Transportation of decedents


The Moscow Funeral Guide gives an outline of the decedent international transportation procedure and provides a summary of the immediate measures to be taken.

If a person dies outside his country of residence it is necessary to organize the transportation of the body. This process consists of several stages and is usually performed by funeral homes.

If we speak about Russia there are basically two major cases when transportation is required. That is:

  • a non-Russian citizen dies within Russia and needs repatriation to his country of residence;
  • a Russian citizen dies abroad and needs transportation to Russia.

Foreign citizen dies within Russia

Foreign citizens arrive in Russia both for touristic and business purposes. No matter where and when the death occurred the death of a foreign citizen is to be reported to the respective consulate. The host side is to inform the relatives of the decedent as soon as possible. The host side can be:

  • friends, relatives in Russia,
  • employer,
  • travel company,
  • hotel.

If a foreign citizen dies in Moscow the body is carried to one of the city forensic study laboratories. The transportation is performed by the Health Department service. The medical death certificate is issued the next day at the forensic laboratory registration desk (opening hours 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.).

In case a foreign citizen was employed in Russia or came to Russia on a business trip, the inviting party is to be informed as soon as possible. Employers or inviting parties are responsible for their foreign employees or guests and are to assist in transporting the decedent to the country of residence.

If a foreign citizen came to Russia as tourist the host party is to report death to the respective consulate. The consulate assists in transportation of the deceased to the country of permanent residence.

Every foreign citizen arriving in Russia is to be registered in the Federal Migration Service by the host side (employer, friends, relatives, hotel staff). If a foreign citizen dies in Russia the Federal Migration Service is to be informed to take the decedent off their register.

Each country has its own peculiarities in regulations concerning the transportation of decedents. In order to observe the legislation and to simplify the procedure of transportation it’s preferable to address one of Moscow’s funeral homes experienced in international transportation issues.

The set of procedures required for the transportation of the deceased to another region or country may include:

  • medical death certificate (obtained in mortuary or forensic laboratory),
  • certified death certificate (obtained in civil registry office),
  • the embalming certificate (provided by the mortuary),
  • Health Inspection Services permit,
  • casket,
  • zinc container,
  • sealing of zinc container (provided by the funeral home),
  • certificate of the absence of alien enclosures (issued by the funeral home providing the sealing procedure),
  • loading the zinc container into the hearse for further transportation to the airport or railway station.

The funeral home RITUAL offers professional services in transportation including:

  • assembling the necessary documents
  • placing the casket into the zinc container
  • sealing the container
  • managing the transportation within Russia and abroad
  • cooperating with funeral homes from all over the world for the quick and safe transportation of the deceased to their motherland.

Russian citizen dies abroad

If a Russian citizen dies during a temporary visit abroad (business, travel) the host side is to inform the respective institutions and the Russian consulate about the occurred death. The death is registered in the respective medical institution. After that the decedent is transported home according to the insurance contract.

The Russian consulate assists in obtaining the necessary documents and transporting the Russian citizens to Russia. Typically the set of documents and required items includes:

  • certified copies of Death certificate;
  • burial/transit Permit;
  • passport or birth certificate of decedent;
  • embalmer's affidavit;
  • letter of non-contagious disease from County Health Office on official stationary;
  • letter of preparation on funeral home letterhead stating:
    1. only remains are inside the casket
    2. flight itinerary;
    3. consignee's name, address, and telephone number;
  • consul inspection affidavit;
  • documents must be translated into Russian, all documentation, including the translation, need a Notary signature, Authentication by County Clerk of Notary's signature and an Apostille;
  • if the death was suicide, homicide or an accident; a police report (notarized and authenticated) is required with an Apostille;
  • sealer casket;
  • zinc lined shipping box.

Before the decedent is transported to Russia it is recommended to contact one of the Moscow funeral homes for cooperation. The Russian funeral directors take care of the container and arrange the transportation and burial on the Russian territory.

The funeral home RITUAL has extensive experience in transporting the decedents both within Russia, to Russia and abroad. In case you have any questions or need assistance do not hesitate to call us +7 (495) 642-28-83 and +7 (495) 642-28-84.

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