US EMBASSY BUCHAREST
4-6 Liviu Librescu Blvd.
Bucharest 015118, Romania
After Hours Phone: 021-200-3300
The following general information is provided to assist families with their initial decisions following the death of a loved one.
Country Profile: Host Country Religions
Religious affiliation tends to follow ethnic lines, with most ethnic Romanians identifying with the Romanian Orthodox Church. According to a 2011 government census, Orthodox adherents (including the Orthodox Serb Bishopric of Timisoara) constitute over 80 percent of the population, Roman Catholics 4 to 6 percent, and Greek Catholics less than 1 percent. Other religious groups include Old Rite Russian Christians, Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Bahais, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), Zen Buddhists, members of the Family (God’s Children), the Unification Church, and the Society for Krishna Consciousness.
Some religious groups are concentrated in particular regions. Old Rite Russian Christians are mainly located in Moldavia and Dobrogea. Most Muslims live in the southeast around Constanta. Most Greek Catholics reside in Transylvania. Protestants and Roman Catholics reside primarily in Transylvania. Orthodox and Greek Catholic ethnic Ukrainians live mostly in the north. Orthodox ethnic Serbs are primarily in Banat. Members of the Armenian Church are concentrated in Moldavia and the south. Approximately half of the Jewish population is in Bucharest.
For Visitors: Romanian Orthodox is the dominant religion in Romania, but churches of many other denominations exist. Baptist and Roman Catholic churches in Bucharest hold services in Romanian, Lutheran churches have services in German and a Jewish synagogue has services in Hebrew. Services in English are also available at the Catholic, Anglican and Baptist churches.
Funeral Directors, Mortician and Related Services Available in Romania
DISCLAIMER: The U.S. Embassy (Consulate) (City, Country) 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.
“FUNERARE RAINBOW” Funeral Services: Shipment of remains to the U.S. and EU countries, in-country transportation (from any location in Romania), procurement of documents, funeral arrangements.
Mr. Cristian Dorobantu
Address: Str. Virgil Plesoianu nr. 95,
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
“STOICA” Funeral Services: Shipment of remains to the U.S. and EU countries, in-country transportation (from any location in Romania), procurement of documents, funeral arrangements.
Calea Dorobantilor nr. 68
Services available in Romania regarding preparation and shipment of remains
Funeral Services are licensed and authorized by the local city council. The estimated prices listed in this report were provided by Mr. Cristian Dorobantu, the funeral director of a privately owned funeral home. Except for the personal expenses of the funeral director, these prices are charged by Romanian state owned companies.
Preparation and air shipment of remains is carried out in accordance with the laws of and facilities available in Romania. 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. Upon receipt of instructions and required funds, the funeral services will carry out the instructions received as promptly as circumstances permit. Due to the number of documents required by the Romanian government and the time it takes to obtain them, five to ten days can generally elapse before remains may be shipped to the United States.
Local Death Certificates are issued by the Vital Records offices of the local City Hall/Town Hall, upon submission of a certificate signed by a physician or by a pathologist from the Medico-Legal Services, attesting to the date, time and cause of death.
An autopsy is mandatory under the law when the cause of death is unknown or the death was sudden. Depending on the place and circumstances of death, the cost of autopsy may vary from $500 to $2,000.
Embalming is ordinarily required after 24 hours have passed since time of death, even if body is to be cremated. Embalming facilities exist in major cities. The cost of embalming is $50 – 100.
In-country transportation of remains may be done by car, train, or air. Major airlines (KLM/Delta, Lufthansa/United Airlines, Austrian Airlines) have daily flights to the U.S. Below are estimated costs for funeral services and transportation to the port of entry.
Burial cannot take place before 24 hours have elapsed since death. Common practice is to bury within 72 hours. The local hospitals and Forensic Medical Institute will store a body for a fee (the Forensic Medical Institute charges approx. 10$/day).
Cremation is permitted by Romanian law, but crematories are located only in Bucharest and Oradea. The conditions for transportation of remains to the human crematory are the same as those for transportation to the cemetery. Covered urns are required.
When remains are to be transported out of the country (repatriated), the body is first embalmed or otherwise appropriately prepared for shipment. Special coffins of galvanized tin, which meet international and Romanian requirements for shipment out of the country, are available for $550 – 1,000.
Transportation must be authorized by certificate (Passport for Transportation) issued by the regional Sanitary Anti-Epidemic Department with jurisdiction over the place of death, or the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Bucharest. Remains may be transported by motor vehicle, rail, air, or sea. International transportation of remains when the cause of death was plague, cholera, or smallpox, is forbidden for one year after death.
Exportation of Human Cremains/Ashes
Urns containing ashes may be taken out of the country in the luggage or may be sent through international mail channels under export permit issued by customs. The following documents are required for transportation of unaccompanied cremains: Official Death Certificate, Embalming Certificate, Police Clearance Letter, Authorization Certificate from the Ministry of Health for transportation, Affidavit of Funeral Director and Consular Certificate.
Charges are estimated based on an exchange rate of approximately $1.00 = 4 Ron (local currency):
Embalming (mandatory) $50 – 100
Autopsy (mandatory) $500 – 2,000
Other tests $50
Storage $12 – 60/day
Casket $550 – 1,000
7 yrs. rental of burial plot $300
Church service $300
Grave digging $200
Funeral home charges $100 – 300
Estimated cost of repatriation of remains (including funeral home services, documents, casket and shipment of remains, without the cost of autopsy):
- From Bucharest to the U.S.A. (East Coast) approx. $4,000
- From another location in Romania to the U.S.A. approx. $5,000
Estimated cost of cremation and shipment of cremains:
- From Bucharest to the U.S.A. approx. $1,450
- From another location in Romania to the U.S.A. approx. $2,200
Costs may vary depending on the services requested by U.S. interested parties. Shipping arrangements are made by the Funeral home director in consultation with the U.S. interested parties and the Embassy.
Romanian law allows exhumation after one year only with a special approval from the Ministry of Health, between November 1 and March 31. Remains may be exhumed any time after seven years in the presence of the cemetery administrator.