Transportation of the deceased person's body to Azerbaijan

A citizen of Azerbaijan died in Russia – how to transport the body to Azerbaijan:

1. Get advice at the Embassy of Azerbaijan

There is no publicly available information on the rules of bringing the remains home, neither on assistance offered by the government of the Republic of Azerbaijan in such a situation. For advice on transportation of the deceased person's body (post-mortem repatriation) to please contact the embassy directly.

2. Collect the documents required for remains transportation

You can obtain documents without assistance (it usually takes 3 to 14 days) or commission it to the funeral director (usually takes 2-3 days).

3. Choose the means of transportation and the carrier

You can send the body to Azerbaijan by plane, train or hearse vehicle.

Post-mortem repatriation to Azerbaijan: Specifics

The Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan does not publish information on remains importing rules. Currently, neither documents translation into Azerbaijani, nor a special import permit is required. However the rules are changing, so make sure you contact the embassy to obtain the up-to-date information.

Post-mortem repatriation: is it allowed to cremate a Muslim?

If the deceased person was a Muslim, then only the body can be transported. Islam does not approve of cremation:

"Breaking the bone of a dead person is similar (in sin) to breaking the bone of a living person,"
hadith Ahmad 24686

There may be situations where it is permissible or can be forgiven:

"Before your time, there was a man who did nothing good except believing that Allah is the only god. When the man was about to die, he told his family, 'When I died, take my body and burn it until it becomes like coal. Then grind it and scatter it in the air on a windy day.' When the man died, the family did what he had instructed them to do. Then God held man in the Lord's hand. God, the Almighty and Glorious, asked the man, 'Oh, son of Adam! What made you do what you did?' The man replied, 'Oh, Lord! Fear of you.' So God forgave the man because of this and the man had never done anything good except believing that Allah is the only god.",
hadith Ahmad 8040

However, the practice of cremation is not common for Islam.

Posthumous repatriation: if the deceased was not a Muslim

If the deceased was not a Muslim and is not to be buried in a Muslim cemetery, then there are no reasons against cremation.

Russia and Azerbaijan allow exporting and importing of 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 the Azerbaijan

To ship a body or an urn you will need to:

  1. Collect the documents;
  2. Choose the transportation method: by air, train, or by road;
  3. Sign a shipping contract with the chosen carrier;
  4. Hand over the remains to the carrier for transportation to Azerbaijan.

Choosing transportation method to bring the remains from the Russian Federation to Azerbaijan

Transport Pros Cons
By air The fastest, most reliable, and safest way. Usually more expensive than other options.
You'll have to arrange the body / ashes handover at the airport and then deliver it to the destination.
An attendant with a full ticket is often required.
By train Cheaper than by air, safer than by road Slow: transportation from Moscow to Baku will take at least two days
Additional complications may arise at the customs.
You'll have to to arrange the body / ashes handover at the station and then deliver it to the destination.
Direct trains are only operated by ADY – Azerbaijani Railways
By road In most cases it is cheaper than by air, the attendant does not need to have an additional ticket.
You can ship the remains directly to the destination.
Slow: transportation from Moscow to Tbilisi will take at least two days
Specialized hearse vehicle is required
Additional complications may happen at the customs.
Less safe: statistically a car accident is much more likely to happen than an air crash

Documents for transportation of the deceased person's body from Russia to Azerbaijan

Document Where to get it
Stamped death certificate; Municipal services center or registrar office;
SES Certificate (of no communicable diseases in the deceased) Rospotrebnadzor
Certificate of Encasement (certifying that the container is sealed and contains no extraneous objects) Morgue or funeral home that is arranging the shipment
Embalming certificate; Morgue or funeral home that is arranging the shipment.
Only required for body shipment.
Customs declaration application Funeral director that is arranging the shipment.
If you are arranging it without assistance you'll have to fill in the declaration at the airport / border

You can collect the documents without assistance. It may take up to 1-2 weeks.

A funeral home will do it in 2-3 business days.

Rules of importing remains into Azerbaijan

  • The container with the body or the ashes must be sealed.
  • The body must be embalmed and placed in a zinc container / coffin with a zinc container inside;
  • The cinerary urn must be transparent to X-rays.

Choosing the airline to transport the remains to Azerbaijan

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.

Some foreign airlines allow ashes to be carried in hand luggage.

AZAL, the biggest Azerbaijani carrier and its subsidiary Buta Airways also allow the ashes only in the luggage compartment.

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.

Important:

there is a popular belief in the Internet that AZAL Airlines offer post-mortem repatriation for Azerbaijani citizens free of charge. This is not true, and has been refuted by the airline on direct request.

The cost of remains transporting to Azerbaijan

The cost depends on:

  • Weight of remains;
  • Travel distance;
  • Carrier rates.

It is always cheaper to ship ashes 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 have special rates for shipping remains and attending persons' tickets.

Make sure you check the rates at each specific airline.

Useful Links

1. Public Services

Russian Federation Public Services Portal

Here you can find how to get various documents required to arrange remains transportation.

Website: https://www.gosuslugi.ru

2. Rospotrebnadzor

Address: Vadkovsky Pereulok, 18, building 5 and 7

Moscow, 127994

Phone: +7 (499) 973-26-90

Website: http://www.rospotrebnadzor.ru

3. Embassy of Azerbaijan in Russia

Address: Leontievskiy Pereulok, 16

Moscow, 125009

Phone: + 7 (495) 629-43-32; +7 (495) 629-16-49

Fax: + 7 (495) 629-55-46

E-mail: consulate@azembassy.msk.ru

Website: http://moscow.mfa.gov.az/

4. ADY – Azerbaijani Railways

Phone: +994 (12) 499-45-15 (Azerbaijan)

E-mail: info@ady.az

Website: https://ady.az/ru/

5. AZAL Azerbaijan Airlines

Phone: +994 (12) 598-88-80 (Azerbaijan)

Fax: +994 (12) 437-40-87 (Azerbaijan)

E-mail: callcenter@azal.az

Website: https://www.azal.az

Sales Offices:https://www.azal.az/ru/information/sales-offices

6. Buta Airways

Phone: +994 (12) 493-14-14 (Azerbaijan)

Website: https://www.butaairways.az/

Ritual.ru – Assistance in the post-mortem repatriation to Israel

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

10 july 2019

See Also