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Moving Corpses or Ashes to Spain?

Posted in: Family, The Law In Spain,
Author: Myra Cecilia Azzopardi

Information from the Spanish Consulate in the UK. Procedure for non EU citizens are different and they should contact the Spanish Embassies or Consulates in their countries.

Moving corpses or ashes to Spain
Transfer of corpses to Spain

The transfer of corpses or cadaveric remains from the United Kingdom to Spain is governed by the Regulations of the Mortuary Police, approved by Royal Decree 2263/1974, of July 20. By virtue of this regulation, the Consulate General in London will be competent to instruct the file of the transfer of said remains when the death occurred within the consular demarcation of this Consulate.

The presentation of the following documentation will be necessary:

Request for transfer where they will include: the name, surnames and address of the applicant; name last names and last address of the deceased; date of death, cause of death and location of the body; means of transport to be used for the transfer; border, port or airport for those who have to verify the entrance of the corpse in Spain and, if applicable, the exit; and cemetery or authorised place where it is to be buried or incinerated.
Medical certificate stating the cause of death.
Judicial authorisation for the transfer ( Out of England issued by the Coroner ).
Medical certificate of embalming.
British death certificate.
Death certificate of the Spanish Civil Registry (only for Spanish nationals).
As regards the characteristics of the coffin, it will be composed of two boxes: The exterior of strong wood solidly joined together without any opening between them and whose boards are at least 20 millimetres thick. It will also be reinforced with metal clamps that will not be more than 60 centimetres apart. The inner box may be either lead sheets of 2.5 millimetres minimum thickness welded together, or sheets of zinc, also welded together and whose thickness is at least 0.45 millimetres.

In view of the documentation submitted, this Consulate will certify that the application submitted meets the requirements of current legislation.

Moving ashes to Spain

The transport of the ash box or its subsequent deposit will not be subject to any sanitary requirement. Although the ashes resulting from the incineration must be placed in ash boxes, the name of the deceased appears on the outside.

It is recommended to travel with the British and Spanish Death Certificate, Cremation Certificate , and a statement from the funeral company indicating the content of the urn.

In addition, it is advisable to contact the airline to check if it allows such transfer in hand luggage or requires a specific requirement.

Please note: The information provided is based upon our understanding of current legislation. It is not legal advice but is provided freely to enable you to be properly informed. We recommend that if you are considering taking action, you should seek professional advice.

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