Importation of coffins, funerary urns and ornamental funeral articles

You can import the following from outside the European Union (EU) without payment of Customs Duty and Value-Added Tax (VAT):

  • coffins containing bodies
  • and
  • funerary urns containing the ashes of deceased persons.

If you are living outside the EU you can import flowers, wreaths, and other ornamental articles for  the purpose of:

  • attending a funeral
  • or
  • decorating a grave.

These articles must not be of a commercial nature.

You will also have to contact the coroner’s office about importing a body into Ireland for burial or cremation.

Procedure at importation

You do not have to complete a formal customs declaration. However, if the casket or urn is listed on the manifest, you should make an oral declaration at the Revenue office at the point of importation. If the urn is part of your passenger baggage, you should declare it on arrival to a Revenue officer at the airport or port.

Supporting documents required

Importing a coffin

You must have a certificate from the Civil Registrar, or other authority, of the place where the death occurred. This certificate must state that the body is being removed for burial.

Importing an urn containing ashes of a deceased person

You must have a certificate of cremation issued by the crematorium.

Importing fresh flowers

You must have a Phytosanitary Certificate. This is generally issued in the country of export by their agricultural authority.

Further information

If you require further information, contact Authorisations and Reliefs Unit.