Changes to the Regulations on Burying the Dead

Within two months, parliament can submit a bill that provides for the introduction of electronic death cards, the digitization of cemetery registers and the establishment of a register of graves and resting places. Wojciech Labuda, the Prime Minister’s Plenipotentiary for the Protection of Memorial Sites, has announced this.

Labuda noted that the existing provisions of the 1959 Cemeteries and Burial of the Dead Act need clarification. The purpose of the proposed changes is to adapt them to current legal and organizational realities. The new regulations should come into effect in March 2023.

– We don’t want to make a moral revolution in this area. The only revolution will be digitization. We want all burial processes to be done digitally, Labuda told PAP. – These changes were made to replace the current, archaic 1959 law on cemeteries and the burial of the dead. A law that is far from being in line with current reality and the demands of the times, he stressed.

What’s on the bill?

Among other things, the project provides for the introduction of electronic death certificates. The data is automatically passed on to national registers and related institutions. This is intended to improve procedures related to the classification of causes of death and to allow access to data for bodies such as the Central Bureau of Statistics, the Central Bureau of Statistics or the pension authorities.

– We want 100 percent of deaths to be electronically registered when the law comes into force. Everyone knows that this is a far-reaching simplification, not only for citizens and companies, but also for the state, especially in crisis situations such as an epidemic. At the moment, even year after year, collective statistics on the causes of death are compiled by the Central Bureau of Statistics. It is a matter of security that such data should appear immediately – Labuda said.

On the other hand, the digitization of memorial sites includes the creation of a central database of cemeteries and cemeteries, an online search engine and maps of graves, digitization of cemetery registers or an online list of historical cemeteries and graves of prominent persons.

The law must also define terms such as embalming, burial, burial, or grave, among others. Specify the places where new cemeteries, houses and funeral homes can be built. Under the proposal, houses and funeral homes may only be built in service development areas, which must be specified in local spatial development plans.

When can the rules come into effect?

– We currently expect the date of entry into force of the proposed provisions to be March 1, 2023. The date may change due to further government or parliamentary work. We are now in the consultation and agreement phase. I hope that in the next two months this project will find its final phase in terms of the government phase and reach the parliamentary phase – Labuda said. And he added that “we also assume appropriate vacatio legis for individual legal requirements. The longest date for the last changes to be implemented is 2028 – he stressed.

The introduction of electronic cemetery registers will last until 2026. In 2028 it will be necessary to adapt the crematoria installations to the emission requirements. Earlier, at the end of August 2023, companies in the industry must apply for registration in the register of funeral directors. By that time, the regulations of the cemeteries should also be known.

Fairs in Kielce

The new solutions were discussed at the Necroexpo fair in Targi Kielce, the only event of this type in Poland aimed at the funeral industry. Until 5 June, producers of hearses, urns, coffins and other funeral products will be present in the exhibition halls.

For example in the exhibition center in Kielce spherical urns or applications for creating virtual obituaries.

Main photo source: Jaroslaw Kurek / Shutterstock.com

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