How to repatriate the deceased person's body from Russia to Bulgaria

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

1. Notify the deceased person's insurance company

To enter Russia, citizens of Bulgaria are required to have insurance covering the costs of post-mortem repatriation. In most cases, insurance policies of EU citizens cover not only medical care, but also the cost of transporting the remains back home.

In the event of Bulgaria 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 Consulate (Embassy) of Bulgaria

It is impossible to organize a funeral in Bulgaria without a Bulgarian death registration certificate. Therefore, you are required to transfer to the consular department of the Bulgarian Embassy in Russia an application and a package of documents for registering death as soon as possible. Consulate staff will assist in filling out the application properly and in forwarding the documents.

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

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria recommends:

"In the event of death, the relatives of the deceased Bulgarian citizen must establish contact with the funeral home in the country of residence in order to arrange for the burial or transportation of the deceased abroad."

If you choose to collect the documents and organize transportation of the remains independently, it may take up to 7 days.

A qualified funeral director will do it within 3 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.

Death registration

If a Bulgarian citizen died in Russia, his death must be registered in the Bulgarian municipal authority.

You can submit documents personally to municipal authority of the region where the deceased resided prior to death or by contacting the consular department of the Embassy of Bulgaria in Russia.

To register death, you must provide the originals of the following documents:

1. The Russian death certificate translated into Bulgarian and certified by the apostille.

You can arrange for the translation in the consular department of Bulgaria or by contacting translator, registered by the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry. You can request a list of certified translators in the consulate.

If the translation of required documents is done in Bulgaria, it has to be certified by the directorate of the consular service of the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry located by address: Bulgaria, Sofia, Alfred Nobel str., 2.

2. Documents confirming the citizenship of the deceased: passport, birth certificate, certificate of Bulgarian citizenship.

3. Application for registration of death.

Specifics of post-mortem repatriation to Bulgaria:

Repatriation of the deceased to Bulgaria is possible only on condition that all expenses related to transportation are covered by relatives or their representatives or by insurance company. To organize the transportation of the body or ashes from Russia to Bulgaria, you need to transfer the entire amount necessary for the transportation of the remains to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria.

The Bulgarian embassy in Russia will provide comprehensive assistance in organizing the repatriation of a deceased citizen back home or his burial or cremation in Russia.

Assistance from the Bulgaria Embassy in post-mortem repatriation

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

  1. provide up-to-date list of requirements and documents for the importation of the deceased and advise on its procedure;
  2. advise on burial / cremation options in Russia;
  3. Make a request for registration of death in the Bulgarian municipality;
  4. Provide a list of accredited translators.

If necessary, the Bulgarian Embassy will take preliminary actions to preserve the deceased’s inheritance: take an inventory and seal the property of a deceased for subsequent transfer to the heirs.

Post-mortem repatriation - transporting body or ashes to Bulgaria

Russia and Bulgaria allow the export and import of the remains of the deceased body in a zinc coffin or in an urn with ashes.

Transporting ashes is always cheaper and easier to organize.

To ship a body or an urn to Bulgaria you will need to:

  1. Collect the documents.
  2. Choose the transportation option: by air, train, or by road.
  3. Sign a shipping contract with the chosen carrier.

Hand over the remains to the carrier for transportation to Bulgaria.

Please note that in case of transportation by air, you must arrive at the airport 4-5 hours before departure.

List of documents for remains transportation from Russian Federation to Bulgaria

All documents necessary for the repatriation of the body or ashes must be translated into Bulgarian.

In accordance with the Hague Convention, all documents must be certified with the apostille.

Please note that the exact list of documents is subject to change, so we recommend to clarify it at the Embassy or Consulate of Bulgaria.

Document Where to get it
Proof of Bulgaria citizenship of the deceased Municipalities of Bulgaria
In case of loss of these documents contact the consular department of Bulgaria Embassy
Stamped Death certificate in Russian Municipal services center or registrar office in Russia
Medical death certificate (form N 106 / у-08) Required only in case of violent death or death in unclear circumstances
Bulgarian death certificate Municipalities of Bulgaria
You can get it with the assistance of the consulate of Bulgaria.
In most cases, this document is not necessary for transportation, but it is a must for the organization of a funeral in Bulgaria.
Be sure to consult the consulate on this matter.
Embalming certificate Morgue or funeral home
Only needed to transport the body. Not required for transportation of ashes.
Original and photocopied Certificate of Encasement Morgue or funeral home
Original and photocopy of export permit to ship the body or ashes outside the Russian Federation Rospotrebnadzor
Application for customs declaration Funeral home that is arranging the repatriation
When you arrange remains shipment without assistance, you must complete a declaration at the airport or when you hand over the body or the ashes to the carrier

You can collect the documents independently. It may take up to 1-2 weeks. A funeral home will do it within up to three business days.

Rules of remains importation into Bulgaria

  • The body must be transported in a zinc container or coffin with a zinc liner, which is packed in a wooden transport box.
  • When transporting ashes, the urn should be transparent to X-rays.
  • The container with the body or the ashes must be sealed and carry no unauthorized contents.

Choosing an airline to transport the remains to Bulgaria

According to Russian Ministry of Transport decree 82-dated 28.06.2007, and ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization), the airline itself determines the body carriage rules.

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 transporting to Bulgaria

The cost depends on weight of remains, coffin & carrier rates.

It is always cheaper to ship ashes than a body.

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 have special rates for shipping remains and attending persons' tickets.

Make sure you check the rates at each specific airline.

Useful Links

Gosuslugi

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 & 7, Moscow, 127994

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

Website: www.rospotrebnadzor.ru

Embassy of Bulgaria in Russia

Working hours: Monday — Friday, 09.00 — 13.00, 14.00 — 17.30

Address: Mosfilmovskaya str., 66, Moscow, 115127

Phone: + 7 (495) 234-02-26 

Fax: + (495) 232-33-02

E-mail: Embassy.Moscow@mfa.bg

Website: www.mfa.bg/ru/embassies/russia

Consular Section of Bulgaria Embassy in Russia

Inquiries & Consultation from 15.00 to 17.00

Working hours: Monday — Friday, 09.00 — 12.00

Phone: +7 (499) 143-62-30

Fax: +7 (499) 143-62-13

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria

Website: www.mfa.bg/bg

Bulgarian Foreign Ministry: death abroad issues

www.mfa.bg/bg/uslugi-patuvania/konsulski-uslugi/patuvane-chujbina/smart-chujbina

Bulgarian Foreign Ministry: safe travel issues

www.mfa.bg/bg/uslugi-patuvania/konsulski-uslugi/patuvane-chujbina

Bulgarian Foreign Ministry: registration of civil states

www.mfa.bg/bg/uslugi-patuvania/konsulski-uslugi/zad-granica/grajdansko-sastoianie

Bulgarian Foreign Ministry: consular fees

www.mfa.bg/bg/uslugi-patuvania/konsulski-uslugi/taksi

Bulgarian Foreign Ministry: FAQ

www.mfa.bg/bg/uslugi-patuvania/konsulski-uslugi/faq

Ritual.ru – Assistance in the post-mortem repatriation to Bulgaria

With our vast experience, knowledge, resources, and status of the official state funeral service Ritual.ru can quickly arrange post-mortem repatriation to Bulgaria. To arrange shipping the deceased Bulgarian citizen back home please call Ritual.ru hot line +7 (495) 100-3-100.

18 december 2019

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