Is it legal scatter ashes in the sea in Spain?

Yes, it is possible but the scatter of ashes requieres:

  1. Port Authority authorization.
  2. Favorable repport of Ministry of Environment and rural and marine Affaires, without prejudice of any matter the authority could additionally requiere, in especial the relevant Autonomous Community you want to scatter the ashes in.
  3. The materials scattered must be previously analyzed and approved like compatible with the current Sea Protection Regulation.
This video shows the different options available for doing legally this activity.

Scatter ashes or place urns on the sea on our own, might be very risky form legal point of view but also expensive. Please find in this link an extensive article from a leal expert about where you might find more details and answers

Law 41/2010 of December 29 on the Protection of the Marine Environment is the norm that regulates dumping into the sea, and can be considered within these, both the scatter of ashes into the sea and the placement of urns in the sea.

According to article 32.1 of said law, in order to carry out the dumping of these substances:

  • It "must be previously authorized by the competent authority based on the geographical location of the place where the discharge is requested”.
  • “This authorization will be granted by the Port Authority if was carried out in the Port Public Domain or the Maritime Authority if it was carried out outside it.”
  • “Discharge authorizations will require a prior favorable report from the Ministry of the Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs for the purpose of determining their compatibility with the corresponding marine strategy, without prejudice to other reports provided for in current legislation”

Sanctions regime:

According to the Coastal Law, unauthorized dumping is classified as a minor infraction, with a sanction of up to €60,000 being foreseen.
If it is repeated within a period of two years, the infringement is considered serious, in this case the range of the sanction is up to €300,000.
You can consult the full legal analysis below:

Legal Regime

Scattering the ashes of our loved ones into the sea has been a common practice. However, the protection of the environment, and of the sea in particular, has resulted in the restriction of this practice. It is evident that our legislation does not refer to the specific prohibition,of scattering ashes, but said action could be included in what is called "dumping", an action that is regulated. According to the Dictionary of the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language, to pour is to spread liquid or small things. Thus, we can say that when the ashes of a deceased are scattered, we would be facing a spill.

Law 41/2010, of December 29, on the protection of the marine environment, is the norm that regulates the dumpling of waste or other materials from ships into the sea. According to article 32.1 of the Law, the following are understood as such:

  • a) any deliberate dumpling into the sea of waste or other matter from ships, aircraft, platforms or other constructions at sea;
  • b) any deliberate sinking in the sea of ships, aircraft, platforms or other constructions in the sea;
  • c) any storage of waste or other matter on the seabed or subsoil of the sea from ships, aircraft, platforms or other constructions at sea;

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