Death of a U.S. Citizen

Death of a U.S. Citizen Abroad 

The Bureau of Consular Affairs will locate and inform the next-of-kin of the U.S. citizen’s death and provides information on how to make arrangements for local burial or return of the remains to the United States.

Disposition of remains for repatriation to the U.S. is subject to U.S. law, local laws of the country where the individual died, U.S. and foreign customs requirements, and foreign country facilities, which are often vastly different from those in the United States.

The Bureau of Consular Affairs assists the next-of-kin to convey instructions to the appropriate offices within the foreign country and provides information to the family on how to transmit the necessary private funds to cover the costs overseas. The Department of State has no funds to assist in the return of remains or ashes of U.S. citizens who die abroad.

Upon issuance of a local civil death certificate, the nearest embassy or consulate may prepare a Consular Report of the Death of an American Abroad. Copies of that report are provided to the next-of-kin or legal representative and may be used in U.S. courts to settle estate matters.

A U.S. consular officer overseas has statutory responsibility for the personal estate of a U.S. citizen who dies abroad if the deceased has no legal representative or next-of-kin in the country where the death occurred, subject to local law.  In that situation the consular officer takes possession of personal effects, such as jewelry, personal documents and papers, and clothing. The officer prepares an inventory of the personal effects and then carries out instructions from the legal representative or next-of-kin concerning the effects.

To complete the Report of the Death Abroad, the next-of-kin or legal representative will be required to submit the deceased U.S. citizen’s passport (which can be returned to the family at a later date), the original hospital death certificate, and an original civil registry death certificate from the appropriate Guinean Civil Registry office to the consular section.

Below is information about options for disposition of remains in Guinea.

Disposition of Remains

Maximum Period before Burial in Conakry: There are no local regulations regarding the time period before burial.

Embalming: There are no local regulations regarding embalming; however, due to the climate it is suggested that embalming should be carried out within 24 – 48 hours after death.

Cremation: Local regulations prohibit cremation of remains.

Caskets and Containers: Coffins are available for purchase locally on relatively short notice.  Mortuaries and funeral homes can assist, though no coffin is required for a local burial.

Exportation of Remains: When remains are to be transported out of the country, the body is first embalmed and prepared for shipment. It is then place in a galvanized tin coffin within a wooden coffin that is placed in a wooden packing case that can support the weight of the complete container and body.  This must be arranged by a local transit company.  Funeral homes associated with physicians certified to prepare remains for international transport can assist in identifying a local company.

Costs

The estimated charges shown below are based on the U.S. dollar to Guinean franc exchange rate of January 2020. All costs are approximations and subject to change without notice.

Local Burial: US $500-$1000.The estimated fee includes collection and transportation of remains, wooden coffin, preparation and washing of the body and a burial plot in a public cemetery. This price does not include embalming. No coffin is required if the remains will be interred locally.

Mortuary Services for Local Burials

 

Name Location Phone Number E-mail Address
Dr. Thierno Diallo Donka Hospital Mortuary +224 622 88 82 52 +224 669 54 54 73 drcherif2003@yahoo.fr
Pr. Hassane Bah Ignace Deen Hospital Mortuary

+224 664 44 90 09

+224 620 42 90 90

Dr. Gabriel Konate Ignace Deen Hospital Mortuary +224 657 21 25 45
Dr. Saidouba Bangoura Ignace Deen Hospital Mortuary

+224 664 48 06 40

+224 655 08 08 02

Dr. Tolno Fara Georges Ignace Deen Hospital Mortuary +224 664 60 48 65 +224 628 47 62 76

 

Embalming: US $900 to $2000. The estimated fee is dependent on the state of the remains. Refrigerated storage of unembalmed remains is available to help retard tissue decomposition. See contacts for more information.

Refrigerated Storage of Remains: US $6 to $15 per day. The estimated fee includes alternative cold storage using ice packs as there are frequent power outages which could affect refrigeration systems.

 

Mortuary Services for Repatriation of Remains

There are only two providers certified to prepare remains for international transport.

Name Location Phone Number
Pr. Hassane Bah Ignace Deen Hospital Mortuary +224 664 44 90 09/ +224 620 42 90 90
Dr. Gabriel Konate Ignace Deen Hospital Mortuary +224 657 21 25 45

 

 

Shipment of remains to the U.S.:  US $6,200 to US 15,000, depending on the destination.  This should include the cost of administrative documentation.

CDC requirements for importing human remains depend upon if the body has been embalmed, cremated, or if the person died from a quarantinable communicable disease.

At this time, COVID-19 is a quarantinable communicable disease in the United States and the remains must meet the standards for importation found in 42 Code of Federal Regulations Part 71.55 and may be cleared, released, and authorized for entry into the United States only under the following conditions:

  • The remains are cremated; OR
  • The remains are properly embalmed and placed in a hermetically sealed casket; OR
  • The remains are accompanied by a permit issued by the CDC Director. The CDC permit (if applicable) must accompany the human remains at all times during shipment.
  • Permits for the importation of the remains of a person known or suspected to have died from a quarantinable communicable disease may be obtained through the CDC Division of Global Migration and Quarantine by calling the CDC Emergency Operations Center at 770-488-7100 or emailing dgmqpolicyoffice@cdc.gov.

Please see CDC’s guidance for additional information.

Remarks: Preparing remains for shipment and shipping them to the United States is a potentially difficult and expensive process, with total costs ranging from $10,000-$20,000. Many factors contribute to the potential difficulties, with quality of embalming, arrangement of transportation, and family communication with local providers who usually speak only French some of the most problematic.  Payment may be required in cash via Western Union, or via electronic transfer prior to the provision of services.  The U.S. Embassy has no funds to assist in these matters.

Contacts: When calling Guinea from the U.S., add 011 to the telephone number (For example, 011 224-123-45-67-89)