Repatriation of the body from Russia to New Zealand

Citizen of New Zealand died in Russia – What to do:

1. Notify the deceased person's insurance company

To enter Russia, citizens of New Zealand are required to have insurance covering the costs of post-mortem repatriation. In the event of New Zealand citizen’s death while staying in Russian Federation their family or representatives should first and foremost notify the insurance company by telephone on the number specified in the policy. The insurance company bears the expenses on returning the body home and participates in organizing the process of repatriation.

2. Contact the Consulate (Embassy) of New Zealand

The Consulate of New Zealand will assist in paperwork and arranging the return of the remains to New Zealand. 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.). If necessary, consulate staff will help contact New Zealand Funeral Directors or the deceased's relatives.

3. Choose a funeral director that will help transport the body to New Zealand

The transportation of the body/ashes can be arranged independently, but the New Zealand Embassy recommends contacting professionals for help. Collecting and executing of documents that meet all requirements of the Russian Federation and New Zealand itself is quite complicated and bureaucratized. A qualified funeral director will help to collect all necessary documents and arrange transportation in accordance with the customs and sanitary requirements of both countries. They will do it faster and help to avoid mistakes related to post-mortem repatriation arrangement.

Post-mortem repatriation to New Zealand: Specifics

Only a New Zealand funeral director is authorised to process importation and burial permits. In Russia, it is allowed to collect all the documents and arrange body (ashes) transportation & and burial process independently.

Assistance from the New Zealand Embassy in post-mortem repatriation

In the event of the death of a New Zealand 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 New Zealand;
  • make a trip to the place of death or body storage for their own examination;
  • seal the container with the remains for importing into New Zealand.

What New Zealand embassy and consulates do not do:

  • pay for the cremation, burial, and post-mortem repatriation of a New Zealand citizen;
  • provide a list of requirements for the importation of remains (body or ashes) – this is exclusively done by New Zealand funeral services;
  • interfere with private legal issues related to the deceased person (including inheritance matters);
  • provide any legal advice.

Post-mortem repatriation to New Zealand – the body or ashes?

Russia and New Zealand 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 New Zealand

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 New Zealand.

List of documents for remains transportation from Russia to New Zealand

Document Where to get it
Proof of New Zealand citizenship of the deceased In case of loss of these documents contact the consular department of the New Zealand Embassy
Death certificate in Russian (stamped) Municipal services center or registrar office
Embalming certificate Morgue or funeral home
Only needed to transport the body. Not required for transportation of ashes.
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 or ashes 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 list of documents may vary depending on agreements with a particular New Zealand funeral company. The need for translation of documents into English and their certification will also depend on them. In most cases all the documents 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 New Zealand

  • The body must be in a zinc container or coffin with a zinc liner, which is 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 of New Zealand must place its seal on a container with the body or ashes.

Choosing an airline to transport the remains to New Zealand

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

The Russian airlines allow to carry the body or the ashes only 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 New Zealand

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.

Useful Links

Gosuslugi (Public Services)

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 New Zealand in Russia

Адрес: Prechistenskaya embankment, 3, Moscow, 119034

Tel.: + 7 (495) 956-3579

Emergency assistance Phone Numbers for New Zealand Citizens:

24/7 consular emergency 

Outside New Zealand: +64 99 20 20 20


Please note, only consular emergencies, for example, death, arrest, illness or injury to New Zealand citizens will be handled outside office hours.

In Russian Federation

Phone: + 7 (903) 769-0256

Fax: + 7 (495) 956-3583



Office hours: Monday — Friday, 09.00 — 12.30; 13.30 — 17.30


The Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand:


New Zealand Customs Service: import restrictions



Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas


Link: – assistance in post-mortem repatriation to New Zealand

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

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