What is body repatriation?

Body repatriation is the term used when transferring a person who has died to their country of origin or citizenship. The next of kin of the person who has died will usually need to decide between a local burial, cremation or bringing the person home. 

If you wish to repatriate the body in a casket, you will need an official permit (laissez-passer for corpse). It is issued by the locally competent Hungarian Embassy or Consulate General.

Non-cremated remains

The body must be placed in a double casket. The inner one must be firm and entirely airtight, and made of sheet metal (lead or zinc). Absorbent material, such as sawdust, must be placed on the bottom of the inner casket. The body must be soaked in a sublimate solution of 1% strength.

The casket must be packed in a wooden coffin, which may again be packed to be protected from eventual damage, or maybe covered with canvas or tarpaulin so that the nature of its contents is not revealed. Strong handles must be bolted on the outer packaging. The funeral director should provide a certificate attesting that the above procedure has been followed. Transporting objects or flowers with human remains is strongly prohibited.

How to apply for a laissez-passer?

In order to get a permit (laissez-passer) to repatriate a corpse please complete an application form online here (first you need to register an account). At the end of the process you should also upload the following documents to the online platform:  

  • A letter authorising the company to act on the behalf of the person providing the authorisation, and the ID/passport copy of that person;
  • Copy of the ID/passport and employment confirmation letter of the person who will be attending the appointment on behalf of the company;
  • Death certificate/interim death certificate;
  • Copy of Hungarian ID card/passport of the deceased;
  • Confirmation from the Hungarian cemetery of the receipt of the body;
  • „Out of England order”;
  • Embalming certificate (when transporting human remains on air);
  • Certificate from the funeral director confirming that the body has been placed in a coffin that meets the conditions for transport;
  • Air Waybill (when repatriating by air transport), or the route of the road transport (place of departure and arrival, date of departure and arrival), details of the vehicle (registration number), route (with ferry ticket/train ticket);
  • Certificate from the UK health authorities / hospital that the body is free of infectious and contagious disease and may be transported safely;
  • In case the cause of death was COVID an additional declaration from the transporting company is also requested.

Once the online form is completed and the documents are uploaded, please follow the instructions and send the application electronically to the consulate and book an appointment via email at konz.man@mfa.gov.hu to submit the application in person. Please note that sending the application form electronically is not enough to start the procedure. The procedure starts with the submission of the application in person at the consulate. For this, you need to print out the form after completed online and bring it with you along with the original documents previously uploaded to the system (see above instructions).

The issuance of the permit is subject to a fee, which you can find HERE.

Provided that the application is complete, the permit is issued right away.

Cremated remains

There are no special requirements for the shipment of cremains into Hungary, however, the funeral urns must be sealed. If the cremains are sent by mail, the package containing the urn should be addressed to the recipient or to the cemetery. It is recommended that a copy of the certificate of death be enclosed with the shipment.

NOTE! For transportation of ashes no permit is needed from the Consulate, but we strongly advise you to contact the airline in advance to clarify the possible requirements.