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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)

Client Reviews

Los Angeles Yacht CharterExcellentLos Angeles Yacht Charter4.9 Based on 255 reviews from ★★★★★ My family and I chartered a boat through LA Yacht Charter for scattering of our mother’s ashes. Our host, Carlos did a lovely job. He layed out the ashes in a beautiful display prior to the scattering and Captain Nick got us where we needed to be on time. Everything was handled professionally and all was well organized. It was beautiful and meaningful to my whole family and the dove release was also beautiful!Rosalia R.Rosalia R. ★★★★★ My family and I used Los Angeles Yacht Charter for my brothers ash release at sea on his first heavenly birthday. From the start Brit and her husband were incredibly helpful and made arrangements easy. If I could give them more stars I definitely would. The day of services captain Troy along with his crew member were beyond amazing and made such a difficult time peaceful and beautiful. The boat Lady M is beautiful, clean and perfect for any occasion. My family was so grateful we decided to go in this direction it was everything we could have hoped for. We will definitely be back to use services for my brother's future heavenly birthdays. Thank you all again.Jessica G.Jessica G. ★★★★★ Our experience with LA Yacht Charter was wonderful. It was easy to book, and all our questions were answered quickly. They were waiting for us at the appointed time, and our party of 12 even left the dock early. Chaplain Carlos and Captain Nick and the rest of the crew were very kind and respectful, carefully explaining everything that was going to happen. They include some flowers that are spread with the ashes, but we also brought quite a few of our own to toss into the water, which really felt meaningful. We were very pleased with the whole experience. Thank you all!Pat L.Pat L. ★★★★★ My father’s disposition of ashes at sea was beautiful. I had many family members state to me of all the funerals they have been to this one was so sweet and beautiful. The charter boat was very nice. Captain was awesome. The pastor was very sweet. To top thing and make the moment even better we had contacted a bag popper who was amazing. I highly recommend doing some like this for your loved ones.Tiffany E.Tiffany E. ★★★★★ Recently I engaged the services of Los Angeles Yacht Charters to take me and my family to the Channel Islands so that I could fulfill my promise to my deceased husband to distribute his ashes in the Pacific ocean at the Channel Islands.The Los Angeles Yacht Charters could not have been a better choice. They were professional, knowledgeable and, most importantly, they were kind.The experience could not have been better. Our skipper, Doug, was wonderful. The weather cooperated wonderfully. The sea was quite calm, it was sunny and the trip to the Channel Islands was pleasant.All of my family participated in our informal service by way of sharing memories. Eventually Dan's ashes were distributed into the sea with appropriate music playing.My greatest gratitude goes to Los Angeles Yacht Charters.Sue FrostSue F.Sue F.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 passenger boat rental for a large group, 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!


Carbon Neutral Yacht Charters

Los Angeles Yacht Charter works with SeaTrees who works directly with high-quality reforestation and forest protection projects around the world. Each of these projects sequester carbon, while also providing significant social and ecosystem benefits.

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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Based on 255 reviews