Transporting human ashes by car - Switzerland to UK

My wife died three weeks ago. Her funeral was here in Switzerland, followed by cremation.
We want to bury her ashes with her parents at the village church in UK where we were married.
The only references I can find to transporting ashes in Europe relate to by air, ie in a sealed, x-rayable urn, carried as hand baggage, and declared to security on departure.
The urn is in wood and lead-sealed (‘plombé‘ in French). I will have international death and cremation certificates.
Does anybody have any knowledge/experience of driving ashes through France back to the UK, requirements, etc.
Clearly one option is just to cuff it, but ...
 

philc

LE
Firstly sorry to hear of your loss.

Secondly, don't risk it I have had my Landrover turned over a few times in France after coming from Switzerland via Basel, very through. I even watched a Lichtenstein registered Aston Martin get well searched to the point of his baggage was open and each white shirt was waved in the air to ensure no contraband, however I think the driver may of been less than polite, it did seem somewhat excessive.

Good luck.
 
My condolences, we returned an uncles ashes by car , sealed urn and death certificate , I seem to recall we even had the crematorium paperwork as well.
At Dover we asked customs , as they were then, and just told to crack on.
But that was about 17years ago.
 
My wife died three weeks ago. Her funeral was here in Switzerland, followed by cremation.
We want to bury her ashes with her parents at the village church in UK where we were married.
The only references I can find to transporting ashes in Europe relate to by air, ie in a sealed, x-rayable urn, carried as hand baggage, and declared to security on departure.
The urn is in wood and lead-sealed (‘plombé‘ in French). I will have international death and cremation certificates.
Does anybody have any knowledge/experience of driving ashes through France back to the UK, requirements, etc.
Clearly one option is just to cuff it, but ...
Bugger, sorry to hear that.
I don't have experience of the above but according to google it should be straightforward

Bringing Cremated Ashes into UK​

In order to bring ashes back into the UK from abroad you will need similar documentation listed above.

  • Copy of Death Certificate
  • Copy of Cremation Certificate
  • A sign declaration from the funeral director or crematorium confirming the contents of the urn
  • Ideally a copy of the deceased passport photo page
We would recommend having at least 3 copies of each of the above to be on the same side.


and What to do after someone dies

Bringing ashes home​

When leaving a country with human ashes you will normally need to show:

  • the death certificate
  • the certificate of cremation
Each country has its own rules about departing with human ashes and there may be additional requirements. Read information about the country where the person died to find out what you need to do. You’ll need to fill in a standard customs form when you arrive home.

Contact your airline to find out whether you can carry the ashes as hand luggage or as checked-in luggage. They may ask you to put the ashes in a non-metallic container so that they can be x-rayed.

You should not have the person cremated abroad if you want a coroner at home to conduct an inquest into their death.

 

Chef

LE
Please accept my sympathies.

We took my F-i-L's ashes by air from England to France in our hold luggage with no problems.
 

johnboyzzz

On ROPS
On ROPs
Trackpen sorry for your loss.

I think most have covered the UK side of things. Had a search and found this for the Frenchies - I know it is in the US - but I would assume it would be similar. Maybe a call to the French embassy/consulate might be in order.

 
Trackpen, my deepest condolences.

All the advice you find on the Internet is for SHIPMENT of ashes. The rules for shipment, whether by courier, airfreight or even registered post, are very strict, but there are few written rules about carrying them yourself, and you are absolutely allowed to bring them "home".

A copy of the death certificate, cremation certificate and your wife's passport is all you will need, though it is highly unlikely you will be asked to show them.

In the unlikely event you are stopped in France, along the way, the French have such a deep respect for death that they will simply offer their condolences and give you no grief, and it's even possible they'll offer you an escort some of the way.

My girlfriend's British mother died 2 years ago in New Zealand. I advised her to just have those three documents with her, and she carried her mother back to the UK on her lap in the plane, with no problems at all.

As I said, the rules all apply to "shipping" human remains. Family can personally bring their loved ones home from almost any jurisdiction in the world.

To qualify, I owned a worldwide courier company until I sold it in 2001, when I "retired" to Europe.

As the process of shipping human remains (ashes) is bureaucratic and costly, and my company had an ADAS and MAFF licence to move animal pathogen, soil and water samples, it could offer a sort of loophole, avoiding the bureaucracy, if the family didn't mind how the ashes were described. I used to ship same to France quite frequently, and it was cheaper and easier to put them in a car with a driver, and have them driven there, than to get them on a plane. Airlines charge a fortune for unaccompanied human remains.
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
Sorry about your loss TP. I hope your journey home is easy and jobsworth free.
 
Nothing I can offer to the discussion regards transportation but I can and do offer my sincerest condolences and sympathies.

Truly sorry to hear of your loss mate.
 

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