The U.S. Embassy in Tanzania can assist family and friends arrange the disposition of remains in the event of the death of a U.S. citizen in Tanzania. The family or legal representative must pay all costs associated with the disposition of remains. We will work with any funeral home selected by the family to ensure proper documentation for shipment of remains to the United States.
- Maximum Period Before Burial
Tanzanian law does not place a time limit within which burial or funeral arrangements must take place, unless the body has not been identified or is unclaimed in which case burial will occur after two weeks. Remains are held for a fee at a public mortuary pending receipt of next-of-kin’s instructions. Most public mortuaries charge higher fees for foreign nationals.
For example, Muhimbili National Hospital mortuary charges a daily rate of Tanzanian Shillings 30,000/- (approx. $14) for Tanzanian nationals, and Tanzanian Shillings 120,000/- (approx. $53) for foreign nationals.
Airlines and the health services in Tanzania as well as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) require that the remains are properly embalmed and placed in a hermetically sealed casket prior to shipment, and that the remains are accompanied by an embalming certificate issued by a qualified embalmer.
In some cases a non-embalmed body can be accepted, provided it is placed in a sealed and waterproof container with ice and cleared with the public health authorities. The body may be quarantined on arrival in the United States. Next-of-kin are encouraged to consult their receiving funeral home to resolve any doubts about embalming, particularly if relatives wish to view the remains. Next-of-kin normally advise the funeral home or the embassy, if, for religious or other reasons, the body should not be embalmed.
Cremation can be arranged by the funeral home upon next-of-kin’s instructions. There is only one crematorium available in Dar es Salaam, “Shree Hindu Mandal Crematorium Center,” which also has branches in Arusha, Moshi, Mwanza, and Zanzibar. Cremation generally must take place on the same day as the cremation service and the body is removed from the coffin and placed in the cremator.
- Caskets and Containers
Coffins/caskets and air trays are available that are suitable for cremation, local burial or international shipment of remains are available for purchase at funeral homes. Local and imported caskets are available for purchase at funeral homes. Unless otherwise requested, for international repatriation funeral homes use a zinc-lined transfer case and not a casket for burial.
- Exportation of Remains
Whole remains must be contained in a zinc-lined, hermetically sealed coffin/casket. To facilitate the export from Tanzania to the United States, the embassy prepares a Consular Mortuary Certificate to accompany the remains. It provides the flight details and consignee and incorporates the following documents:
- the consular report of death abroad (CRODA), also known as form DS-2060;
- a certified copy of the local death certificate or the funeral home’s interim certificate when an inquest is pending;
- a certified copy of the deceased’s canceled passport;
- an affidavit from the licensed funeral director stating that the remains have been properly prepared and packed for shipment; and
- an embalming certificate, if required.
Cremated remains may be exported if they are accompanied by certified copy of the local death certificate, the cremation certificate, and a statement from the crematorium or the funeral home confirming the urn contains only the ashes of the deceased. We recommend that airline passengers carrying cremated remains to the United States declare the nature of the package to Tanzania and U.S customs and use a non-metallic urn to allow screening. Unaccompanied cremains must be sent by air freight.
Charges shown are the average price for disposition of human remains.
- Local Burial $1,500 to $2,260
(excludes head stone marble slabs. Only a cemented cover and a plaque with the names)
Fees include funeral home charges, i.e. collection and transportation of remains, caskets, administrative fees, and a burial service. The cost of burial plots varies and there are often different prices for burial location. Burial costs in Dar es Salaam are expensive due to limited space available at cemeteries.
- Cremation and local delivery or spreading of ashes $3,500 to $6,000
Fees include collection and transportation of remains, doctor’s certificates, crematorium fee, administrative fees, and a brief service with no mourners present.
- Cremation and air shipment of ashes $6,200 to $9,760
Includes the services listed in (b) above but also includes the collection of the ashes from the crematorium, packaging, and forwarding to the consignee by air freight for collection from the airport.
- Preparation and shipment of whole remains $10,250 to $17,600
Preparation of remains for shipment, including local collection of remains, embalming, provision and preparation of a lightweight coffin in accordance with established U.S. and international standards for shipment, administration of flight arrangements, preparation of all documentation, notification of consignee, and delivery to the airport.
- Exhumation and Shipment
Exhumation is not a common practice in Tanzania but can be requested and the procedures are not strictly stipulated in laws and regulations. In practice, before exhumation can take place arrangements must be made to transfer the remains to the U.S. and for burial there.
A letter must be obtained from the local leader to confirm current burial in their jurisdiction. Consent must then be obtained from relatives, and permission must be requested from the District Health Officer. During the exhumation, the District Health Officer will supervise and safe guard the process.
An autopsy is mandatory in Tanzania when there is reasonable cause to suspect that the deceased died a violent or unnatural death or a sudden death of which the cause is unknown. However, for religious reasons autopsy may be waived upon next-of-kin’s wishes in writing and with a supporting letter from the embassy.
Funeral homes generally accept payment by cash or by U.S. money wire.
The U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania 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.
Corona Tanzania Limited
Head Office, Coca-Cola Road No. 60, Mikocheni
P.O. Box 32638, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Tel: +255 22 278 1427; +255 22 278 1362
Emergency +255 754 296 217; +255 757 180 500
Funeral Repatriation in and outside Tanzania, Coffins and all Types of Funeral Services
Alfred L. Moshi; Funeral Director
Upanga Kalenga Street
Plot No. 596, Near Muhimbili National Hospital
Phone: +255 784 250 660; +255 716 855 888
Tel/Fax: +255 22 215 2243
Zanzibar Expat Support Services (ZESS)
Medical Assistance, Funeral & Repatriation Services
Jabir James; CEO
Ngazi Mia Migombani
Phone: +255 774 252 525; +255 772 699 202; +255 774 900 900