How to repatriate a deceased person from Russia to Belarus

A citizen of Belarus died in Russia – what to do: 

1. Notify the deceased person's insurance company

To enter Russia, citizens of Belarus are not strictly required to have insurance covering the costs of post-mortem repatriation. It is preferable to have one covering medical expenses & burial costs or repatriation of the body home. In the event of Belarus citizen’s death in Russia their family or representatives should notify at once the insurance company by telephone on the number specified in the policy. 

2. Notify the nearest Consulate or Embassy of Belarus

Employees of the consular department will advise you on the procedure for registering death. In emergency cases, you can contact the consulate by emergency phone at any time. You can also submit a letter of notice by e-mail to consular@embassybel.ru in which you should indicate:

  • name, year of birth and citizenship of the applicant and the one who died;
  • number and series of the deceased person`s passport, his/her registration address in Belarus and Russia;
  • facts related to death.

The Embassy of Belarus has consulate departments in the following cities of Russia:

Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Kazan, Krasnoyarsk, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Smolensk, Rostov-on-Don, Ufa and Khabarovsk.

More information about the consulates could be found here: embassybel.ru/departments

3. Choose a funeral director that will help transport the body to Belarus

If you choose to collect the documents and organize transportation of the remains independently, it may take 4-8 days.

A qualified funeral director will do it within three business days in accordance with the customs and sanitary requirements of Russian Federation. They will do it faster and help to avoid mistakes related to post-mortem repatriation arrangement.

Specifics of post-mortem repatriation to Belarus:

Russia and Belarus are members of The Eurasian Customs Union (EACU), so there will be fewer difficulties in organizing the transportation of the body or ashes. Besides, you are not required to translate and certify the necessary documents as the Russian language has the status of the state language in Belarus.

Assistance from the Belarus Embassy in post-mortem repatriation

In the event of the death of Belarus citizen, Embassy employees will:

  • provide up-to-date list of requirements and documents for the importation of the deceased and advise on its procedure;
  • advise on the procedure for registering the death of a citizen of Belarus;
  • will help to contact the relatives of the deceased in Belarus, If necessary;
  • provide notarial services.

What Embassy employees will not do:

  • pay for cremation, burial and post-mortem repatriation;
  • involve into private legal issues related to the deceased (including inheritance);
  • provide any legal advice;
  • investigate the circumstances of death and interfere with the work of the Russian internal affairs bodies.

Post-mortem repatriation to Belarus – body or ashes

Russia and Belarus allow the exporting and importing of the remains:

  • the body in a sealed container,
  • ashes in a cinerary urn.

Transportation of the ashes is always cheaper and easier to arrange.

Myths about body repatriation to Belarus

One can easily find posts in internet stating that the remains of a deceased person are allowed to be transported from Russia to Belarus by private car in a coffin without a zinc liner and without a zinc container. Please mind that these statements are incorrect! Rules strictly demand that human remains:

  • can only be transported in a special zinc coffin or in a coffin with a zinc liner;
  • when crossing the border, the remains are allowed to be transported only by hearses.

Violation of these rules can lead to problems with the law, up to criminal prosecution under article 244 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (fines or even imprisonment).

Choosing transportation method to bring the remains from the Russia to Belarus

The remains of the deceased person can be transported to Belarus by air, by car or by train.

Transport Pros Cons
By air The fastest, most reliable and safest way.
Requires minimum number of documents and customs checks.
More expensive on average.
Need to arrange the body/ashes handover at the airport.
Requires an accompanying person with a ticket.
By car Cheaper than by air on average.
An accompanying person is usually not required.
Body / ashes can be delivered directly to destination.
Journey may take a day.
Higher risk of delay due to accident or other circumstances.
Minor risk of delay at customs for a more detailed check
Transportation is only possible by a hearse
By train Cheaper than by air Need to arrange the body/ashes handover at the station of destination.
Requires an accompanying person with a ticket.
More documents may be required to cross the border.

Is it possible to transport the remains of a citizen of the Russian Federation to Belarus?

Yes. Since Russia and Belarus are members of the Eurasian Customs Union, no additional documents will be required.

To ship a body or an urn from Russia to Belarus you will need to:

  • collect the documents;
  • choose the transportation method;
  • sign a shipping contract with the chosen carrier;
  • hand over the remains to the carrier for transportation to Belarus.

Documents for remains transportation from Russia to Belarus

According to the rules of the Eurasian Customs Union, the only document required to repatriate the remains is a stamped certificate of death. However, in practice, you may need to provide for additional documents depending on the circumstances of death.

Document Where to obtain When it is required
Proof of Belarus citizenship of the deceased. Passport is preffered. Municipal services centers or registrar offices of Belarus.
In case of loss of the document while staying in Russia you will have to contact the consular department of the Belarus Embassy
Better have it at hand
Original and photocopy of the medical certificate of death (form N 106 / y-08) Morgue May be required when crossing the border at customs
Stamped certificate of death Municipal services centers or registrar offices

There are optional documents that it is better to obtain to avoid risks of delay:

  • original and photocopy of embalming certificate;
  • original and photocopied Certificate of Encasement (certifying that the container is sealed and contains no extraneous objects;
  • certificate confirming that the deceased had no infectious diseases.

Rules for remains importation to Belarus

  • the body must be in a zinc container or coffin with a zinc liner, which has to be packed in a wooden transport box;
  • when transporting ashes, the urn should be transparent to X-rays;
  • container with the body or the ashes must be hermetically sealed and contain no unauthorized contents.

Choosing an airline to transport the remains to Belarus

  • according to Russian Ministry of Transport decree N 82, dated 28.06.2007, and rules of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the airline itself determines the body carriage rule;
  • the Russian airlines allow carrying the body or the ashes only in the luggage compartment;
  • carriers from other countries may allow you to carry the ashes in your hand luggage;
  • make sure that you check the details on the rules and applicable fares from the chosen airline representatives – this information may often not be publicly available.

The cost of remains transportation to Belarus

  1. The cost depends on weight of remains, travel distance & carrier rates.
  2. It is always cheaper to ship ashes rather than a body.
  3. Many airlines require an attendant on board the aircraft. This applies to both the body and the ashes. A relative of the deceased person or a funeral home representative can be such an attendant. The attendant must have a flight ticket. Some airlines (e.g. Lufthansa) have special rates for shipping remains and attending persons. Make sure you check the rates at each specific airline.

Useful Links

Gosuslugi (Public Services)

Russian Federation Public Services Portal.

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

Website: www.gosuslugi.ru

Rospotrebnadzor

Address: Vadkovsky Pereulok 18, building 5 and 7, Moscow, 127994

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

Website: www.rospotrebnadzor.ru

Embassy of Belarus in Russia

Address: Maroseyka street, 17/6, Moscow, 101000

Phone: + 7 (495) 777-66-44 | +7 (495) 624-70-95

Opening hours: Monday - Friday, 09.00 - 13.00, 14.00 - 18.00

Website: embassybel.ru

Consular network of the Republic of Belarus in Russia

Website: embassybel.ru/departments

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus

Address: Belarus, Minsk, Lenin str., 19

Phone: + 375 (17) 220-21-65 | + 375 (17) 327-29-22

Opening hours: Monday - Friday, 09.00 - 13.00, 14.00 - 18.00

Website: mfa.gov.by

Community “Belarusians of Moscow”

Website: belmos.ru

Ritual.ru – assistance in post-mortem repatriation to Belarus

With our vast experience, knowledge, resources, and status of the official state funeral service Ritual.ru can quickly arrange post-mortem repatriation to Belarus. To arrange transportation of the deceased person back home please call Ritual.ru hotline +7 (495) 100-3-100.

22 january 2020

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