Issuance of laissez-passer for a corpse

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A laissez-passer is required for the international transport of corpses. A laissez-passers for a corpse of a deceased person is issued by the Supervision and Guidance divisions at the Danish Patient Safety Authority.

The following documents must be provided as part of the application before the Supervision and Guidance divisions can issue a laissez-passer for the deceased person. All questions in this regard must be directed to The Danish Patient Safety Authority’s Supervision and Guidance division in the region where the laissez-passer is to be issued.

Guide

1. Medical information from the death certificate

The doctor who issued the death certificate must print out a copy of the death certificate in its entirety and add the following to the certificate:

  • A statement of whether the deceased suffered from infectious disease.
  • Legible name, stamp, date and signature.

The information contained in the death certificate is confidential information. To comply with the duty of confidentiality to the deceased and not disclose sensitive personal data to third parties, the doctor must provide the death certificate in a closed and sealed envelope to the applicant - usually a funeral director or a relative to the deceased. The sealed envelope must be submitted unopened to the receiving Supervision and Guidance division at the Danish Patient Safety Authority. 

If, due to exceptional circumstances, an electronic death certificate has not been prepared, the medical doctor must make a photocopy of part two (page 2-3) of the handwritten paper death certificate, and add a statement to the death certificate with the following information:

  • A statement of whether the deceased suffered from any infectious disease.
  • A statement that the photocopy is identical with the original.
  • Legible name, stamp, date and signature.

The photocopy must be provided in a closed and sealed envelope to the funeral director. 

2. Confirmation of death report

A printed copy of the burial authority’s decision on “Request for Burial and Cremation” as certification that the death has been reported to the burial authority. The burial authority is the church parish where the deceased died or where the deceased was born. You can read more about “Request for Burial and Cremation” on the website of the Danish Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs.

3. Request from the funeral director company or relative for permission to transport a corpse abroad, including statement on the nature of the coffin

The request form for permission to transport a deceased person abroad, including information about the nature of the coffin, must be signed and submitted. The form can be downloaded below under “Certificates and requests”.

4. Soldering certificate for zinc coffins

The soldering of zinc coffins is performed by funeral directors. The company that performed the soldering must complete the soldering certificate. The soldering certificate must be submitted with the application.

Special provisions for Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden: Zinc coffins are not mandatory unless required by the company performing the transport. However, the coffin must always be airtight and solid.

5. Embalming certificate – the deceased is transported by air

The embalming of corpses is performed by funeral directors. You must therefore contact a funeral director to arrange for the embalming of a deceased person. Once the corpse is embalmed, the funeral director who performed the embalming completes an embalming certificate. The certificate form can be downloaded below under “Certificates and requests”.

Special provisions for Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden: The embalming of corpses before transport by air is not mandatory unless required by the company performing the air transport.

6. When is a laissez-passer for a corpse not required?

A laissez-passer for a corpse is not required for the transport of cremated human remains (ashes) to or from Denmark.

A laissez-passer for a corpse is not required for the transport of corpses within the boundaries of the Kingdom of Denmark. No laissez-passer for a corpse is required for transport to the Faroe Islands, which is considered part of the Kingdom of Denmark in relation to the Order on the Handling of Corpses, No. 152 of 1983, including transport of corpses.

A laissez-passer for a corpse is not required for transport to and from Bornholm via Sweden.

However, a laissez-passer for a corpse is required for transport to Greenland.

Legalisation

Legalisation of medical certificates, laissez-passers for a corpse, etc. has been the exclusive domain of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 1 January 2007.

Your can read more at the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark under “Legalisation”.