The Embassy will assist family and friends in the event of a death of an American Citizen in Cabo Verde. The Embassy can act as a liaison in arranging disposition of remains and help with forwarding personal effects if there is no one present to do so.
Even if no assistance is needed in making funeral arrangements, the death of an American citizen, whether resident or tourist, should be reported to the Embassy so that a “Consular Report of Death of an American Citizen Abroad” can be issued. This document serves as a death certificate in the United States and will be necessary to settle legal and estate matters there.
The Embassy can prepare up to 10 copies of the Consular Report of Death Abroad at no charge. To obtain copies of the Report, please submit a notarized written request to U.S. Embassy with the following information:
- Full name of the deceased
- Date and place of death
- A copy of requester’s valid identification
- Your return address and telephone number
- Signature of requester
- An original of the Death Certificate issued by Cape Verdean authorities
For more information, please visit: travel.state.gov
Disposition of Remains
The following general information is provided to assist families in making initial decisions when a death occurs abroad. 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 Cape Verde and transportation to the United States. U.S. funeral home costs would be handled separately.
Applicable Regulations and Profile of Services Available
Maximum Period before Burial
There is no limit of burial when remains are embalmed.
When not embalmed, no remains can be buried before 24 hours of death and without prior release of a death certificate.
Anticipated Burial: When endangering public health or hygiene, health authorities may authorize in writing the burial of the corpse before the expiry of the 24-hour waiting period provided in the previous article.
The above-mentioned document serves as proof of authorization. In such cases, a guide for the burial, and authorization once it is granted, may be furnished by health authorities to the conservatory.
Embalming must be carried out within twenty-four hours if the remains are not placed in a cold storage. Embalming facilities exist only in three cities of following Cape Verde islands: Praia (Santiago), Mindelo (Sao Vicente), and Espargos (Sal). Depending on the circumstances, it could be conducted outside of twenty-four hours.
Please note: the cremation is regulated by Cabo Verde’s Civil Law but has not yet entered into effect due to lack of conditions in the country. Until this date no crematoriums exist in Cabo Verde.
Caskets and Containers
When remains are to be transported out of the country, the body is first embalmed or otherwise appropriately prepared for shipment. It is then placed in a zinc lead coffin, within a wooden coffin. Caskets and urns are available in three of the ten Cape Verde Islands: Santiago (Praia), São Vicente (Mindelo), and Sal (Espargos). They are prepared according to international regulations and meet the requirements for shipment out of the country.
Health regulations prohibit the transportation of remains if the death is from a communicable disease. The remains must be buried immediately to prevent the spread of the disease.
Exportation of Remains
CDC requirements for importing human remains depend upon if the body has been embalmed, cremated, or if the person died from a quarantinable communicable disease.
At this time, COVID-19 is a quarantinable communicable disease in the United States and the remains must meet the standards for importation found in 42 Code of Federal Regulations Part 71.55 and may be cleared, released, and authorized for entry into the United States only under the following conditions:
- The remains are cremated; OR
- The remains are properly embalmed and placed in a hermetically sealed casket; OR
- The remains are accompanied by a permit issued by the CDC Director. The CDC permit (if applicable) must accompany the human remains at all times during shipment.
- Permits for the importation of the remains of a person known or suspected to have died from a quarantinable communicable disease may be obtained through the CDC Division of Global Migration and Quarantine by calling the CDC Emergency Operations Center at 770-488-7100 or emailing email@example.com.
Please see CDC’s guidance for additional information.
Human Remains: To export human remains, the following documents are required by authorities:
- Official Death Certificate from the Conservatory
- Shipment Authorization Certificate from the Health Department
- Authorization for shipment from Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy
- Embalming Certificate
- Copy of deceased’s passport
- Consular Mortuary Certificate
- Affidavit of the Local Funeral Director regarding contents
- Transit label affixed to the outer container (giving pertinent info on deceased)
Charges shown are based on the exchange rate as of May 1, 2017: $1.00 = 105$00 CVE bills. All fees are approximate.
- Taxes: None
- Cost of burial: 15 USD (child) 40 USD (adult)
- Cost of transportation: Varies between 60 USD and 150 USD
- Cost of coffin: Varies between 400 USD and 3000 USD
- Funeral home costs: 120 USD (daily)
- Administrative costs: N/A
- Cost of land for burial: Varies between 800 USD and 900 USD
- Cost of embalming: Varies between 300 USD and 1000 USD
- Brief service with no mourners: N/A
Preparation and Shipment of Remains:
All of the estimates are for shipment to Boston, Newark or New York on flight operated by TAP. Post did not provide estimates for shipment to Chicago and the West Coast.
- Fees including embalming, collection of remains, documentation costs, wood casket, and shipping container: varies between 4000 USD and 5500 USD. The agency does not accept embalming without including the price for the coffin.
- Fees including collection of remains, documentation costs, shipping container and cremation: N/A
- Add to this the airfreight charges as listed below:
- Praia to Lisbon to Boston: Approximately USD
- Sal to Lisbon to Newark: Approximately 2000 USD
The 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 shipping is 200 kilos for an adult and 100 kilos for a child.
Exhumation and Shipment
After the remains have been buried it is forbidden to open any grave before 3 years, except in compliance with a court order of the juridical authority. I at the time of exhumation, if organic matter has not completely decomposed, the corpse is placed back, keeping it intact for successive periods of 2 years until the mineralization of the skeleton. The approximate costs of exhumation are as follows:
- Preparation of exhumed remains: 80 USD
- Shipping container: Between 600 USD and 900 USD
If there is evidence of violent death or any suspected crime, or if the cause of death is unknown to the doctor, the civil registry officer to whom death is declared should refrain from issuing the death certificate and report the case immediately to judicial authorities or police in order to initiate autopsy and facilitate further investigations.
The agency in charge of investigating the cause of death must notify the division of civil registry when the autopsy will commence, as well as details of death concluded from the autopsy, including the time, date and place of death, in order to attain a death certificate.
There will be additional costs if the remains need to be transported within country prior to their departure from Sal or Praia. Please note that embalming can only be done in three out of the ten islands of Cape Verde: Mindelo (São Vicente), Espargos (Sal) or Praia (Santiago). If a death occurs on a different island, then the remains must be shipped to one of these cities before shipping to the U.S. through Sal (via Lisbon) or Praia (via Lisbon or Dakar). Those wishing to transport remains from any Cape Verde islands to Sal, Sao Vicente or Praia via air may need to rent a plane, which will cost between 4,500 USD to 8000 USD.
Alternatively, remains could be sent to Sal, Sao Vicente or Praia via boat as cargo. Boats have irregular schedules, however, and are subject to frequent cancellation. Depending on the island, the cost of shipping remains to Sal, Sao Vicente or Praia would be around $150 USD. Transportation from the boat dock to the airport or funeral home would have to be arranged.
Plesae note that Binter Airline have no flights to the islands of Brava and Santo Antao. All remains from these islands should be transported by ship (which cannot be rented) and are charged cargo rates.
Please note: The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the entities or individuals whose names appear on the following lists. Inclusion on this list is in no way an endorsement by the Department or the U.S. government. Names are listed alphabetically, and the order in which they appear has no other significance. The information on the list is provided directly by the local service providers; the Department is not in a position to vouch for such information.
Name of Mortuary: Casa Funerária da Praia
Address: PO Box 484, Largo do Hospital, Praia, Santiago
Telephones: 238-2618555; 238-2616161; 238-9913171
Contact name: Gil Fernandes
São Vicente Island
Name of Mortuary: Agência Freitas e Fortes
Address: PO Box 371, Mindelo, São Vicente
Telephones: 238-2313489; 238-9915869
Contact name: Marcelina Fortes
Mortuary Agency: Agência Funerária Nossa Senhora de Fatima Soc. Unip. Lda, Address: Largo Tarrafal, S. Vicente, Cabo Verde
Contact: Armindo dos Reis da Cruz
Name of Mortuary: Hospital do Sal
Address: Espargos, Sal
Contact name: Ana Paula Santos
Mortuary Agency: Agência Funerária Reis & Andrade Lda.
Address: Polidesportivo, Espargos, Sal, Cabo Verde
Telephone: 238-2414188/ 9711616
Contact: Paulo Jorge dos Reis dos Santos
Address: Avenida Santa Isabel, Cidade de Sal Rei, Boavista, Cabo Verde
Telephone: 2512298/ 9798003
Contact: Victoria dos Santos Sousa
Mortuary Agency: Agência Funerária António Pedro dos Santos & António Aires Borges
Address: Caixa Postal No. 49, Cidade Ribeira Brava, São Nicolau, Cabo Verde
Contact: Maria Gabriela de Oliveira Ramos Santos
Mortuary Agency: Agência Funerária Maglima
Address: Cidade da Ribeira Grande, Santo Antão, Cabo Verde
Telephone: 2211150/2211709/ 9914017
Contact: Manuel Gomes Lima
Address: Cidade de Nova Sintra, Brava, Cabo Verde
Contact: José Gonçalves
Address: Cidade de Nova Sintra, Brava, Cabo Verde
Contact: José Gonçalves
Mortuary Agency: Agência Funerária Tavares Veiga
Address: Achada São Filipe, Cidade de São Filipe, Fogo, Cabo Verde
Contact: Balbina da Veiga
Address: Vila da Igreja, Mosteiros, Fogo, Cabo Verde
Telephone: 9927262/9926992/ 2831610
Contact: Maria Eugenia Barbosa Amado Barbosa
Santa Catarina - Santiago Island
Mortuary Agency: Agência Funerária Perto do Céu
Address: Fundo Cutelo, Assomada, Santa Catarina, Caixa Postal 186, Santiago, Cabo Verde
Telephone: 9921828/ 9861627/ 2652632/2652168
Contact: Henrique Furtado Borges
Mortuary Agency: Agência Funerária Zé de Picos
Adress: Bolanha, Cidade de Assomada, Sta. Catarina, Santiago, Cabo Verde
Telephone: 9996149/ 9270685
Contact: José Domingos Pereira Vaz