Travelling with Cremated Remains 

Recent changes to Transport Canada regulations meant CATSA (Canadian Air Transport Security Authority) had to update its procedures for screening cremation containers. Under the new regulations, cremation containers that cannot be cleared by the x-ray machine will not be permitted past the security checkpoint.

Q. How will CATSA’s procedures for screening cremation containers change?

A. Passengers going through pre-board screening with a cremation container will be asked to place it in a specially designed bin so that it can be screened using x-ray technology.

Q. I can provide a cremation certificate and death certificate. Does this exempt my container from screening?

A. No. All cremation containers must be screened and cleared by the x-ray machine under these new procedures.

Q. How will cremation containers be handled? Is there a chance my container will be damaged?

A. Screening officers will not handle cremation containers. Passengers will be asked to carefully place cremation containers in a specially designed bin so that they may be x-rayed. The x-ray will not harm the container or its contents.

Q. Is it possible that a cremation container may not be permitted?

A. Yes. A cremation container will not be permitted beyond the screening checkpoint unless it is cleared by the x-ray machine.

Q. What can I do if my cremation container is not permitted?

A. You may wish to:

·        leave the container with a friend or family member who is not travelling and still at the airport;
·        ask your airline rep. to re-book you on a later flight, allowing you time to make other arrangements; or
·        ship the container via mail, cargo or courier. Please keep in mind that shipping options vary at airports.

Q. If my cremation container did not pass the x-ray inspection, can I open it to show screening officers that there are no non-permitted items inside?

A. No. If a cremation container does not pass the x-ray inspection, screening officers are not permitted to visually inspect the contents (even if you open the container). However, if your cremation container is empty, you can inform the screening officer, offer to open it yourself and show him or her there is nothing inside.

Q. Are some types of containers more likely to pass the x-ray inspection?

A. Due to differences in thickness, shape and material, some cremation containers are more likely to pass through security screening. Plastic, cardboard or cloth containers are most likely to clear the x-ray and be permitted past the checkpoint. Metal, granite and ceramic containers are least likely to be permitted past the checkpoint.

Q: Are cremation containers allowed in checked baggage?

A. An empty cremation container is allowed in carry-on or checked baggage. If it is not empty, ask your airline before you travel if they will allow it in checked baggage (some do, some don’t). All cremation containers, however, are subject to screening and may be rejected, whether transported empty or full, as carry-on or checked baggage.

Q. I have questions about the screening of cremation containers. How can I obtain more information?

A. You can visit or call 1 800 O-Canada for more information.