Repatriation Of A Deceased Seaman: Local Regulation And Documentary Problems

Many incidents affecting seafarers occur during marine service. Unfortunately some of them are fatal accidents caused due to various reasons: tropical climate, accidents, marine perils, illness or other diseases, etc. Therefore we are facing problems when repatriating the deceased seamen quite often. Repatriation of the deceased seaman should be undertaken only if the appropriate set of accompanying documents has been duly provided in accordance with Ukrainian requirements. As per Ukrainian regulations in case of repatriation of deceased seaman the body should be accompanied by the following documents:

• Death Certificate. This certificate should be duly apostilized by the authorities of the country where seaman died as per The Hague Convention “On apostilization” 1969 or legalized if death tool place in the country which is not a member of above-mentioned Convention. The procedure of legalization which certainly was much more complicated. After apostilization the Death certificate will be valid in Ukraine and Ukrainian Civil Register issue to the family of deceased the permission for burial of the body.

• Sanitary Certificate.

• Quarantine Certificate regarding absence of quarantinable disease and infections.

• Embalming Certificate.

• In some cases Police Report/Certificate also required.

• Coffin should have the Certificate on Absence of Extraneous Items inside. Coffin should be certified as a rule in the presence of the Ukrainian Consular representative who issues such certificate or alternatively such certificate should be issued by the customs authorities wherefrom the coffin should be repatriated

• List of personal belongings and documents accompanying the body.

This list should be prepared properly and include all personal effects of the deceased, cash, valuables, etc. and certified by the ship’s administration (master, chief officer) or ship’s agent. Such list should be dispatched as per separate Airway Bill which should be submitted to the customs authorities upon arrival. • • Airway bill indicating the person who should obtain the body. In accordance with local regulations authorities give over the coffin only to the person indicated in the airway bill as a receiver. All the mentioned documents should be attached to the airway bill as one package.

All the listed documents should be send to local P&I Correspondents prior to shipment of the body for checking all relevant papers in advance in order to prevent any infringements of local requirements and make all preliminary arrangements with authorities with regard to repatriation of the body. We faced situations when process of repatriation of the body took plenty of time sometimes about couple of months. Thus, non-performance of the above-mentioned requirements or negligence in preparation the necessary documents’ accompanying the body automatically entails increasing considerable costs for the Shipowners and create the additional stress for the family of deceased.