Repatriation of human remains from Russia to Latvia

If a person dies while staying in a foreign country, you might need to organize the return of the body or ashes to the homeland. This could be a complicated process with many nuances. Here is the overall pattern of actions on how to arrange posthumous repatriation of a deceased Latvian citizen from Russia to Latvia.

What to do if Latvian citizen died in Russia

1. Notify as soon as possible the Embassy of the Republic of Latvia about the death of a Latvian citizen

Embassies do not provide financial support to families of deceased abroad, but they do help you with some relevant issues:

  • The embassy will contact the family of the deceased and inform them about the death.
  • They will advise you on all relevant issues related to the repatriation of the body to Latvia and give you the list of necessary documents.
  • They will take the personal belongings of the deceased and pass them over to relatives at the earliest.
  • They will do relevant paperwork and send a copy of the consular death certificate to the family of the deceased.

2. Contact an insurance company

Call the insurance company of the deceased as early as possible. All foreign citizens staying in Russia are required to have a valid insurance policy. Otherwise, the presence on the territory of the Russian Federation will be illegal. Such insurance covers the costs incurred in case a person needs medical treatment or dies.

If an insured person dies, the insurer assumes all financial and organizational obligations concerning the repatriation of the body or ashes to the home country. Representatives of the insurer will inform relatives or legal representatives of the deceased of all details of posthumous repatriation and keep them informed throughout the process.

3. Choose the way of transportation of remains of the deceased

You can transport remains as a body in a coffin or an urn with ashes. Each option and the relevant list of documents depends on the chosen method.

Transportation of a body in a coffin

Sometimes it is desirable to transport the whole body due to aesthetic or religious reasons. In this case, a dead body is a dangerous cargo that poses a threat to health. Therefore, a sealed coffin with a zinc liner must be used for transportation while the body is better be embalmed. This procedure is not obligatory, but it will make it easier to bring a body into Latvia. If embalming is not your option, it is necessary to obtain a document confirming that the deceased person has no infectious diseases. You can obtain such paper at the morgue or a funeral agency. Without this document, the body cannot be transported to Latvian territory.

Transportation of cremated remains

The transportation of an urn with ashes is easier and safer. However, the cargo must also meet certain requirements. First, the urn should be made of stuff that allows X-rays to pass through. This is necessary so that customs officials can verify that there are no foreign objects in the urn.

4. Gather the necessary documents

This step can take time, so get started as early as possible. The package of necessary documents includes:


Where to get it

Russian death certificate

Multifunctional center for the provision of public and municipal services (MSC) or Registry Office

Consular report on the death of a Latvian citizen abroad

Latvian Embassy

Consular Morgue Certificate

Latvian Embassy

Papers certifying that the container is sealed properly, and there are no unauthorized contents inside (Certificate of Contents and Certificate of Sealing)

Morgue or funeral agency

Certificate of embalming (Optional)

Morgue or ritual agency

There may be changes to the list of documents. Due to the unstable epidemiological situation, additional papers may be required. For a completely up-to-date list, it is best to check with the Latvian embassy

Phone number of the Secretariat of the Latvian Embassy: +7 (495) 232-97-50

5. Choose an airline for transportation of remains

According to the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) regulations, a particular airline company sets rules for the transportation of human remains, though they often do not expose this sort of information on their Internet sites. Therefore, it is better to call an airline representative office. Most Russian airlines allow transportation of a coffin or an urn in the luggage compartment only. Some European airlines allow transportation of an urn with ashes as hand baggage.

6. Meet the body upon arrival at the airport

Organizing a burial in your home country is a lengthy process, so it is best to begin as early as possible. It is better if preparations for the funeral go together with repatriation. You need to purchase mortuary supplies, choose a site for burial, prepare a funeral ceremony and arrange transportation of the body from the airport to the place of farewell. - assistance in posthumous repatriation to Latvia has many years of experience in organizing funerals and posthumous repatriation to many countries around the world. has the status of a specialized city service, which allows us seamlessly prepare everything you need for the repatriation of remains. Call our multichannel phone number +7 (495) 100-3-100 , and you will get a detailed consultation on how to get your deceased loved one back home to Latvia. We are available 24 hours a day.

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