How to get embalming certificate in India?

How to get an Embalming certificate in India?

Dealing with the death of a loved one is challenging and can be further complicated by the need to transport the deceased body, especially when it involves air or train travel. In India, one crucial requirement for the transportation of a deceased body is obtaining an embalming certificate. This document ensures that the body has been properly preserved and is safe for transportation over long distances. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of obtaining an embalming certificate in India.

At VMEDO, we understand the importance of ensuring a smooth and respectful process for transporting your loved one’s remains by air or train. When you request dead body transportation through us, we take care of obtaining the necessary embalming certificate. This allows you to focus on honoring your loved one’s final rites without any hassle or worries.

What is Embalming?

Embalming is a process that involves treating a dead body with chemicals to slow down decomposition. This process is essential for preserving the body, particularly when it needs to be transported over long distances or when there is a delay before the final rites. Embalming not only preserves the body but also sanitizes it, reducing the risk of infection for those handling the remains.

Why is an Embalming Certificate Necessary?

An embalming certificate serves as proof that the body has been treated in accordance with the health and safety standards required for transportation. Airlines and railway authorities in India require this certificate to ensure the safety of passengers and staff. It is a mandatory document for transporting human remains by air or train.

Legal Requirements for Embalming in India

In India, embalming and the issuance of embalming certificates are regulated by health departments and local authorities. Here are some key legal aspects to consider:

  1. Regulatory Authorities: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) are the main regulatory bodies overseeing the embalming process and the transportation of dead bodies by air.
  2. Certification Requirements: Only licensed and qualified embalmers or morticians are authorized to perform embalming and issue certificates. They must adhere to the guidelines set by the Indian government and health departments.

Steps to Obtain an Embalming Certificate

1. Contact a Licensed Embalmer

The first step is to contact a licensed embalmer or a mortuary service. These professionals are trained and certified to perform embalming and are knowledgeable about the legal requirements for transporting dead bodies. You can find licensed embalmers through hospitals, funeral homes, or online directories.

2. Provide Necessary Documentation

To begin the embalming process, you will need to provide certain documents, including:

  • Death Certificate: Issued by a medical authority, confirming the cause of death.
  • No Objection Certificate (NOC): In some cases, a NOC from the local police or municipal authority may be required.
  • Identification Proof: ID proofs of the deceased and the person requesting the embalming.

3. Embalming Procedure

Once the necessary documentation is provided, the embalmer will perform the embalming procedure. This process typically involves:

  • Arterial Embalming: Injection of embalming fluid into the blood vessels.
  • Cavity Embalming: Aspiration and injection of chemicals into body cavities.
  • Surface Embalming: Application of embalming chemicals to the body’s surface.

The entire process can take several hours, depending on the condition of the body and the methods used.

4. Issuance of Embalming Certificate

After the embalming process is completed, the embalmer will issue an embalming certificate. This certificate includes:

  • Details of the deceased (name, age, gender, etc.)
  • Date and place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Details of the embalming process
  • Date and place of embalming
  • Name and license number of the embalmer

5. Additional Documentation for Transportation

In addition to the embalming certificate, you may need other documents for the transportation of the dead body:

  • Death Certificate: Original and copies.
  • NOC from Police: If required.
  • NOC from the Health Department: For transportation within India.
  • Airway Bill or Train Ticket: Booking details for the transportation.
  • Passport and Visa: For international transportation, if applicable.

Transporting a Dead Body by Air

Domestic Transport

When transporting a body within India by air, the following steps should be followed:

  1. Contact the Airline: Inform the airline about the need to transport a dead body and inquire about their specific requirements and procedures.
  2. Submit Documents: Provide the airline with the embalming certificate, death certificate, and any other required documents.
  3. Booking and Packaging: Book the cargo space for the body. The body should be placed in a hermetically sealed casket, typically provided by the mortuary or embalmer.
  4. Clearance and Transport: The airline will handle the clearance process with airport authorities. Ensure that all paperwork is in order to avoid delays.

International Transport

For international transportation, additional steps include:

  1. Consular Clearance: Obtain clearance from the consulate or embassy of the destination country.
  2. Translation of Documents: Translate all necessary documents into the language of the destination country, if required.
  3. Adherence to International Guidelines: Follow the International Air Transport Association (IATA) guidelines for the transportation of human remains.

Steps for Train Transport

  1. Contact Indian Railways: Inform the railway authorities about the need to transport a dead body. Special permissions are required for this purpose.
  2. Submit Documents: Provide the embalming certificate, death certificate, and other necessary documents to the railway authorities.
  3. Booking and Packaging: Book a cargo space in the train. The body must be placed in a properly sealed casket to prevent any leakage or odor.
  4. Clearance and Transport: Railway authorities will handle the necessary clearances. Ensure all documents are in order.

Challenges and Considerations

Legal and Bureaucratic Hurdles

Navigating the legal and bureaucratic requirements can be challenging. It is essential to ensure that all documents are correctly filled out and submitted on time to avoid delays.

Cultural and Religious Sensitivities

India is a diverse country with various cultural and religious practices surrounding death. Respecting these practices while complying with legal requirements is crucial.


The cost of embalming and transportation can vary significantly. It is advisable to get quotes from multiple service providers and ensure that you understand all the costs involved.

Emotional and Psychological Impact

Dealing with the death of a loved one is emotionally taxing. It may be helpful to seek support from family, friends, or professional counselors during this difficult time.

Frequently asked questions on how to get an Embalming certificate in India?

1. What is an embalming certificate?

  • An embalming certificate is a document that verifies a dead body has been properly embalmed, ensuring preservation and sanitation for safe transportation.

2. Why is an embalming certificate necessary?

  • It is required for the transportation of human remains by air or train, ensuring public health and safety by preventing decomposition and potential health hazards.

3. What documents are needed to obtain an embalming certificate?

  • Required documents typically include:
    • Death Certificate issued by a medical authority
    • No Objection Certificate (NOC) from local police or municipal authority (if required)
    • Identification proof of the deceased and the person requesting embalming

4. What is the process for obtaining an embalming certificate?

  • The process involves:
    1. Contacting a licensed embalmer or mortuary service
    2. Providing necessary documentation
    3. Completing the embalming procedure
    4. Issuance of the embalming certificate

5. How long does it take to obtain an embalming certificate?

  • The embalming process can take several hours. Once completed, the embalming certificate is issued immediately.

6. How much does it cost to get an embalming certificate in India?

  • Costs vary depending on the service provider and location. Obtain quotes from multiple licensed embalmers to understand the costs involved.

7. Can I obtain an embalming certificate if the death occurred outside India?

  • Yes, you need an embalming certificate from a licensed embalmer in the country where the death occurred. You must also comply with regulations of both the departing and arriving countries.

8. What are the consequences of transporting a body without an embalming certificate?

  • Transporting a body without an embalming certificate is illegal, resulting in delays, legal issues, and health risks. Airlines and railway authorities will not allow transportation without this certificate.

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