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Disposition of Remains
Information regarding Report of Death of U.S. Citizens Abroad

Death of a U.S. Citizen

Information regarding Report of Death of U.S. Citizens Abroad

What We Can Do

  • Provide assistance in repatriating the remains of a deceased U.S. citizen or in making local arrangements.
  • Offer information on the paperwork required, including the Report of Death, and assist in carrying out the next of kin’s wishes.
  • Provide an administrative Report of Death of an U.S. Citizen Abroad. This does not substitute for the locally issued death certificate, but it can accompany the locally issued death certificate and assist U.S. institutions, such as banks, in interpreting the locally issued death certificate.
  • Forward a copy of the Report of Death and locally issued death certificate to U.S. government institutions, such as state registrar offices, Veteran’s Affairs Administration, and the Social Security Administration, which is often the first step in applying for survivor’s benefits.

What We Cannot Do

  • Assist in funding the repatriation of the remains of a U.S. Citizen.
  • Accommodate the requests of anyone other than the next of kin.

Report of Death of a U.S. Citizen Abroad – FREE Service

Please bring the following items to the Embassy in order to produce the report:

  • Two (2) original locally issued, official death certificates.
  • The deceased U.S. Citizen’s passport.
  • Evidence demonstrating you are the next of kin.
  • If you are not the next of kin, please provide a notarized Power of Attorney providing the authority to act on behalf of the next of kin.
  • If you would like the Consul to act on behalf of the next of kin, please provide a notarized Power of Attorney from the next of kin to that effect.
  • If possible, please be prepared to discuss plans for disposition of the remains of the U.S. Citizen.

Disposition of remains in the Kingdom of Eswatini

(1) Maximum Period before Interment

There is no prescribed period within which burial must take place, provided the remains are not a health risk and are kept in a place of cold storage approved by the medical officer of the Ministry of Health, or are embalmed or sealed in a hermetically-sealed container as approved by a medical officer of the Ministry of Health.  If death results from unnatural cause (assault, auto accident, etc), it is the responsibility of the Police to transport the body to the Government morgue for post mortem examination.  In such instances, the remains may not be removed prior to completion of the examination, which generally is performed on request within 1-2 days.

(2) Embalming

There is no prescribed period within which embalming must take place, provided the remains are not a health risk and are kept in a place of cold storage approved by the medical officer of the Ministry of Health.  Local burial does not require embalming and can be arranged in Mbabane by the City Manager.

Embalming facilities are available at the two major mortuaries in Eswatini:

Mbabane Burial Benefit Society Ltd.
Location:  Mbabane Industrial Sites
Cold Storage Capacity:  44 bodies
Director:  Dudu Dlamini
Phone:  2404-2888, 7602-0536
Email: info@mbbs.co.sz

Dups Funeral Home and Crematorium
Location:  Manzini
Cold Storage Capacity:  400 bodies
Operations Manager:  Ms. Eve Dunn
Phone:  2505-2028
Email: info@dupsgroup.com

(3)  Cremation

Dups Funeral Home and Crematorium is the only mortuary to offer cremation services.

The following documents are needed before conducting a cremation:

  1. Death Certificate
  2. Schedule A Forms (Supplied by Dups to be completed by the next of kin.)
  3. Schedule B Forms (Supplied by Dups to be completed by Medical Practitioner.)

(4) Caskets and Containers

Prescribed caskets and containers are available in Eswatini from the Mbabane Burial Benefit Society and Dups Funeral Undertakers.

(5) Exportation of Remains

The following documents are required for exportation of human remains:

  1. Passport
  2. Eswatini Removal Permit
  3. Death Certificate
  4. Embalming Certificate
  5. Family Authorization Letter
  6. No Contagious Diseases Letter from Pathologist
  7. Medical Report (Cause of Death)
  8. Health Letter from the South African Embassy
  9. BI 1663 Form From South African Embassy
  10. Authority to import remains into the U.S. (Consular Mortuary Certificate)
  11. Transit visa through South Africa to OR Tambo Airport

The outer box containing the remains must be clearly marked to show the name of the deceased, the route to be taken, and “certified free of communicable diseases” notice.  The remains must be sealed in a zinc-lined coffin.  In order to begin the entire process, the U.S. Embassy must provide an official letter request to prepare all necessary documents and expatriate.

(6) Costs


Preparation of remains for shipment to the U.S:

Embalming and Hygienic Treatment E3,500.00
Preparation and Dressing E750.00
Coffin/Solid 3 Tier Pine E4,200.00
Metal Liner E3,500.00
Administrative Costs E750.00
Packaging E10,000.00
Transport from Mbabane to Johannesburg E5,000.00
Freight Charges (depends on the airline costs, weigh & destination)
Collection of Remains (depends on the kilometers)

(in Manzini):

Preparation of remains for shipment to the U.S:

Embalming E1,500.00
Zinc Liner E1,800.00 coffins

E2,800.00 caskets

Coffin E4,110.00 flat face

E4,950.00 open face

Delivery fee (otherwise, it depends on distance) E4,970.00 to O.R. Tambo
Cremation E7,891.00
H/N (vase) E1,000.00 minimum

E4,500.00 maximum

(7) Exhumation

Disinterment is allowed in Eswatini, permission from the Ministry of Housing & Urban Development, the City Clerk of the cemetery where the remains were buried, must be obtained, and notification must be given to the Police.

(8)  Autopsies

Autopsies are required in all repatriation cases and in most cases of unnatural or unknown causes of death.  The decision to conduct an autopsy is usually made in conduction with the police.  Autopsies are conducted on demand (within 1-2 days) by one of two State Pathologists in the Ministry of Justice.  The pathologists have the capabilities to perform laboratory testing and toxicology in the local forensic lab but are also willing to provide tissue or fluids for evaluation in a U.S. laboratory.

Local requirements for the exportation of remains are as follows:

  • Passports and Permits
  • Embalming certificate
  • A Death Certificate issued by the District Registrar
  • A statement from the forensic pathologist to the effect that the body contains no infections or contagious diseases
  • A Permit for the Removal of a Body issued by the Permanent Secretary’s office in the Ministry of Health
  • A statement from the Ministry of Health to the effect that the deceased did not reside in an epidemic area
  • Letter from the deceased family confirming that they will meet/receive the body on arrival at the airport, or providing the complete contact details of their agent

Below are additional requirements to ship a body through South Africa

  • The body must be embalmed, placed in a hermetically sealed zinc-lined casket within a hardwood coffin enclosed in a packing case
  • A certificate (affidavit) by the embalmer attesting that the body has been embalmed
  • An affidavit by the mortician who closed the casket
  • A statement by a doctor certifying that the body is non-infectious
  • Consular Mortuary Certificate and an Affidavit of the Funeral Director are necessary to import the remains into the United States
  • A letter of conveyance issued by the High Commission of the Republic of South Africa in Eswatini


The following information is submitted in accordance with the Department requirements. Various area mortuaries were surveyed in order to compile this data.


Part I. Name of Country




Part II. U.S. Embassy Information


For detailed information about visiting Eswatini, including suggestions regarding safety and security, see the Department of State’s Eswatini Country Specific Information page at http://travel.state.gov U.S. citizens living or traveling in Eswatini are encouraged to enroll with the U.S. Embassy through the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) website, https://step.state.gov/step/ so that they can obtain updated information on travel and security within Eswatini. Enrollment forms and instructions are available on the Consulate General’s website at https://sz.usembassy.gov/ . By enrolling in STEP, U.S. citizens make it easier for a U.S. Consulate to contact them in case of emergency. U.S. citizens without internet access may enroll directly with the nearest U.S. Consulate.


Part III. Profile of Religions of the Host Country and Religious Services available to visitors


Country Profile: Host Country Religions

According to recent census figures, 80 percent of the population is Christian, while Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, and adherents of traditional African beliefs together constitute slightly less than five percent of the population.  Approximately 15 percent of the population adheres to no particular religion or declines to indicate an affiliation; some of these individuals probably adhere to unaffiliated indigenous religions. Many combine Christian and indigenous religious practices.

Religious Activities for Visitors

The constitution of Eswatini and other laws and policies protect religious freedom.

The following congregations can all be found within the Mbabane consular district: Anglican, Baptist, Buddhist, Catholic, Charismatic, Christian Scientist, Church of Christ, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Church of Scientology, Congregational, Dutch Reformed (Afrikaans), Greek Orthodox, Hindu, Jewish, Lutheran (German), Methodist, Muslim, Nazarene, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Seventh Day Adventist, Wesleyan and Unitarian. Many conduct services in English.

Both halal and kosher food is available.

Part IV. Funeral Directors, Mortician and Related Services

**DISCLAIMER: The U.S. Embassy in Mbabane assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the above-named persons or firms. The order in which they appear has no significance. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the funeral directors, morticians and other service providers.

Updated: May 2017