Posthumous repatriation from Russia to Norway

Step-by-step instructions on how to return the remains of a Norwegian citizen home in case of his death in Russia.

1. Notify the insurance company in which the Norwegian citizen has insured his trip to Russia

The migration legislation of the Russian Federation obliges all foreigners temporarily arriving in Russia to have a valid insurance policy. By the principle of reciprocity, the minimum insurance coverage for citizens of the Kingdom of Norway is 30 thousand euros or about 2 billion rubles at the exchange rate on the date of this publication. The insurance should cover the cost of medical services, including hospital and surgical care, medicines, and, if necessary, the return of the body of the deceased back home.

In the event of the death of the insured person, the insurer will take over any organizational and financial issues related to the return of his body to his homeland or burial in Russia. Employees of the insurer will explain to the relatives of the deceased the nuances of Russian funeral legislation and the procedure for posthumous repatriation. They will also keep them informed of the situation throughout this process. If necessary, the insurer will provide a list of competent funeral organizations with experience in transporting bodies from Russia to Norway in cooperation with Norwegian funeral agencies.

Upon learning of the death of a Norwegian citizen, immediately inform the insurance agent of this fact using the contacts specified in the insurance contract. The insurer will brief his staff on the matter and coordinate with partners to start the repatriation process. Any delay could create additional difficulties in transporting the deceased home.

2. Contact the Norwegian embassy

It is highly likely, that the deceased’s relatives will not be the first to know about his death. If the deceased died in a hotel, then the hotel administration will immediately contact the emergency services: an ambulance to ascertain the fact of death and the police for a permit to transport the body to the morgue. If the identity of the deceased is established, the police will forward the information about his death to the consulate of the country of which he was a citizen, in this case, Norway. When a foreigner dies in a medical institution, this obligation falls on doctors. The consulate staff will inform the Norwegian National Criminal Investigation Service (KRIPOS) about the incident, which, in turn, will contact the family of the deceased through the local police or a priest. Please note that this process may take some time since the consulate cannot notify the Norwegian authorities about what happened without having official documents on hand while their registration by the local authorities may take from several days to a week.

In the event of the death of a citizen of Norway in Russia, the Norwegian consulate in Russia will advise the relatives of the deceased on local law, rules of burial and repatriation of the remains, specify the approximate cost of transporting the remains home, and provide contacts of some funeral agencies. Please note that the Norwegian consulate will not engage in the following:

  • Payment for cremation, burial, or posthumous repatriation of the remains of the deceased home;
  • Interference with legal issues related to the deceased, including inheritance;
  • Participation in the investigation of the circumstances of the death of the deceased by local authorities or independent investigation. 

3. Make a contract with a funeral agency

The support of the insurance company and the Norwegian diplomatic mission will facilitate the return of the deceased home. Still, be noted that the preparation of post-mortem repatriation on your own is not quite easy. Organizational and red tape issues could be time-consuming and demanding, and the routine may take weeks to complete the process. Therefore, it is better to leave it to the professionals. 

Important note: the Russian funeral agency will only undertake the transportation of the body and all related issues. For the burial of the body in Norway, it is necessary to negotiate with a Norwegian funeral agency.

4. Prepare the documents necessary for the transportation of the body

Preparation of posthumous repatriation begins with paperwork. Please note that in addition to the original documents in Russian, the organizer will need to have them translated into Norwegian and notarized. Below is a list of the basic papers required to organize the transportation of the body across the border: 

  • medical certificate of death;
  • documents confirming the compliance of the cargo with the rules for transportation of mortal remains across the border: a certificate of the absence of infectious diseases in the body of the deceased, a certificate of sanitization of the body and embalming, a certificate of the absence of extraneous investments and a certificate of airtight sealing of the coffin/urn;
  • permission to remove the body from Russia to Norway;
  • application for customs declaration.

Important! Please clarify the current list of necessary documents in the Norwegian consulate before you start to collect them. It may vary depending on the selected transportation method and other factors.

5. Arrange a pick-up at the airport/train station

As a rule, an insurance service and/or a local funeral agency in Russia will take over the transportation of the body to the airport or a train station nearest to the family's place of residence or given point of destination. 

Please note! Due to the coronavirus pandemic, entry to Norway is currently restricted, and a mandatory 10-day quarantine is introduced for visitors.

Ways and rules for transporting human remains

There are several main ways to transport the remains of a deceased person across the border. Despite the high cost of air travel, it is the fastest and most convenient way for transporting over long distances. However, it is more expensive and you will need to pay the cost of tickets for the person accompanying the cargo. Transportation by rail will be cheaper but take longer. The same applies to sea transport.

The remains can be transported both in a coffin with a body or an urn with cremated ashes. In the first case, you will need to arrange for a container with a hermetically sealed galvanized coffin or a coffin with a zinc liner, while the body must be pre-embalmed. There should be no extraneous items in the container. The shipment must be accompanied by appropriate certificates arranged by the hired undertaker. 

In the case of transportation of cremated remains, the urn must be x-rayed so that customs officers can make sure that there are no extraneous objects within. The urn itself should be hermetically sealed.

Ritual.ru - Assistance in post-mortem transportation 

Years of experience in funeral arrangements and posthumous repatriation allow us to transport human remains to any destination worldwide without any risk of delay. Call the number +7 (495) 100-3-100 any time in need. Our specialists work around the clock.

25 march 2021

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