Publication 52 Revision: Sending Cremated Remains Internationally

The U.S. Postal Service® is revising Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail, section 452.2 to clarify that in order for cremated remains to be mailed internationally, the Individual Country Listing (ICL) in the Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, International Mail Manual (IMM®) must not indicate the remains are a prohibited item.

Currently, Publication 52 states that mailpieces sent to an international address must show that cremated remains are “permitted” for a specific country. This is incorrect, because ICLs list the restricted or prohibited items for individual countries, not what is permitted. For that reason, we clarify the statement to read that cremated remains must not be prohibited to the country of mailing.

Publication 52: Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail

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4 Restricted Matter

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45 Liquids, Powders, and Odor-Producing Material

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452 Mailability

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452.2 Cremated Remains

[Revise the last sentence of 452.2 as follows:]

***Unless otherwise restricted or prohibited by the destination country (see the Individual Country Listing in the IMM), cremated remains sent to an international address must be sent via Registered Mail service, and Registered Mail service must be available for that country.

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We will incorporate this revision into the next online update of Publication 52, which is available via Postal Explorer® at