Body Repatriation from China to Russia

As the mobility of the world population increases, death abroad has turned from an extraordinary situation into an event that every person could unfortunately face. The need to transport the body from a foreign country and incurred paperwork is aggravated by the language barrier and ignorance of foreign legislation, and as a result, grieving relatives have to urgently solve complex legal and organizational issues in order to return the deceased to their homeland.

Repatriation of a body (from Lat. Repatriate - return home) from abroad could be a long and difficult process, with many nuances that may differ depending on the country, distance and circumstances of death. It can seriously hit your pocket. However, proper preparation and clear planning in the event of the loss of a loved one will reduce financial and time costs and help to cope with obstacles better.

About the provision of funeral services in China

The Babaoshan State Funeral Home is the only organization in China that is authorized to provide funeral services to foreign citizens. In accordance with Chinese legislation, it is Babaoshan or one of its many branches that collects and notarizes all necessary documents, handle embalming or cremation procedures, as well as transport the bodies of deceased foreigners to their homeland. International Funeral Home contacts are available in most Chinese hospitals or morgues.

An autopsy may only be carried out with the written consent of relatives or their authorized representatives, provided that death was caused by natural causes or an accident. If forensic or police officers find signs of a violent death, they have the right to send the body for an autopsy without notifying the family of the deceased. In this case, the process takes about a month on average or even longer.

Chinese legislation allows the export of the remains of the deceased abroad in the form of a body in a hermetically sealed zinc coffin, or in the form of an urn with ashes. The body must be embalmed to ensure its safety for the time needed for transportation.

Assistance of insurance company in posthumous repatriation

A prerequisite for obtaining a Chinese visa is to obtain health insurance. The insurance policy must cover the entire period of the trip, and the minimum amount of coverage must be at least $ 30,000. The transportation of the body home is also included in this amount, so it is important to notify the insurance company as soon as possible in the event of the tragedy.

According to the information published on the website of the Russian Embassy in China, the cost for cremation and transportation of an urn with ashes to the cities in European part of Russia ranges from 3 to 5 thousand US dollars (222 - 370 thousand rubles), and to the cities in Siberia and Far East Russia – about 3 thousand dollars. Embalming the body of the deceased and transporting it in a zinc coffin will cost 10-15 thousand US dollars (740 thousand - 1.11 million rubles).

The place and circumstances of death, body condition, transport links between the place of departure and the point of arrival, et cetera, may also affect the final price for body repatriation. For this reason and due to the high costs of Chinese medicine, many insurance companies recommend increasing the amount of insurance from 30 up to 50 thousand dollars.

Insurance payments

In the event of death of the insured person, the insurance company will cover most of the costs associated with the repatriation of the body on condition that death was due to illness or accident.

Insurance is not paid in the following cases:

  • death occurred during the commission of a criminal offense;
  • the deceased at the time of death was intoxicated with alcohol or drugs;
  • the deceased committed suicide;
  • the insured person died while engaging in extreme sports – standard insurance does not cover this case.

Insurance companies can help arrange repatriation in two ways. In the first case, the payment will be made directly by the insurance company itself following the results of interaction with the state funeral home. In the second, the company compensates the relatives for the expenses incurred in accordance with the submitted invoices or checks.

Body transportation from China and required documents

There are several ways of transporting remains: by car, train or air. Of these, the transportation of remains by plane is the most convenient and reliable, especially when it comes to long distances. Choosing air transport for the repatriation of the deceased, you need to take into account several important nuances:

A must for transporting a coffin with the deceased or an urn with his remains is the presence of an accompanying person: a relative or a confidant;

To transport the body, you will need a sealed galvanized container and an external shipping box.

The urn with cremated remains should be lined with a thick cloth on the outside, hermetically sealed and placed in a wooden container. It must not be shielded from radiation, otherwise it will be removed from the flight.

Not all airlines allow carrying human remains.

The accompanying person must obtain a package of documents collected by The Babaoshan State Funeral Home of China, certified by the Russian consulate (this is also undertaken by the Babaoshan employees), and provide it during customs clearance. It includes:

  • Death certificate issued by a local authorized agency or medical death certificate.
  • Permission from the Consulate of the Russian Federation in China.
  • Embalming document (if you transport a body in a coffin).
  • Certificate of the absence of foreign objects in the coffin (if you transport a body in a coffin).
  • Certificate confirming the quality of sealing the zinc coffin (if you transport a body in a coffin).
  • An inventory of the belongings and valuables of the deceased, if they are transported along with the body or remains of the deceased.

Useful Links

Gosuslugi (State Public Services portal in Russia)

Here you can find how to get various documents required to arrange remains transportation.



Address: Vadkovsky Pereulok 18, building 5 and 7, Moscow

Phone: +7 (499) 973-26-90


Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Russia

Address: Moscow, Druzhby st., 6

Phone: + 7-499-951-84-43

Phone (consular section): 007-499-951-84-35 (on working days from 15:30 - 18:00)

Embassy of the Russian Federation in China

Address: Beijing, st. Dongzhimen Beizhongjie, 4.

Phone: (+86 10) 6532 1381, 6532 2051

Telephone (emergency): +86 185 1866 4933

Phone (for consular issues): (+86 10) 6532 1991 (on working days from 15.30 to 18.00)


Email (consular section):

Working hours (consular section): Monday - Friday, 15.30 - 18.00 – assistance in post-mortem repatriation from China to Russia

With our vast experience, knowledge, resources, and status of the official state funeral service can quickly arrange post-mortem repatriation to Russia from China. To arrange our services of shipping the deceased loved one back home call hot line +7 (495) 100-3-100 .

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