Disposition of Remains

  1. Disposition of Remains
  2. Funeral Homes in Serbia

Burial

Burial may not take place until 24 hours after death, but must take place within 72 hours. In some cases, however, this period may be extended, particularly if the body is refrigerated. Refrigeration facilities are often lacking, and embalming, not being a Serbian custom, is only performed in Belgrade and Novi Sad.  If a body, whether embalmed or not, is placed within a sealed metal container built to certain specifications, it may be stored above ground for an extended period if refrigerated.

Embalming

Embalming facilities are available in Belgrade and Novi Sad.  Embalming is performed by the Forensic Institute attached to the universities or medical clinics in the above towns, and should be done within 72 hours after death. Embalming is expensive, about $1,300, and institutes that perform it often demand payment in advance.  Furthermore, embalming is not performed according to U.S. standards, and results might be disappointing.

Cremation

Cremation facilities exist only in Belgrade and Novi Sad. Legal provisions are the same as for burial, except that the written permission of the next-of-kin or other authorized persons (including consular officers) is necessary.  Compulsory autopsies will be performed in cases of suspicious deaths.

Caskets and Containers

When remains are to be transported out of the country, the body is appropriately prepared or cremated for shipment. It is then placed in a sealed coffin with a metal container. In the case of cremation, they are placed in an urn inside a sturdy wooden crate. Caskets and urns are available locally on short notice. They are prepared according to international regulations and meet the requirements for shipment out of the country. (for more information please visit: List of funeral homes in Serbia)

Exportation of Remains

Following documents are required by authorities:

  • Human remains
    • Official Serbian Certificate of Death issued on the international form
    • Customs declaration from the local office of the Customs Administration. In addition, the customs declaration must be attached to the outside of the container in which the remains are to be shipped.
  • Ashes
    • Official Serbian Certificate of Death issued on the international form
    • Certificate of Cremation
    • Customs declaration from the local office of the Customs Administration.  In addition, the customs declaration must be attached to the outside of the container in which the remains are to be shipped.
  • Costs:
    Charges are based on the exchange rate of May 20, 2016: $1 = 110 RSD. All fees are approximate.

    • Preparation and Shipment of Cremated Remains: $1,000 (fees include collection and transportation of cremated remains, inexpensive coffin, urn, crematorium fee, administrative fees, and shipment.)
    • Embalming: $1,300 (fees include embalming and Doctor’s certification.)
    • Preparation and Shipment of Remains:  $3,500 (Fees include embalming, collection of remains, documentation costs, wood casket, and U.S. regulation shipping container, “Air Waybill” fee, airport warehouse fee, cargo agency service)
    • Airfreight charges:
      Note:  Average weight of casket and containers is usually between 175 kg and 200 kg.

      • Belgrade to New York: $20.00/kg
      • Belgrade to Chicago: $22.90/kg
      • Belgrade to Los Angeles: $17.66/kg

Exhumation and Shipment

Exhumation is permitted upon presentation of a permit from the Office of the Sanitary Inspectorate.  Exhumation often is not allowed during the summer months.  Costs vary depending upon charges for local labor.

Remarks

There will be additional costs if the remains need to be transported within country prior to their departure from the capital.  There will also be additional costs should the remains transit an airport outside Belgrade and make a stopover on route to the final destination in the United States.