Repatriation of the body from Russia to France
French citizen died in Russia – What to do:
1. Notify the deceased person's insurance company
To enter Russia, French citizens are required to have insurance covering the costs of post-mortem repatriation. In the event of an French citizen’s death their family or representatives should first and foremost notify the insurance company by telephone on the number specified in the policy.
2. Contact the Consulate General of France
The Consulate of France will assist in paperwork and arranging the return of the remains to France. The consulate representative must provide required support to the insurance company and go to the place of death / body storage location in order to verify the examination done by the competent authorities (mortuary, police, etc.). The burial and repatriation of the remains are only possible after notification of the consulate; otherwise the remains may be exhumed for consular examination.
3. Choose a funeral director that will help transport the body to France
The transportation of the body / ashes can be arranged independently, but the French Embassy recommends contacting professionals for help. Collecting and executing of documents that meet all requirements of the Russian Federation, the Customs Union, the EU and France itself is quite complicated and bureaucratized; a qualified funeral director will collect them faster and help to avoid mistakes related to post-mortem repatriation arrangement.
Post-mortem repatriation to France: Specifics
You will need to have the document package in two languages: Russian and French. The Russian-language documents are required for exporting the deceased from the Customs Union, the French-language documents are necessary for importing into France.
The French document package must be notarized and apostilled.
Assistance from the French Embassy in post-mortem repatriation
In the event of the death of a French citizen, Embassy employees will:
- Provide up-to-date list of requirements and documents for the importation of the deceased.
- Advise on the general procedure for arranging the transportation of the body from the Russian Federation to France.
- Make a trip to the place of death or body storage for their own examination.
- Seal the container with the remains for importing into France.
What French embassies and consulates do not do:
- Pay for the cremation, burial, and post-mortem repatriation of a French citizen;
- Interfere with private legal issues related to the deceased person (including inheritance matters);
- Provide any legal advice;
Post-mortem repatriation to France – the Body or Ashes?
Russia and France allow the exporting and importing of the remains:
- The body in a sealed container;
- Cinerary urn.
Ashes shipment is always cheaper and easier to arrange.
Requirements for remains transportation from the Russian Federation to France
To ship a body or an urn you will need to:
- Collect the documents;
- Sign a shipping contract with the airline;
- Hand over the remains to the airline for transportation to France.
Documents for remains transportation from Russia to France
|Document||Where to get it|
|Family book (livret de famille)||Special French document containing the marriage statement and information about each child. In case of loss you must contact the consular department of the French Embassy|
|Proof of French citizenship of the deceased or their spouse (passports, marriage certificate, registration)||In case of loss of these documents you must contact the consular department of the French Embassy|
|Burial Permit in France||Mayor's office of the city the where it is decided to bury the remains|
|Death certificate in Russian (stamped)||Municipal services center or registrar office;|
|A notarized copy of death certificate.||Notary|
|Notarized translation of the death certificate into French.||Legal translator + notary|
|Death certificate (Form No.11)||Municipal services center or registrar office;|
|Original and photocopy of embalming certificate||Morgue or funeral home|
|Original and photocopied Certificate of Encasement (certifying that the container is sealed and contains no extraneous objects)||Morgue or funeral home|
|Original and photocopy of export permit to ship the body 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
The documents above must be duly apostilled.
You can collect the documents without assistance. It may take up to 1-2 weeks.
A funeral home will do it within up to 3 business days.
Rules of remains importation into France
- The body must be in a zinc container or coffin with a zinc liner, which is also 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 have no unauthorized contents.
- The Consulate General of France must place its seal on a container with the body or ashes.
Choosing an airline to transport the remains to France
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.
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 transportation to France
The cost depends on:
- Weight of remains;
- Travel distance;
- Carrier rates.
It is always cheaper to ship ashes rather 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.
Russian Federation Public Services Portal Here you can find how to get various documents required to arrange remains transportation.
Address: Vadkovsky Pereulok 18, building 5 and 7, Moscow, 127994
Phone : +7 (499) 973-26-90
Embassy of France in Russia (French National Department)
Address: ul. Bolshaya Yakimanka, 45, Moscow, 115127
Tel.: + 7 (495) 937-1500
Fax: + 7 (495) 937-1413
Embassy of France: Death Abroad
Embassy of France: Apostillization rules
Ritual.ru – assistance in post-mortem repatriation to France
With our vast experience, knowledge, resources, and status of the official state funeral service Ritual.ru can quickly arrange post-mortem repatriation to France. To arrange shipping of the deceased French citizen back home call Ritual.ru hot line +7 (495) 100-3-100.