We Are Here To Help
We know that the death of a friend or loved one is a difficult time so we are here to help. We can:
- Help with forwarding personal effects.
- Work with any funeral homes you select to ensure proper shipment documentation.
- Act as a liaison in arranging the dispositions of remains.
Please note, the family or legal representative must pay all funeral home charges and shipping costs for the remains and personal effects.
The death of an American citizen abroad should be reported as soon as possible. In cases where no family members were traveling with the deceased American, a Consular Officer will attempt to locate and notify the decedent’s next-of-kin. The Embassy can also inform the individual’s family about options and costs for disposition of remains.
Costs for preparing and returning a deceased individual’s body to the United States from Moldova are generally quite high and must be paid by the family unless appropriate insurance was acquired in advance. Often, local laws and procedures can make the return of remains to the United States a lengthy process. On average, expect the return of remains to take 10 to 14 days, although it can take significantly longer depending on the circumstances of death.
Disposition of Remains Report for Republic of Moldova
Updated June 2023
U.S. Embassy Information
Address: 103, Mateevici St., Chisinau, Moldova
Telephone: +373 22 408 300
24-hr. Switchboard: +373 22 408455
Fax: +373 22 233 044
American Citizen Services e-mail address: ChisinauACS@state.gov
State Department Country Specific Information:
State Department Travel Information: http://travel.state.gov
Registration with the U.S. Embassy: https://step.state.gov/step/
The following general information is provided to assist families with their initial decisions following the death of a loved one.
Profile of Religions of the Host Country and Religious Services Available to Visitors
Religions: Eastern Orthodox Christianity is the predominant religion in Moldova.
Baptist, Pentecostal, Jehovah’s Witness, Seventh Day Adventist, Mormon, Roman Catholic and Jewish faiths are also represented in Moldova.
Funeral Directors, Mortician and Related Services Available in Chisinau
DISCLAIMER: The U.S. Embassy Chisinau, Moldova assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the following persons or firms. Names are listed alphabetically, and the order in which they appear has no other significance. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the funeral directors, morticians and other service providers.
LEGAL MEDICINE CENTER CHISINAU
8 Korolenco St., Chisinau
Phone: +373 22 727933
LEGAL MEDICINE CENTER BALTI
101 Decebal St., Balti
Phone: + 373 231 73198
LEGAL MEDICINE CENTER CAHUL
150 Stefan cel Mare St., Cahul
Phone number: + 373 299 34173
LEGAL MEDICINE CENTER CIMISLIA
135 Alexandru cel Bun St., Cimislia
Phone number: +373 241 23282
LEGAL MEDICINE CENTER COMRAT
2 Romana St., Comrat
Phone number: +373 298 31140
LEGAL MEDICINE CENTER EDINET
1 Sosea Bucovinei St., Edinet
Phone number: +373 246 25282
Embalming and Shipment
LILIA PREST COMPANY
7/2 Dacia St., Chisinau
Tel. +373 22522409; +373 69168144
Preparation and air shipment of remains is carried out in accordance with the laws of and facilities available in the Republic of Moldova. In most cases the services fall short of those expected in the United States. It is recommended that a hometown funeral director be requested to determine the advisability of viewing the remains.
Burial and Autopsy
Existing Moldovan law does not address the maximum period before burial. An autopsy is mandatory under the law when the cause of death is unknown or sudden. Under Moldovan law, autopsies can be waived by the Office of the Special Prosecutor of the region.
There are no mandatory rules about embalming in Moldova, except in cases when the body needs to be transported.
Cremation is not available in Moldova. However, funeral companies can assist with arranging cremations in Odessa, Ukraine.
Caskets and Containers
A casket containing human remains is treated as ordinary freight. Shipping companies require that the remains be placed in a galvanized casket. Suitable caskets or transfer cases are readily available in Moldova and meet the requirements of the U.S. Public Health Service and U.S. Port Authorities.
Repatriation of Remains
When remains are to be transported out of the country (repatriated), the body must be embalmed. The following documents are required for transportation of human remains: Official Death Certificate, Affidavit of Funeral Director and Mortuary Certificate, copy of autopsy certificate, copy of the deceased person’s passport.
Charges are estimated based on an exchange rate of approximately $1.00=18.7 lei.
- Autopsy will be paid by police department if the cause of death is unknown.
- The cost for storing human remains is about $1.06 per hour at the State morgue. Private funeral companies charge $0.45.
- The cost of a galvanized casket is $165.
- Cremation fee, transportation to Odessa, and casket is about $1000.
- Embalming fee is roughly $30-$50.
- Local Burial: Fee includes collection and transportation of remains to cemetery, wood casket and interment costs roughly $500-1000.
- The cost of local burial plot is $270 including the grave digging.
- Preparation for shipment includes embalming, documentation, casket, storage, and local transportation $1500.
- The average cost for transportation of remains from Chisinau to New York City or Chicago is about $6000-$7000.
When death occurs outside of the Chisinau municipal area, the remains may be transferred to Chisinau for preparation. Under these circumstances, additional transportation fees may be charged.
Airlines charge the normal freight charge per kilogram. The current charge is $9-$10 per kilogram to Frankfurt, Germany, and from Frankfurt to the United States is $15-$20 per kilogram. The average weight of an export type casket with human remains is 230 kilograms. Costs for air freight shipment from Chisinau to various points in the United States will vary.
Exhumation and Shipment
Exhumation of remains is rare in Moldova. The Legal Medicine Department can issue the permission for exhumation.
Consular Report of Death Abroad
Moldovan authorities issue two important documents after the death of an individual. Those are the Death Certificate and a separate Medical Certificate/Autopsy Report. The Embassy combines this information and prepares a Consular Report of Death Abroad, which is equivalent to a U.S.-issued Death Certificate, valid for resolving legal matters in the United States. The Embassy will provide 20 copies of the Consular Report of Death Abroad to the decedent’s next-of-kin free of charge. Additional copies are provided for a fee. Please note that it will take four to eight weeks to receive the Consular Report of Death Abroad in the United States. The Embassy will also cancel the decedent’s U.S. passport and return it to the next-of-kin and report the death to the appropriate government agencies if the decedent was receiving federal benefits.
For more information on the Consular Report of Death Abroad, and other services that a consular officer can help you with when a loved one passes away overseas, see the links below: