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Hong Kong policy on scattering ashes at sea

Losing a loved one can be one of the hardest things that can happen to you. When it comes time to decide what to do in honour of the one who has passed on, it can be a difficult choice. If you have chosen to cremate your loved one, and you live in Hong Kong, then here are some things to keep in mind when preparing to store or scatter ashes.

Preparing to Store or Scatter Ashes:

In Hong Kong, a family has a few choices about where to store or scatter ashes of their lost loved ones. A family can keep the ashes stored in an urn and placed in a private or public columbarium. They can choose to scatter ashes in the Garden of Remembrance of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) as an alternative to storing the ashes. Also, with the approval of the FEHD, a family can choose to release the remains in Hong Kong waters. If someone is interested in scattering ashes on the water, then there is an application process that needs to be completed in order for this way of remembrance to be approved.

Application Process:

If you would like to scatter the ashes of your lost loved one in Hong Kong waters, there a few things you’ll need to do:

  • Complete the application form- this form can be printed off the website, or from the Cemetaries and Cremotoria of Hong Kong or Kowloon. It needs to be submitted 10 days in advance of the proposed memorial day.

  • Turn around time- it takes approximately 5 business days for the application to be approved. In paragraph 6 of the form, it will give you a list of approved water locations that can be used for the scattering of ashes.

  • Permit- you will need to give the “Permit to take away cremated ashes” to the FEHD for approval.

  • Designated areas- there are 4 areas that are designated for scattering ashes on water. Check the website for a map of said areas.

  • Compliance- the memorial should be held on the day in which the FEHD approved the ceremony to take place. Nothing other than notes and biodegradable flowers can be placed in the water other than the remains of the loved one. Only the approved person on the application form can release the ashes into the water. Avoid scattering ashes near dolphins or fishing boats.

After you have had your loved one cremated, take your time to make final decisions about their resting place. It is not important that you make a choice immediately. Be sure you know exactly how you would like to remember your loved one.


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