What to Expect… as the Applicant
Firstly, we appreciate this is a difficult time and we will try to take as much of the workload as we can from you.
You will need to Register the Death at the local Register Office (if a doctor has certified and there is no coroner involvement). You can use any office however it is usually quicker to use the one in the area where the person died. You will get the Death Certificate and be able to order further copies. We usually ask for 2 original copies (not photocopies) so please bear this in mind when ordering. If the coroner has been involved, just let us know- we’ll communicate directly with the coroner’s office.
You will also need to locate the deceased’s Passport, even if it has expired. If they are a dual national, we will need both (certainly one passport). If you cannot locate the passport, please let us know as soon as you can. The passport is not required for a repatriation from the UK to Jamaica.
You will need to fill in our Instruction Form. This will ask for details about yourself and the deceased, and Consignee details. The Consignee does not have to be decided upon immediately however please be aware we are unable to book flights until we have this information. The Instruction Form will provide us the information we need to request the relevant paperwork and arrange collection and repatriation of the person who has passed away.
We may also ask for a scan/photo of the deceased’s Death Certificate and Passport to be emailed to us prior to the original ones being collected from you to speed up the process.
Our first step is to apply for the Out of England and Free from Infection Certificates. We liaise with the coroner and mortuary, and bring the deceased in to our care. We will then arrange for full Embalming to take place by one of our caring British Institute of Embalmers qualified Embalmers. We do have both male and female embalmers.
Flights can be booked once we have all the relevant documents (please be aware that some countries require a visit by us to the Embassy/Consulate of that country to produce the documents before flights can be confirmed)- our fee includes our charges to manage all of this for you.
We will then normally use Cad Seal (unless a zinc lined coffin is required of the Embassy or receiving country as this saves on cost and weight) before sealing the coffin ready for departure. We will then transport the packaged coffin and documents to the departure airport ahead of the flight.
Please note: All of these processes may still be needed for Repatriation of Ashes.
What to Expect… as the Consignee
The Consignee is the individual or company (such as a Funeral Director) who will take physical ownership of the coffin at the arrival airport. This can be a family member but is usually a Funeral Director.
The responsibility of the Consignee includes communication with the Repatriation Company (us), Airline and Applicant. The Consignee will be provided with all the documents required to receive the coffin including the important Air Waybill (AWB), but will have to respond in a timely manner to the airline asking if they are ‘OK 2 FWD’ or ‘Ok to Forward?’. The response can quite simply be – Ok to Forward in return, meaning that you are accepting this responsibility.
The Consignee will then attend the Airport, with the means to transport the coffin (the size and weight of the coffin will be on the AWB).
The Consignee is expected to arrange clearance from the arrival airport, though we have colleagues who can assist with this for an additional charge if required.
What to Expect… from Us
We are available to talk to 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. On the occasion we cannot answer the call immediately there is an answerphone service available. We also can answer any questions via email and if you would like, we also have a WhatsApp message service if you prefer that method of communication.
Our team is made up of the Funeral Director, Repatriation Coordinators/Office Support Staff and Collection Agents, who are DBS Checked and Insured. Our Embalmers are British Institute of Embalmers qualified and certify their work to the BIE standard. Our mortuary facilities are modern and meet all professional standards. Our Cad Sealing and coffins are all confirmed as quality and suitable to fly with all airlines.
We promise to stay up to date with Country Requirements and legalities required for repatriation to any country that will allow this to happen.
We will do our upmost to work within the timescales requested by the Applicant/Client however, some of the process will be completed by third parties (e.g., coroners office, airlines etc) and we have no control over their efficiency.
We will provide the highest quality of service possible. If there is ever a concern or worry with the process, please let us know.
Glossary of Terms
AIR WAYBILL or AWB
A document that accompanies goods shipped by an international courier, which allow for tracking. It serves as a receipt of goods by an airline, as well as a contract of carriage between the shipper and the carrier. It’s a legal agreement that’s enforceable by law.
The ashes are the material that remains after a cremation. Sometimes known as cremated remains.
A coffin is the traditional container for the deceased; four or six-sided and shaped at the shoulders. Made of wood, metal, wicker, bamboo or cardboard. Typically, wooden coffins are used for Repatriation.
The recipient of the items being shipped or transported. This person takes ownership of the items once they have cleared customs.
Coroners are paid by local councils to investigate sudden deaths or where the cause is unknown. It is the coroner’s duty to identify how, when and where the person died for official records and the benefit of the bereaved. See also Procurator Fiscal for Scotland.
The statutory certificate issued by the Registrar, at the time that the person taking responsibility for the funeral arrangements registers the death. This is official notification that the death has occurred and is required for managing an estate. The Death Certificate is not to be confused with Medical Certificate Of Cause Of Death or the Certificate For Burial Or Cremation Issued After Registration.
Embalming is the process of preserving and protecting, which is carried out for the dignity of the deceased; the improvement of the experience of those visiting a chapel of rest; and the ongoing peace of mind for the deceased’s family. Embalming is almost always carried out for Repatriation Cases.
Some countries require us to arrange specific paperwork which may also require a visit to the Embassy, Consulate or High Commission. Other countries may not require any additional paperwork other than the UK documents that we obtain on your behalf. A member of the team will be able to advise on a case-by-case basis.
FREE FROM INFECTION
This is a certificate usually completed by a doctor or mortuary technician to confirm the deceased is free from Infectious disease. If there are any concerns about this please just let us know.
The profession of advising and supporting the bereaved; caring for the deceased; arranging and conducting all matters related to a funeral service; and supporting and advising clients in relation to funeral planning and other matters.
A senior position within the funeral profession, for which the individual is trained to perform all the duties in the above, funeral directing, description.
A funeral directors’ premises; more usually larger premises accommodating all of a funeral director’s functions, rather than a smaller ‘branch’ premises.
A fact-finding legal investigation which takes place after a post-mortem, if the cause of death is still unknown. During an inquest, evidence will be reviewed to determine how the person died and is presided over by a coroner.
A form used by most Funeral Directors to gain and record information about the deceased, the Next of Kin/Family/Applicant and the details of the services required. This is also considered as a form from the Applicant ‘instructing’ the company to carry out work on their behalf.
MEDICAL CERTIFICATE OF CAUSE OF DEATH
A Medical Certificate of Cause of Death is the certificate issued by a doctor confirming the time, date and cause of a death. It is required to register the death and should not be confused with a death certificate. Not be confused with a Death Certificate or the Certificate for Burial Or Cremation Issued After Registration, for which please see these listings for clarification.
The room or building in which the deceased is kept and cared for before they are buried, cremated or repatriated.
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FUNERAL DIRECTORS (NAFD)
The NAFD is an association which ensures all their funeral directors adhere to strict codes of practices, compliant procedures and full price transparency policies.
OK TO FORWARD/OK2FWD
Communication between to carrier/airline to the consignee with written/email confirmation that the consignee is going to accept the cargo on arrival. Initially asking a question… Ok to Forward? And then responding…Ok to Forward.
OUT OF ENGLAND or OOE
A document provided by the Coroner in the district the body is resting. This document is necessary for movement outside of England (including other countries within the UK). This document is usually requested by the Funeral Director at least 4 days before travel.
A post-mortem is the examination of a body after death, ordered by a coroner and carried out by a pathologist, to find out how the person died.
In Scotland, a procurator fiscal investigates the circumstances of a death, attempts to find out the cause of the death and considers whether criminal proceedings or a Fatal Accident Inquiry is appropriate. Like a coroner in England, Wales and N Ireland.
A local government office that can help you register a death.
An official at the register office who will provide you with necessary certificates and forms, including a Death Certificate.
Body repatriation is the process of returning home a deceased person who has died outside of their home country. Someone is either repatriated to or repatriated from – the term is shared between those sending and those receiving. This term is also used for the transportation of ashes.
An urn is a container used to hold cremation ashes, available in different shapes and materials.
ZINC CAD SEAL
Historically, the deceased were repatriated in zinc-lined coffins which are expensive and due to their weight, incur high freight costs. CadSeal repatriation foil only weighs 840g and is at least 18kg lighter. The Cad Seal method of repatriating bodies is fully approved and detailed in the IATA Airport Handling Manual, AHM 333(January 2011). This process is usually also required for the repatriation of ashes.