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Frequently Asked Questions

Embalming
Funerals
Cremated Ashes
Export
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Embalming

What is embalming?
Embalming is the thorough disinfection and preservation of the deceased's body. Embalming helps preserve the body from decay. It also restores and presents the body in presentable form. Contrary to beliefs, internal organs are not removed when the body is embalmed.

Is embalming required by law?
No, embalming is not required by law.

However, if the family opts to allow viewing of the deceased during the funeral wake, embalming is advisable. Otherwise, the dead body may also be placed in a hermetically sealed coffin, for up to 7 days before burial or cremation.

Regardless whether embalming is carried out or not, written permission from Director-General Public Health is required to retain a dead body for any period exceeding 7 days after death.

Funerals

Can I have a funeral procession on the road?
A permit from the police may be required depending on the situation. You may wish to refer to website of the Traffic Police for more details.

How late in the night can I continue with the funeral rites?
Please conclude the funeral rites by 10:30 p.m daily.
Cremated Ashes

Can I keep the cremated ashes of the deceased at home?
Yes.

Can I scatter the cremated ashes of the deceased in the sea?
The scattering of small amounts of ashes can be carried out at the designated site located about 1.5 nautical miles (2.8 km) south of Pulau Semakau. The scattering of ashes can be conducted daily, from 0700 hrs-1900 hours. For further information on scattering of ashes, please call the Port Marine Safety Control Centre at telephone number: 6325 2488.

Do I need a coffin permit to take the cremated ashes in or out of Singapore?
No. A Coffin Permit is not required to take the cremated ashes in or out of Singapore .
Export

How do I export the body of a deceased out of Singapore?
A Coffin (Export) Permit is required to take the body of a deceased out of Singapore . The permit can be applied at either of the two Port Health Offices, which are open 24 hours a day. Each permit costs $10.

                            I. Port Health Office
                               4545 Jalan Bukit Merah
                               Singapore 159466
                               Tel: 6222 2585
                               Fax: 6222 8543

                          II. Airport Health Office
                              Singapore Changi Airport
                              Tel: 6543 2515
                              Fax: 6543 1973

Please bring the following documents for the issuance of the coffin permit:

                           I. Certificate of Registration of Death
                          II. Sealing Certificate for the coffin
                         III. Embalming Certificate

For export of still-birth (above 28 gestation weeks), the Certificate of Still-birth should indicate the name of the deceased as Still-born/Child of <name of parent>.

For export of foetus (below 28 gestation weeks), no permit is required.
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