Ship Using the Postal Service’s Required Shipping Service
The U.S. Postal Service is the only shipper that allows the shipment of cremated remains. Here are the guidelines for domestic and international shipping of cremated remains:
If you’re shipping to a domestic address
You must ship cremated remains using Priority Mail Express service. The Postal Service offers 1 -Day or 2-Day guaranteed service with delivery by 10:30 a.m. (for an additional fee), 12 noon, or 3 p.m., depending on the origin and destination ZIP Codes location. Sunday or a.m. delivery is available to select destinations for an additional fee.
If you’re shipping to an international address
Cremated remains are permitted to be mailed to an international address, under the following conditions:
Cremated remains are not otherwise prohibited by the destination country. You can verify this by checking the Individual Country Listing in the Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, International Mail Manual (IMM®).
The package is sent by either of the following methods (with the selected method being available for the destination country).
- Priority Mail Express International service.
- First-Class Package International service using Registered Mail service.
There are many options available to store cremated remains — from simple wooden boxes to decorative urns. However, if you plan to ship the cremated remains, you will need to have padding and two containers — an inner container and an outer container:
Your Inner Container
We recommend that you consult with a licensed funeral director to help you select the best container. This will be helpful especially if you have plans to divide the remains among family members.
The inner container must be strong and durable and be constructed in such a manner as to protect and securely contain the contents inside and it must be properly sealed so that it is siftproof. A siftproof container is any vessel that does not allow loose powder to leak or sift out during transit.
While not a requirement, the Postal Service recommends that you PUT THE SIFTPROOF CONTAINER IN A SEALED PLASTIC BAG
Use Padding to Protect Your Container
If you are shipping cremated remains in a decorative vessel or urn, use proper padding to keep the container stable and prevent breakage due to processing and transportation. For example, wrap or cushion the container with:
Foam peanuts, or Air bubble wrap.
Your Outer Container
The outer container must be strong, durable, and siftproof. We recommend that you line the shipping box with plastic or other material that will prevent leakage in case of damage. Insert your inner container into the shipping box and add padding to the bottom, sides, and top to prevent movement. Make sure there is no movement of contents within the shipping box.
Before closing and sealing the shipping box, add a slip of paper with both the sender’s and addressee’s address and content information. If, for any reason, the address label on the box is obscured or lost, postal employees will still be able to identify the sender and receiver of the package.
We recommend you use a Priority Mail Express'” box. The Postal Service offers the boxes free to customers who use Priority Mail Express service.
Clearly Identify and Mark the Contents
To make sure the Postal Service can identify your loved one’s cremated remains during processing and transportation:
Mark the identity of the contents on the address side next to the shipping label. Use the Postal Service Cremated Remains label (Label 139), which is available at your local Post Office.