The case of death in a foreign country

In the case of death in a foreign country the country of location shall inform the Estonian Foreign Representation in that state who in its turn shall forward the notice of death of an Estonian citizen to his/her relatives or those closest to him or her.

If there is no Estonian Embassy or Honorary Consul in that country, his/her relatives may turn to the nearest Representation of a Member State of the European Union. The Foreign Representation of another Member State shall assist the person who addresses it on an equal basis with the citizens of its own state.

The obligation of the consular officer is to help the relatives to transport the ashes of the deceased from the country of location to Estonia which inter alia includes the issue of necessary documents and sealing of the urn or coffin. The Foreign Representation shall cover no costs related to the cremation or transportation.

Coffins containing bodies and urns containing the ashes of deceased persons, as well as the flowers, funeral wreaths and other ornamental objects normally accompanying them shall be admitted free of import duties and declared to the customs by any other act (i.e no written customs declaration shall be submitted to the customs).

For transportation of the coffin containing the body or the urn containing the ashes of the deceased from Estonia to another country, the requirements of the country of destination (the country where the ashes shall be taken to) shall be taken into account. Thus, if a Swedish citizen dies in Estonia and the ashes shall be transported to Sweden, the coffin or urn shall be sealed, if needed, by the Swedish Embassy in Tallinn.

In exceptional cases, if a country of destination has no Representation in Estonia, it is possible that necessary activities shall be performed by the consular officers of the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Additional information +372 880 0814 and

Last updated: 04.10.2021

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