Death of a U.S. Citizen

Death and Disposition of remains – Niger

Requirement for international shipment of mortal remains from Niger to the United States involve the acquisition of special office documents and arrangement to meet regulations laid down not only by Niger, but by France, the country through which remains are likely to be shipped. Under the best circumstances, a five-workday-period is the normal time to obtain document and arrange for transportation of mortal remains from Niamey. If death occurs outside Niamey, disposition, and repatriation of remains will be problematic as there are no interurban flights. Embalming is done only by the University hospital in Niamey. There are no facilities for autopsies or cremation in Niger.

    A. Maximum period before burial

      By Nigerien practice human remains are generally immediately transported to the morgue located at the Niamey National Hospital, or kept at the morgue in the hospital where                someone has died, and then buried within three days.

    B. Embalming

Embalming is generally unavailable in Niger.

   C. Cremation and autopsies

Although Niger law permits cremation and autopsies, there are no facilities which permit cremation. Local medical centers are not equipped to perform autopsies and there are no          funeral homes/crematoriums in Niger.

   D. Caskets and containers requirements for exporting remains

Niger law establishes the following requirements for exporting human remains out of Niger (Decree No. 17/SP of 02/04/57 and Decree of 07/29/51)

  1. The remains must be laid in zinc shell, one millimeter thick. Pulverized charcoal, sawdust, and a disinfectant (ferrous sulfate or copper sulfate) must be spread into the shell.
  2. A filter must be set or fixed a top the zinc shell to reduce the pressure and purify the putrefaction gas. After the remains have been placed in the zinc shell, it must be soldered closed and airtight.
  3. The zinc shell must be put into a casket made of hardwood, 4 centimeters thick, containing sawdust at the bottom. After the zinc shell containing the remains has been put into the casket.
  4. The casket must be solidly closed using 10 cm screws.
  5. All the above steps must be completed in presence of a police officer who immediately seals the casket by melting wax onto the screws and impressing the seal of the National Police into the wax.

 E. Exporting remains

The following documents are required to ship human remains from Niger through France to the United States.

Niger Documents:

  1. Constat de deces: (death affidavit) Issued by the attending physician, this document indicates the name of the deceased, provides the cause of death (NO FEE)
  2.  Permis d’inhumer (burial permit) Delivered by the Police Judiciaire
  3. Extrait d’acte de deces (certificate of registration of death) Based on the constat de deces and a death declaration by the deceased’s family to the local civil registry (Directorial of Birth and Death Registration), this document is the official death certificate (NO FEE) and generally takes two weeks to receive.
  4. Certificat de non-contamination (Contagion-free certificate) Generally issued by the same physician who issued the constat de deces, this document indicates that the body is free of clinically identifiable disease (NO FEE)
  5. Arrete du Ministere de l’interieur (Order of the Ministry of Interior). This serves as a special permit from the Minister of Interior to allow transport of mortal remains across international borders.
  6. Certificat de mise en biere special (Certificate of Special Coffining). Completed by the police officer overseeing the preparation of remains for international shipment, this document attests it was done in conformity with the above-described regulations and that the coffin contains only the human remains for which Ministerial authorization has been granted for its shipment (delivered by Police Judiciaire)……… fee: 75,000FCFA
  7. Certificate of type of death (genre de mort) delivered by the physician……50,000 fcfa

   Morgue requirements

  • Constat de deces: (death affidavit Issued by the attending physician, this document indicates the name of the deceased, provides the cause of death (NO FEE)

In some cases, the morgue treats the body with formalin when the body is being prepared for shipment to the United States.  The fee has been quoted as 200,000F CFA.

The 1st week of conservation (keeping the body in refrigeration) is 50,000F CFA for the first week, and then 10,000 F CFA for each day after that.

    France documents:

Air France Cargo in Paris requires:

–      Certificate of “mise en biere (delivered by the Police Judiciaire)

–      Certificate of type of death “Genre de mort”(delivered by the doctor)

–      Attestation de non-contagion (delivered at the Hospital)

–      Death Certificate (Etat Civil like Communes, Mairie) …. No fee

–      Deceased Passport even if it cancelled

–      Repatriation costs around 5,951200 CFA, not including insurance taxes.  The fee is determined by where in the United States the remains are being shipped.

   U.S.  Documents (from Consular Section):

In case of death of a U.S. citizen abroad and repatriation of U.S. citizen remains, the consular section establishes a Consular Report of the Death of an American Citizen Abroad (DS-2060) which can be used in the United States. There is no fee for this Consular service, but certain local documentation is required before the Report can be issued.

  1. A Consular Report of Death Aborad is an administrative report which provides essential facts concerning the death of a U.S. citizen abroad and custody of the personal estate of the deceased and must be completed for all deaths of non-active military U.S. citizens abroad.
  2. Form DS-2060 reports are not issued for persons actively serving in the U.S. military. Active military members are issued Form DD-2064 (PDF 2.4 KB), Certificate of Death (Overseas), by the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Armed Forces Medical Examiner System.
  3. If a private U.S. citizen is killed in an act of terrorism and the remains are transported un-embalmed to Dover Air Force Base to be autopsied, the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology issues a death certificate, a copy of which is used by the U.S. Embassy/Consulate as the basis for Form DS-2060.

  F. Costs

Local coffin and burial:                                                                                  90,000CFA

  • Preparation (as described above) & shipment to the US:

Casket (w/in sealed container)                                                                 400,000CFA

(Note: those imported from Abidjan or Ouagadougou

Can cost up to 1,000,000CFA)

  • Formalinisation 200,000CFA


  • Conservation of the remains at the morgue                50,000 for the first  the week                                                                                                                                              and

10,000CFA per day beyond the week

  • Air shipment from Niamey to US via France:

To NY/JFK                                                                                                 4,930CFA/kg*

To Wash/Dulles                                                                                          6,390CFA/kg*

Transshipment charges to Paris:

Transit charges                                                                                           54,440 CFA

Airport Taxes                                                                                              10,710 CFA

*Containers with the remains of an adult in a coffin generally weigh about 240 kg.