Disposition of Remains Report

Updated, February, 2017

The report below describes the local requirements for burial, cremation, embalming, preparation of remains for shipment, transportation to the United States, exhumation of remains, and the price range for each service.

The following information is submitted in accordance with the referenced requirements.  Various area mortuaries were surveyed to compile this data.   All the information listed on this report was provided by local authorities and it may change at any time without notice.

Part I

Republic of the Congo (Congo-Brazzaville)

Part II

U.S. Embassy Brazzaville
Boulevard Denis Sassou NGuesso (in front of Blanche Gomez Maternity Hospital)
Brazzaville
Republic of the Congo
Telephone: +242 06 612-2000
Emergency after-hours telephone: +242 06 612 2010
E-Mail:  BrazzavilleACS@state.gov

Country Specific Information
Smart Traveler Enrollment Program

Part III

Profile of Religions of the Host Country and Religious Services available to visitors.
Country Profile: Host Country Religions (From Background Notes)

Religious Activities for Visitors (From Post Reports On Line (Intranet) ):

Approximately 50 percent of the population are Christians. An estimated 90 percent of Christians are Roman Catholic; other Christians include Methodists, Seventh-day Adventists, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) and Jehovah’s Witnesses. The population is 48 percent animists, and there is a growing Muslim community, officially estimated at 2 percent of the population.

  • Cathedral Sacre Coeur: Located near the city center .  Mass is on Sundays at 10 a.m.  All services conducted in French and local languages.
  • Sainte Marie Catholic Church: Located in Ouenze. Services conducted in French and local languages.
  • Theology School in Djoue: Located near the World Health Organization headquarters. Protestant services in English on Sundays only.
  • Protestant Church: Located in Ouenze and conducts services in English on Sundays
  • SIL: Translation School run by English-speaking missionaries.  They are working to translate the bible in all of the local languages.  They offer evangelical services in English on Sunday afternoons.

Part IV

Funeral Directors, Mortician and Related Services Available in the Host Country:  Major mortuaries used by U.S. citizens, if applicable – name, address, phone/fax, contact names, quality of services, service cost.

DISCLAIMER:  The U.S. Embassy Brazzaville 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.

Brazzaville Funeral Home contacts

Mr. Ferdinand MALONGA MILANDOU Director 00242 06 669 37 92
Pr. Godefroy OKIEMY, Doctor Legist 00242 06 662 00 46
Mr. Sylvain MODIDJOKO Morgue Chief 00242 05 572 02 38
Doctor Pierre DZON Cremation/Incineration 00242 05 551 67 94    dzonpierre09@gmail.com

Pointe-Noire Funeral Home contacts

Mrs. Mika NGABABA, Director 00242 06 670 07 74 / 00242 04 440 05 16

*Note that none of the persons listed above speak English.

Part V

Profile of services available in the host country regarding preparation and shipment of remains.
The purpose of this section is to describe:

A.Disposition of Remains (general): The City Hall of Brazzaville sells wooden coffins.  Prices vary depending on the quality of the wood and design.  American coffins are available but they are more expensive.

B. Specific facts relating to embalming, cremation, caskets, exportation, documentation requirements, preparation, shipment, and exhumation: Embalming is automatically performed after issuance of the death certificate, and no fees are required. Local authorities bury unclaimed bodies. Cremation services are performed solely at the request of family members.  Most of the required documents for exportation and shipment can be obtained at the main City Hall (Marie Centrale), the police administration and the prefecture.  Air France and Ethiopian Airlines are the two major airline carriers that ship human remains.

C. As applicable, please include any unique circumstances which may apply to post; for example, special requirements for deaths by infectious disease or under suspicious circumstances: Autopsies are performed under special circumstances or upon the request of local authorities and family members. Normally, autopsies are very expensive.

D. Shipping: Air France and Ethiopian Airlines are two major carriers that operate between Brazzaville and the United States.  Both airlines have three to four flights per week.  They offer connecting flights via Paris and Addis Ababa respectively, and the export/shipping prices vary for each airline.  The export/shipping of human remains in country can be time consuming.  Obtaining all the proper documentation issued by local authorities can be stressful due to unexpected bureaucratic challenges.

E. Local authorities responsible for licensing funeral directors and morticians: The police administration oversees the functioning and licensing of funeral services in country.

F. Local authorities responsible for making findings regarding the cause of death and for issuing death local certificates:  The office of the doctor legist is responsible for making reports of death and the issuance of death certificates.

  1. Maximum period before burial of remains is unterminated: Generally, human remains are buried within 48-72 hours.  In some circumstances, this period may be extended if there are financial issues or family members coming from abroad to attend the funerals.  Every three months, the local morgue authorities bury all unclaimed remains in order to clear space in the facility.
  2. Embalming: All dead bodies are embalmed by the pertinent authorities. Local morgues embalm dead bodies without charge.
  3. Cremation: Cremation services are limited, if not available. Incineration and cremation practices are uncommon in country but possible upon request.  However, these services tend to cost much more than traditional funeral services.
  4. Caskets and Containers: Caskets and containers are available at the local morgue. Prices vary according to the quality and design of the casket or container.
  5. Exportation of Human Remains: Exportation of human remains is regulated by local authorities, and there are several documents that are required before preparing the shipment of human remains. Documents include, but are not limited to, death certificates, consular mortuary certificates, statements indicating cause of death, transit permits, and statements from a U.S. funeral home undertaking to accept the remains for disposition.
  6. Exportation of Human Remains/Ashes; Bolloré (French shipping company) has never shipped human remains/ashes to the U.S., but they regularly ship to other countries. Prices vary depending on the final destination.
  7. Costs: Coffins: USD 400.00-2000.00; Incineration/Cremation Services: USD4000.00-5000.00; and Export/Shipping of Human Remains: USD 2200.00-2500.00 (Brazzaville-Washington, DC).  All prices are subject to change without notice at any time.
  8. Exhumation and Shipment: Certificate of cause of death and special permission from local authorities is required.
  9. Local Customs Regarding Funerals, Disposition of Remains, Mourning, Memorial Services: On the burial day, the remains are taken from the morgue to the church (at least 45 minutes); from the church to the house for viewing (at least one hour); and from the house straight to the cemetery.