Public health clearance of dead body/human remains brought from abroad is necessary as per Indian Aircraft (Public Health) Rules 1954 and International Health Regulations, 2005
Documents required for clearing a dead body:
All human remains arriving at Indian airports shall be accompanied by the following documents for public health clearance, namely: ––
- Embalming certificate issued by an authorized agency stating that the dead body or human remains have been embalmed and placed in a hermetically sealed (airtight and water proof) casket;
- Death certificate mentioning the cause of death or a true copy thereof with proper translation in English;
- No objection certificate (NOC) for the transportation of Human Remains of the deceased issued by the Indian Embassies / High Commissions / Consulates. Provide that where there is no such Diplomatic representative, the airport health officer may waive off the requirement on the basis of accompanying documents;
- Cancelled copy of passport
- Certificate of packaging of Human Remains as per WHO guidelines
- Certificate or endorsement by the consignee that the casket contains the dead body or human remains of the person whose documents are presented for clearance to the airport health officer and nothing else;
In case death has occurred due to chemical, radiation hazard, nuclear, food related event, the necessary documentation to this effect shall also be obtained
In case where embalming is not undertaken death due to drowning or severe burns bodies, human remains have to be packed in a hermetically sealed urn or container. Unembalmed human remains shall be required to meet additional packing requirements as may be assessed by the airport health officer as per the provisions contained in the Air Craft (Carriage of Dangerous Goods) Rules, 2003 along with the Aircraft Rules, 1937.
As per provision of Indian Aircraft (Public Health) Rules-
- No person shall bring into India any dead-body or human remains of persons who may have died of
yellow fever, plague, anthrax, glanders or such other diseases as may be notified by the Central
Government for this purpose, provided that nothing in this rule shall apply to properly cremated ashes
of dead bodies or human remains. The dead body human remains of a person who may have died of a
disease other than those may be brought into India subject to following conditions
- The consignee as well as the air transport service shall give to the Health Officer of the airport of arrival advance intimation of at least 48 hours(through email), of the importation of the dead body or human remains or ashes of cremated bodies, provided that nothing in this rule or in rules shall apply to the dead body of a person who dies during fight before arrival of the aircraft in India. The Commander of the aircraft shall send, if the aircraft is equipped with wireless, a radio report to the Health Officer of the airport, where he proposes to land in India, regarding the occurrence and, if possible, cause of death. On landing of the aircraft no passenger or member of the crew shall disembark until appropriate sanitary measures have been taken by the Health Officer of the airport.
- Applications to bring dead bodies or human remains or ashes of cremated bodies to India shall be made to the Indian Diplomatic representatives in countries where such representatives are functioning or where there is no such representative, to the Health Officer of the airport at which the dead body is to be landed
- If the dead body or human remains have been properly cremated the cremated ashes shall be placed in an urn or casket having an outer packing of suitable material. (2) In the case of uncremated remains, the following procedure shall be adopted:— (a) A corpse which has not been burried should be closed in a shell of zinc or other equally suitable metal with all joints so soldered as to seal them hermetically and prevent the escape of noxious gases or fluids. The shell should be enclosed in a stoutly built teak or other hard wood coffin and the coffin should be enclosed in a zinc or tin-lined wooden packing case (b) Where a coffin has been exhumed and proves on examination to be intact, sound and free from offensive odour, it should be enclosed in a hermetically sealed zinc or tin-lined wooden packing (c) Where a coffin has been exhumed and is not intact, sound and free from odour, its contents should be dealt with in accordance with the requirements of clause (a) above.
- A certificate issued by a Municipal or Governmental authority of the country from where the package containing the dead body, or human remains or ashes of cremated bodies, as the case may be is imported and endorsed by the Indian Diplomatic Representatives, if any, in that country shall accompany the package. The certificate shall give the full name of the deceased, his age at the time of death and the place, date and cause of death and shall indicate that the package conforms to and has been sealed in accordance with the specifications prescribed in rule.
- The package containing the dead body or human remains or ashes of cremated bodies shall not be opened during its transit and shall be in a sound sealed condition at the time of arrival. It shall not be removed from the precincts of the airport until the Health Officer has permitted in writing its removal. After the Health Officer has accorded this permission, the consignee shall remove and dispose of the package in accordance with the general or special instructions which may be issued by the local authorities, Governmental and/or Municipal in this behalf.
- For the transmission of dead-body or human remains and ashes of cremated bodies from India to any place outside India, the prior written permission of the competent authority of the country of destination as also of the District Magistrate or the Deputy Commissioner or the Chief Presidency Magistrate or the Coroner within whose jurisdiction the death took place, shall be obtained. The requirements laid down by the country of destination with regard to the import of dead bodies, human remains or ashes or cremated bodies into its territory shall be complied with by the consignor. In case no such conditions have been prescribed, the provisions of rule mentioned in iii) shall be complied with the package and it shall bear an inscription to the effect that it contains infected material and should be handled with care
- a package containing a dead body or human remains or ashes or cremated remains, which is in transit through India shall not be subject to any restrictions if it has been packed and sealed in the manner prescribed in the rule or in a manner which, in the opinion of the Health Officer, is considered to be equally satisfactory.
- The airport authorities shall ensure that the dead body or human remains transported from abroad are kept at a separate designated place and shall observe proper professional etiquette while clearing the dead body.
- The consignee as well as the operator shall give prior information, of 48 hrs of importation of the human dead body or remains or ashes of cremated bodies, to the airport health officer of the airport of arrival. Provided that nothing in this rule shall apply to the dead body of a person who dies during flight before arrival of the aircraft in India
- The pilot-in-command of the aircraft shall send, prior information to the Airport Health Officer of the airport, where he proposes to land in India, regarding the occurrence and, if possible, cause of death. On landing of the aircraft no passenger or member of the crew shall disembark until appropriate health measures have been taken by the airport health officer.
- No person shall bring into India any dead-body or human remains of persons who may have died of yellow fever, plague, anthrax, glanders or such other diseases as may be notified by the Central Government for this purpose, provided that nothing in this rule shall apply to properly cremated ashes of dead bodies or human remains. The dead body human remains of a person who may have died of a disease other than those may be brought into India subject to following conditions