How can I mail ashes?

   By Irina Jordan

If you need to mail the ashes of a loved one or beloved pet, the shipping rules have recently changed.

It used to be you could send cremated remains either domestically or internationally via First Class Registered Mail service. Effective December 26, 2013, the only option now is to utilize Priority Mail Express service, which includes USPS tracking. DHL, FedEx and UPS will not knowingly accept cremated remains for shipment.

What this means for you is that you can ship cremated remains via the USPS provided those "ashes" are packaged "in a strong and durable container" and are sent domestically using the USPS Priority Mail Express service. When shipping internationally, receipt of the cremated remains cannot be "otherwise prohibited by the destination country" and must be sent using the USPS Priority Mail Express International Service.

In addition, in late August 2013, the USPS implemented "Label 139" - a non-trackable sticker designed to "increase visibility during USPS processing and transportation" of packages containing cremated remains. You or a USPS person can affix this label to the outside of your package, next to the shipping address.