Death of an American Abroad
Last Updated March 2015
Death of An American Citizen Abroad
Death is a time of crisis for one’s family no matter where it takes place. If death occurs overseas, the experience can be even more traumatic, especially if the procedures involved in documenting the death and repatriating the deceased to the United States are not clearly understood.
In case of death abroad, the U.S. Embassy works with the deceased’s next of kin to produce a U.S. certificate of death and to help repatriate remains. You can reach the Consular Section to report the death of a U.S. citizen seven days a week. We can act as liaison in arranging the disposition of remains and help with forwarding personal effects. The family or legal representative must pay all funeral home charges, shipping costs for the remains and personal effects (if applicable).
Even if no assistance is needed in making funeral arrangements, the death of a U.S. citizen, whether resident or tourist in Morocco, should always be reported to the Embassy or Consulate.
After Hours Phone: 212-661-13-19-39
Before calling the Embassy, please have as much of the following information as possible at hand:
- The name of the deceased, and US passport number
- The location of the body, along with contact number(s)
- The cause and date of death
- The whereabouts of the deceased's passport and personal effects
- Names of next of kin and contact information, and whether the next of kin have been notified.
The Consulate General in Casablanca will issue a Consular Record of Death Abroad (CRODA) on request. This document is necessary to settle legal and estate matters in the United States. To obtain this document, please bring the following information and documentation to the Consulate:
- Original local death certificate in French issued by Moroccan authorities.
- Original notification of death issued by hospital or doctor in French.
- U.S. passport of the deceased.
- Social security number of the deceased.
- Primary residential address in the U.S. and/or country of residence for the deceased.
- Full name, address and telephone number of next of kin.
We will provide 20 copies of a CRODA free of charge to the next of kin. Additional copies may be ordered for a fee.
The following general information is provided to assist families in making initial decisions. Indicated costs are estimates, based on deaths with no unusual circumstances, and should be considered as guides only. These estimates also relate only to costs incurred in Morocco (inclusive of shipping). U.S. funeral home costs are handled separately.
(1) Maximum Period Before Burial
Moroccan law requires burial within 30 days after death, whether or not the remains are embalmed.
Embalming as done in the United States is rarely performed in Morocco. Remains to be exported are normally given a minimum treatment that allows them to be shipped. Proper embalming can be done only by making special arrangements with a Moroccan physician at a cost of approximately $900.
Cremation is not permitted in Morocco. The only exceptions granted are to the small Hindu community, who make private arrangements.
(4) Caskets and Containers
Caskets that meet U.S. quarantine regulations and the requirements for shipment out of the country are available locally.
(5) Exportation of Human Remains
The Compagnie Marocaine des Pompes Funèbres is the only funeral home in Morocco that ships internationally. They also handle local burials and have offices in all principal cities in Morocco. The director is Mohamed Rami, 56 Mers Sultan Boulevard, Casablanca, Morocco.
Tel: 212-522-49-16-16 and 212-522-20-03-60
It usually takes around 5 days to arrange for the transportation of remains to the United States.
The following documents are required for exportation of remains:
- A medical certificate of death;
- A medical certificate attesting to non-contagious disease;
- The passport of the deceased or other identification;
- A mortuary certificate notarized by the Consulate General stating that the remains can be buried in the United States; and
- A letter from the next-of-kin authorizing shipment.
(6) Exportation of Human Cremains/Ashes
Cremation is not allowed in Morocco.
All costs are approximate, and will vary depending on location.
(a) Local Burial
A local burial in accordance with Muslim rites can cost from US $600 to $1,800. A local burial in accordance with Christian rites can cost from US $1,000 to $3,700.
(b) Preparation and shipment of whole remains
The costs of preparation, container, and shipping of embalmed remains will vary greatly depending on where the body is currently located, the final destination in the United States, and on the total weight of the remains and container. Costs are currently estimated at between US $7,200 and $11,300.
Local regulations require two certified copies of the death certificate, the title to the burial plot, and an authorization for the burial from the local authorities in the state to which the remains are to be shipped. If the remains have been buried here for less than three years, a medical certificate of non-contagious disease also is required. The costs involved for disinterment and preparation for the exportation to the United States range from US $1,500 to $2,500.
In case of death under suspicious circumstances, the prosecutor always orders an autopsy. The Consulate will share the results of the autopsy with the next of kin when they become available.
DISCLAIMER: The U.S. Consulate in Casablanca, Morocco assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, any person or firm listed here. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the funeral director, mortician and other service provider.