Posthumous body repatriation from Russia to Serbia

Russia and Serbia are traditionally linked by strong friendly relations. Every year, tens of thousands of Serbians visit Russia: according to official statistics, more than 52 thousand tourists from this Balkan country traveled to Russian Federation in 2019. Serbian citizens come to Russia to study, some of them stay here to live and work.

Although a citizen of any country is eligible to be buried on the territory of Russia, their relatives, for obvious reasons, would prefer to lay to rest their loved ones in their native land. For this, the remains will need to be transported across the border, and that implies a certain procedure. Posthumous repatriation is rather a complex process. The following instructions will help you figure out the legal intricacies.

A citizen of Serbia died on the territory of the Russian Federation: step-by-step instructions on what to do

1. Immediately call the emergency services                                                 

First, call an ambulance and a police officer, who will officially confirm the fact of death. Emergency services will transmit this information to the Serbian consulate, which will notify relatives in Serbia about the fact of death. However, the consulate must first receive the official documentation on the death of the deceased, and this may take more than one day. Therefore, if possible, contact the family of the deceased yourself. Be sure to tell them the address and contact details of the morgue where the body was delivered so that they do not have to search for the body in a foreign country by themselves.

2. Contact the insurance agency

The visa-free regime between the Russian Federation and Serbia does not negate the need for citizens of Serbia to obtain health insurance: after all, this is a mandatory requirement for all foreigners planning a trip to the Russian Federation. All foreigners have the right to receive free emergency medical care in case of life-threatening conditions and diseases. However, after the threat to life has been eliminated, it will be possible to receive medical assistance or, even more so, to return to their homeland, only on a paid basis.

In the event of the client's death, the insurance company will deal with all organizational and financial issues associated with the transportation of the body to the homeland. After receiving information about the incident, the insurer will assign a special employee who will contact and deal with foreign departmental structures and partner organizations abroad to coordinate the transporting of a dead body across the border. Throughout the entire process, the insurer is obliged to keep the relatives of the deceased well-informed of the situation.

3. Contact the nearest Serbian mission in Russia

In the event of illness, accident, or death of a loved one abroad, every Serbian citizen has the right to seek help from the nearest diplomatic mission of his country. Although the Serbian mission in Russia does not provide financial support to the families of the deceased, the consulate staff can advise fellow citizens in such a situation on local funeral law and regulations connected to the repatriation of the remains.

4. Choose the method of transportation of the body

The organization of posthumous repatriation largely depends on the method of transportation of the body. Will it be coffin or urn? By plane, by train or by car? Answers to these questions will determine what documents must be collected and what bureaucratic procedures one needs to get through to send your deceased relative back home, not to say how much it will cost.

Coffin or urn?

A dead body is a hazardous cargo and certain precautions must be taken when transporting it. To protect others when transporting a dead body, it must be pre-embalmed and transported in a hermetically sealed galvanized container (a coffin with a zinc liner). The coffin itself must be additionally packed in a shipping box. 

In most cases, cremated ashes do not pose a danger to humans, and therefore transportation regulations for burial urns are much milder. The ashes should not, of course, contain any foreign objects. The walls of the urn should not be shielded from X-rays so that customs officials can verify its contents. The urn itself must be hermetically sealed and packed in a shipping box.

Plane, train, or car?

There are three ways to transport a body from Russia to Serbia: by plane, by train, or by car. Each of them has its advantages and disadvantages. Airliners are fast, comfortable, and safe, but also expensive, and you will have to pay not only for the cargo itself but also for the tickets for the accompanying person. Delivery of mortal remains by train or by car will be cheaper, but it will also take more time, and in addition to the main package of documents, one will also need to obtain all the necessary permissions for crossing the borders of transit countries.

5. Collect the required documents

After deciding on transportation means and details, you can start collecting documents. Please note that a notary-certified translation into Serbian may be requested in addition to the originals. Here is a list of documents that are required for posthumous repatriation:

  • Passport or other identity verification document. In case of loss, one should immediately contact the diplomatic mission.
  • Death certificate. Issued by MFC or Registry Office.
  • Application for the transportation of mortal remains to Serbia. Drew by the funeral company agent at the consulate.
  • Certificates of cargo compliance with the rules for transporting mortal remains across the border: certificate of sealing and the absence of foreign investments, certificate of embalming, certificate of the absence of infectious diseases.
  • Permission to export the body from the Russian Federation

Important! Check the current list of documents at the Serbian mission. – assistance in posthumous repatriation to Serbia

With many years of experience in the funeral industry, the state funeral agency has vast experience and qualifications to organize the posthumous repatriation of citizens of the Republic of Serbia to their homeland. Our funeral agents will save you from bureaucratic red tape and arrange the transportation of your loved one home in the shortest time possible. For detailed advice on the burial of a foreigner in Russia or his/her transportation back home, call +7 (495) 100-3-100 . We work around the clock.

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