Laissez-passer for a corpse / Certificate for shipping cremains to Germany
This information is mainly addressed to funeral homes. The German missions do issue the Certificate for shipping cremains to Germany (Urnenbescheinigung) upon request by private persons but cannot be approached for any further guidance. Private persons are encouraged to seek professional assistance by a funeral home, when looking for information on how to transport a deceased loved one to Germany.
Germany has very strict laws on how to handle human remains. As a general rule, all coffins and urns have to be buried in specially licensed graveyards. Private persons are not allowed to have urns in their possession. Therefore, any transport in Germany has to be handled by a licensed funeral home. Coffins and urns are to be shipped by the US funeral home to a funeral home in Germany directly. Please clarify with the carrier what type of coffin is acceptable to them for transportation. No customs duties are charged for importing a coffin/an urn which contains the remains of a deceased person into Germany.
Laissez-passer for a Corpse
- Certificate of death
- Medical certificate of cause of death
- Embalming certificate
- Letter from the Medical Examiner/Funeral Home confirming that the deceased person did not suffer from a contagious or infectious disease
- No-objection certificate / permit to transport the human remains from the Department of Health of the City where the death occurred
- Certified true copy of the passport of the deceased
- Information on the airline, flight no. and itinerary are entered into the Laissez-passer and therefore have to be given in detail
- Fee: 25,- €, the equivalent to be paid in US-$ in cash or by money order only (personal or company checks cannot be accepted; credit cards only if credit card holder applies for the Laissez-passer in person)
- a self addressed prepaid USPS certified mail envelope or shipping fee: 18,- USD (can be included in the money order mentioned above) for sending the Laissez-passer and original documents back
Certificate for shipping cremains
A Certificate for shipping cremains may be needed to send an urn to Germany. Please have the need for such a certificate verified with your airline and receiving funeral home in Germany.
In case you want to ship a metal urn, please verify with the carrier if this is acceptable for shipment as the screening might cause problems.
The certificate is issued by the locally competent Embassy or Consulate General. Please use the Consulate Finder-Link to find the mission competent for you.
The following documents have to be submitted (original or certified copies):
- Certificate of death
- Certificate of cremation with a confirmation from the funeral home that the urn contains the ashes of the deceased person (urn should be sealed and numbered)
if available, copy of the passport of the deceased person
- Fee: 25,- €, the equivalent to be paid in US-$in cash or by money order only (personal or company checks cannot be accepted; credit cards only if credit card holder applies for the certificate in person)- a self addressed prepaid USPS certified mail envelope or the shipping fee: 18,- USD (can be included in the money order mentioned above) for sending the certificate and original documents back