Post-mortem repatriation from Russia to Canada

Canadian citizen dies in Russia – what to do:

1. Notify the deceased person's insurance company

To enter Russia, each Canadian citizen must to have an insurance. The insurance company bears the expenses of returning the body home.

2. Notify the Embassy or Consulate of Canada

According to Canadian laws, after the death of a Canadian citizen, they should be excluded from a number of social programs as soon as possible in order to avoid any financial or legal problems between deceased person's heirs and the state.

The Embassy of Canada will advise on the funeral arrangements or repatriation of the remains.

3. Find a funeral home with experience in international transportation of remains.

It is quite a complicated procedure to arrange repatriation of the remains from the Russian Federation to Canada, and the Embassy of Canada in the Russian Federation recommends entrusting this to a local company specializing in bringing the deceased to their homeland.

Post-mortem repatriation to Canada: Specifics

A Canadian citizen's death in Russia must be reported to the Canadian Embassy or Consulate in order to stop their participation in the following programs:

  • Old Age Security
  • Canada Pension Plan
  • Social Insurance Number, SIN
  • Employment Insurance
  • Tax-related payments
  • Personal Identification

The deceased person's passport must be returned to the state (Canada Passport Program).

Assistance from the Canadian Embassy in post-mortem repatriation

If a Canadian citizen dies abroad, employees do the following:

  • Certify the death certificate.
  • Specify the list of documents for transportation of the body/ashes and collection procedures.
  • Contact the Russian authorities (police, hospital, morgue) to get the details regarding the circumstances around the death and location of the remains.
  • Estimate the cost of bringing the remains back to Canada, depending on the conditions and wishes of the loved ones.
  • Update on the remains import and export regulations (the body or ashes).
  • Help identify the deceased person. Provide biometric data of the deceased if required.

The Embassies or Consulates of Canada do not:

  • Pay for cremation, burial, or post-mortem repatriation of a Canadian citizen;
  • Interfere with private legal issues related to the deceased person (including inheritance matters);
  • Translate any documents into foreign languages.
  • Provide any legal aid;
  • Interfere in the investigation of circumstances around the death carried out by local authorities, or conduct their own an investigation.

Post-mortem Repatriation – Whether to Transport the Body or Ashes?

Russia and Canada allow export and import of the remains:

  • the body in a sealed container;
  • cinerary urn.

Ashes shipment is always cheaper and easier to arrange.

Requirements for bringing the remains from the Russian Federation to Canada

To ship a body or an urn you will need:

  • Get the documents;
  • Sign a shipping contract with the airline;
  • Hand over the remains to the airline for shipping to Canada;

Documents for shipping of a deceased person's body from Russia to Canada

Document Where to get Required for
Russian death certificate Municipal services center or registrar office; Required for bringing a body to Canada, although not required for ashes.
Required to export the body or the ashes from the Russian Federation.
The Russian death certificate translated into English or French Any translation agency It is not strictly required, but a translated certificate may be really helpful in case of any complications with the Canadian Customs Service.
Certificate of Encasement (certifying that the container is sealed and contains no extraneous objects) Morgue or funeral home Required for shipping the body/urn outside the Customs Union.
Not required by Canadian Customs.
Certificate of no communicable diseases SES (Sanitary and Epidemiological Service) Only needed for the importation of the body.
Not required for the ashes.

You can collect the documents without assistance. It may take up to 1-2 weeks.

A funeral home will do it in 2-3 business days.

Canadian remains import rules

  • The container with the body or the ashes must be sealed.
  • It is better to ship the body embalmed in order to avoid any additional checks from the Quarantine Office)
  • When transporting ashes, the urn should be transparent to X-rays.

Choosing an airline to transport remains to Canada

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

The Russian airlines only allow to carry the body or the ashes in the luggage compartment.

Some European and American airlines allow ashes in hand luggage .

You should 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 transporting the remains to Canada

The cost depends on:

  • Remains weight;
  • Travel distance;
  • Carrier fares.

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 (e.g. Lufthansa) have special rates for shipping remains and attending persons.

Make sure you check the rates at each specific airline.

Useful Links

Public Services

Russian Federation Public Services Portal Here you can find how to get various documents required to arrange remains transportation.


Canadian Embassy in Russia

Address: Starokonyushenny Pereulok, 23, Moscow, 119002, Russia

Telephone: + 7 (495) 925-6000

Fax: + 7 (495) 925-6025

Open hours: 8.30 AM to 5.00 PM


Government of Canada


Government of Canada: what to do if a citizen dies abroad


Canada Border Services Agency


Canada Border Services Agency: Memorandum on importation and exportation of human remains

Link: – Post-mortem repatriation to Canada

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

See Also