Information on Disposition of Remains in Eritrea

Eritrea Disposition of Remains Report
(Updated: June 2017)

Embassy of the United States of America
179 Alaa Street
Asmara, Eritrea

Additional information on the death of an American Citizen in Eritrea is available on the Embassy’s
website at:

Additional consular information on Eritrea is available at:

Register with the U.S. Embassy at

All laws pertaining to deaths in Eritrea are from Article 792, Transition Penal code of Eritrea.

The State of Eritrea’s government recognizes four officially registered religious groups: the Eritrean
Orthodox Church, Sunni Islam, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of
Eritrea.  Places of worship other than these of the four registered religious groups are closed.

  1. Maximum Periods Before Burial:

National law requires internment within 24 hours when remains are not embalmed.

  1. Embalming:

There is one mortuary in Eritrea that will embalm the remains for transportation to U.S.
Onoranze Funerbri
Tel / Fax: 291-1-185-190
Mr. Rizzoni Alessio or Ms. Irene Comernis

DISCLAIMER:  The U.S. Embassy in Asmara, Eritrea assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the below 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.

  1. Cremation:

Currently, there are no operating cremation facilities in Eritrea.  However, there is one facility you may contact for information.

Name: Chamansel Nadlal Kotari
Tel: 291 1- 12-1860 (Work)
291 7 – 23-1511 (Cell)

  1. Caskets and Containers:

When remains are to be transported out of the country, the body is first appropriately prepared for shipment.  It is then placed in a galvanized tin coffin within a wood coffin which is finally placed in a suitable packing case that can support the weight of the complete container and body.  Caskets are available locally on short notice.  They are prepared according to international regulations and meet the requirements for shipment out of the country.

  1. Exportation of Remains:

Eritrean national regulations concerning the exportation of human remains may require all of the following documents before remains can be shipped back to the U.S.:

  1. Official Death Certificate from Hospital
  2. Official Death Certificate from Municipality
  3. Police Clearance Letters
  4. Municipality approval letter
  5. Airport Immigration Police approval letter
  6. Authorization Certificate from Health Department
  7. Affidavit by the Local Funeral Director / Mortuary
  8. U.S. Passport
  9. Consular Mortuary Certificate
  10. Consular Report of Death Abroad

Originals of these documents must be submitted to the cargo section of the airport and will be attached with the Air Way bill.  These documents will be handed to the contact person at arrival.

  1. Costs:

Local Internment: If the remains are to be buried in Asmara the cost of the burial plot varies from 500 to 700 Eritrean Nakfa (approximately $35-$45).  Wooden casket costs vary from 1500 to 4000 Nafka (approximately $100-$270).  There will be additional fees for collection and transport of the remains, funeral home charges, administrative fees, cost of burial plot in public cemetery, brief services, may be as high as 5,000 Nakfa (approximately $335).

Preparation and Shipment of Remains:

  1. Fees include collection of remains, documentation costs, galvanized tin, wooden casket, and U.S. regulation shipping container: 25,000-30,000 Nakfa (approximately $1670-$2000)
  2. Airfreight charges are approximately $28 (approximately 420 Nakfa) per kilo.

The only airline currently transporting remains from Eritrea to the U.S. is Turkish Airlines.
Name: Sultan Saleh
Tel: 291-1-18-4949 or 291-1-18-4952 (Office)
Tel: 291-7-11-7572 (Cell)

The exact shipment cost is determined by the airline after the remains are accepted for shipment according to a special cargo rate.  The approximate weight of a casket prepared for shipment is 200kg for an adult and 100kg for a child.  In addition, there will be a special handling charge for human remains by the airline in U.S. dollars of approximately 5.5% of the total cost.

  1. Exhumations and Shipment

By law, a body can be exhumed only after it has been interred for two years.  An application must be made by the interested party to the Municipality of Asmara.  The disinterment must be made in the presence of a local police official and physician.  The approximate costs of exhumation are:

Exhumation and transfer of remains vary from 2500 to 4000 Eritrean Nakfa ($165-$270)

  1. There may be additional transportation costs involved if the routing to the U.S. is other than direct.  Inquires should be made to the airline company.