May I travel with my father's ashes into Israel? The airlines are okay with it, but I'm not sure about Israeli Customs.

  • 1
    Do you have the death certificate?
    – JonathanReez
    Mar 9 '17 at 21:43
  • Customs are usually concerned about items that are either illegal or that you could sell for a profit... That said, maybe it will be interesting to inform yourself about Israeli laws concerning what you can do with the ashes (in some countries it is forbidden to throw them into the wild).
    – SJuan76
    Mar 9 '17 at 22:57
  • 1
    Condolences. As cremation is permissible under Israeli civil law, taking your father's remains to Israel is not a problem. If you're Jewish and are not going to inter the urn, in Customs, I would avoid mention of scattering ashes, as many Jews object to it. I've yet to find an official reference but the Consulate email is consular@washington.mfa.gov.il
    – Giorgio
    Mar 9 '17 at 23:14
  • 1
    @SJuan76 Human ashes is usually considered a special form of material of biological origin (as with foodstuff, plants and animals) and may very well be of concern when crossing borders. Mar 10 '17 at 7:54

This is probably a not very common request, and I couldn't find information about it online (I did find information for transferring a body for burial in Israel, but this is not the case here).

On the Israeli tax authority site, there is a list of forbidden items, and items that need a special approval. Human ahses are not on that list. (An English translation of the list can be seen here).

But, because of the sensitive nature of the item, and assuming that you probably don't want any chances of your father's ashes being confiscated, or even worse, discarded, I would recommend contacting your local Israeli consulate to inquire and make the proper arrangements, if necessary.

One more thing, cremation is very unpopular in Israel, so there is only one company that offers the service, Aley Shalechet1. And according to their site, they do perform ashes scattering services for people from abroad, so you might want to contact them and ask them; you probably have a better chance of getting a responce from them than from the Israeli tax authorities.

1 - I am not afiliated with the company in any way.

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