can buy boxes from USPS designed specifically for safely shipping cremated remains. You can also supply your own cardboard box as long as it’s strong and undamaged.
● The outer container must be filled with a protective cushioning agent, such as packing peanuts, bubble wrap, or air cushions.
Finally, you need to properly label the package. If you purchase the USPS cremated remains box, you’re covered. If you’re supplying your own box, you’ll need to get Label 139, Cremated Remains labels from the post office and affix them to all six sides of your box.
It’s also a good idea to place your inner container in a sealed plastic bag for extra leak protection and place a sheet containing the addresses for the shipper and the destination with the inner container and on the outer container, as a safeguard in case the shipping label gets obscured. That way the ashes can still be delivered.
As long as you pack the cremains carefully and label your package properly your loved one’s ashes will make it to their final destination safely and securely.