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How to package and ship cremated remains for a burial at sea

For the unattended burial at sea you will need to ship the cremated remains to our office. Please check out below all the information you need on ‘How to package and ship cremated remains’.

General Instructions for shipping cremated remains

The United States Postal Service® offers Priority Mail Express® and Priority Mail Express International® service for shipping human or animal cremated remains domestically and internationally.

Cremated remains are permitted to be mailed to any domestic address when the package is prepared as described below and in the referenced postal manuals.

Cremated remains are permitted to be mailed to an international address when the designating country does not prohibit the contents and when Priority Mail Express International service is available to that 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®)

Packaging of cremated remains

You will need a primary inner sift-proof container, cushioning material, and an outer shipping package.

Note: A sift-proof container is any vessel that does not allow loose powder to leak or sift out. There are many options available to store cremated remains — Typically the bag you receive the ashes in should be acceptable inside the external shipping box.

USPS® recommends consulting with a licensed funeral director to help you select the best container.

Inner Primary Container

■ Domestic Shipping: The inner primary container must be strong, durable, and constructed in such a manner as to protect and securely contain the contents inside. It must be properly sealed and sift-proof.

■ International Shipping: A funeral urn is required as the inner primary container. It must be properly sealed and sift-proof.

For a burial at sea, the Los Angeles Disposition of Human Remains Permit must be included inside the package or arranged with Los Angeles Yacht Charter in advance.

Seal and Address the Inner Primary Container 

In the event the shipping label becomes detached from the outer container, the Postal Service™ recommends that you put the sift-proof container in a sealed plastic bag. Then, attach a label with the complete return address and delivery address on the sealed plastic bag and the wording “Cremated Remains.”

Cushioning Material 

For both domestic and international shipping, place sufficient cushioning all around the inner primary sift-proof container to prevent it shifting inside the outer shipping package during transit and to absorb any shock to prevent breakage.

Outer Shipping Package

For both domestic and international shipping, cremated remains must be shipped by USPS Priority Mail Express or Priority Mail Express International Service utilizing either a USPS-produced or customer-supplied shipping package. If using a customer-supplied shipping package, it must be strong and durable to withstand transportation handling.

For convenience, the Postal Service has a Priority Mail Express Cremated Remains box that may be used for domestic or international shipments using the applicable Priority Mail Express service. The Priority Mail Express Cremated Remains box can be ordered online at the Postal Store on® and is available as part of a kit.

Before closing and sealing the shipping package, the Postal Service recommends adding a slip of paper with both the sender’s and recipient’s address and contact information inside the package. This extra step will help to identify the sender and receiver in the event the shipping label becomes detached.

Labeling and Markings

To increase the visibility of mailpieces containing cremated remains, the outer shipping box (USPSproduced or customer-supplied) containing cremated remains must be marked with Label 139, Cremated Remains, affixed to each side (including top and bottom). Label 139 is available at the Postal Store on or can be obtained at a retail Post Office™ location.

Label 139 (Dimensions: 4″ x 6″)

Address Your Package

Domestic Shipping:

■ A complete return address and delivery address must be used. The address format for a package is the same as for an envelope. Write or print address labels clearly. Use ink that does not smear and include the addresses and ZIP Codes™ for you and your recipient.

■Double check the mailing address, especially the ZIP Code. You can use Look Up a ZIP Code™ on

■ Mailers may generate single-ply Priority Mail Express labels through Click-N-Ship® or other USPS-approved methods.

International Shipping: A complete return address and delivery address must be used. The mailer must indicate the identity of the contents (Cremated Remains) on the required applicable customs declaration form. To determine the applicable required customs form, see IMM Section 123.61.

Note: If available, the cremation certificate should be attached to the outer box or made easily accessible. The sender is responsible for adherence to any restrictions or observances noted by the designating country.

For More Questions:

■ Visit a Post Office to speak with a Sales and Service Associate.

■ Call 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777).

■ FAQs on

■ Video – How to Package and Ship Cremated Remains: For postal supplies, visit the Postal Store on

How to Package and Ship Cremated Remains – US Post Service Publication 139 (September 2019)

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Client Reviews

Excellent4.9 Based on 223 reviews from ★★★★★ Booked a yacht charter trip to spread our father's ashes. The Captain and concierge Carlos were professional, friendly and caring. The arrangement of our loved ones ashes were beautifully taken care of. Start to finish a great intimate experience that will forever be treasured.Susanne D.Susanne D. ★★★★★ Los Angeles Yacht Charter has been extremely helpful and friendly for us and our burial at sea service. My 16 year old son had to say goodbye to his father but Los Angeles Yacht Charter made the process so simple and were so compassionate which made him feel at ease. He felt comfort sending his father off in such a beautiful way. Captain Troy and his crew member were so amazing and asked for his input and suggestions if he had any. Since it was all new to us, they explained in detail what they can provide and what can be done during the services and made it so simple yet so peaceful and beautiful. Grateful for them and for the lovely and unforgettable experience. My son is extremely happy with their services and feels at peace when he said his goodbye. Thank you.Lena K.Lena K. ★★★★★ Thank you, for having a beautiful ceremony. So appreciated.Andy M.Andy M. ★★★★★ Hired for a memorial at sea. Very nice experience from start to finish. Captain and crew were great. Very kind, made the experience so pleasant and light. Boat was very clean and comfortable.Valerie C.Valerie C. ★★★★★ We had a wonderful experience on our Celebration of Life ash spreading sail for my mom. So professional, caring and a bonus to see Harbor Seals and dolphins to and from shore. I will refer LA Yacht Charter again and again. Thank you to our Captains!Debbie S.Debbie S.js_loader

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Los Angeles Yacht Charter

Los Angeles Yacht Charter is the premier yacht rental company in Southern California. We offer a wide variety of services to help tourists and locals alike enjoy the beautiful moments that the ocean has to offer. Whether you're looking for a private yacht rental for your next vacation, a romantic sunset cruise, a burial at sea, a private fishing trip or a corporate event, we have you covered.

We understand that not everyone is familiar with the ins and outs of renting a yacht, which is why we offer a concierge service to help you with everything from booking your charter to planning your itinerary. We want you to relax and enjoy your time on the water, so let us take care of the details!

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Meaning that you are not just offsetting your carbon footprint, you’re having a positive impact on the ocean with every charter booked. Making you #OceanPositive

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