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Nigeria - Exporting a Deceased Body

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Register death with the registrar of Birth and Death to obtain a Death Certificate;

The Department, in collaboration with its Representatives abroad, provide logistical assistance and advice to the next of kin in the event of the death of a Nigerian citizen abroad.

The assistance includes:

  • obtaining a permit for importing mortal remains from the Department of Health
  • Placing family members into contact with reputable undertakers, and
  • Obtaining quotes for the transportation of the mortal remains and/or cremation and/or local burial, if so requested by the next of kin.
  • Providing information on local conditions and procedures affecting the deceased. It should be borne in mind that the manner in which someone dies can affect how the local authorities handle the case.

In the event the deceased had travel insurance, it is recommended that the insurer be contacted first to establish whether the deceased is covered in case of death.

The Nigerian Government does not render any financial assistance pertaining to the death of a Nigerian citizens abroad. The financial transaction for the importation of mortal remains, local burial or cremation and return of the ashes may only be done via a commercial institution such as a bank. The money must be transferred directly to the undertaker in the country concern

Register death with the embassy of the country of origin of the deceased;
  • Report death to the country of origin;
  • Report death to relatives of the deceased and get a funeral director in the country of origin; in this case the embassy can help report death to relatives / next of kin and also link you to a funeral director;
  • Apply for a coffin export permit;
  • Arrange for transportation by making all the necessary payments;
options for the next of kin of a deceased in Nigeria

It is a shock to receive the news of the death of a loved one and usually the first thought of the next of kin is to bring the mortal remains back to Nigeria. However, the following options can be considered:

(a) The return of mortal remains to Nigeria
(b) Cremation and return of the ashes to Nigeria
(c) Local Burial
(d) Paupers burial (free of any charges)

The Nigerian Representative will assist with obtaining quotes to enable the next of kin to make an informed decision.

If using an undertaker it is important to note that the rendering of services are subject to payment.

These Practice differs from country to country and this will influence the process. The Nigerian Representative or the Department will provide guidance.

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Required Documents[edit]

  • Death certificate
  • Cause of death or a statutory declaration
  • Sealing certificate for the coffin
  • Application for importation of Dead Body for Burial or Cremation
  • Deceased passport and / or Identity Card
  • Funeral Directors Declaration as to the content of the coffin / casket

Office Locations & Contacts[edit]


Block 4A (301-399), 3rd Floor

New Fed. Secretariat Complex, Shehu Shagari Way,

P.M.B. 83, (Garki Post Office), Abuja

Tel: 09-5234590


5th Floor, Wing B, Radio

House, Area 10, Garki, Abuja


Sokode Crescent by Michael

Okpara Street, Zone 5,

Wuse, Abuja

Tel: 09-5230667-9

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Authorized representatives of relatives of the deceased.


Obtaining a death Certificate for
National applications N 5000
Foreign applications US $ 40
Refugees: free
Permit and Transportation fees differ basing on the country of exportation and means of transport used
When in UK

Repatriation Service* 1600.00

Freedom from infection certificate 50.00

Air tray to protect casket during flight 65.00

Transfer to London, Manchester or Liverpool airport 60.00

Air freight to Nigeria (subject to Surcharge) 950.00

Total cost of the Repatriation to Nigeria 2725.0


Valid for 3 months

Documents to Use[edit]

Please attach documents that can be used by people. e.g. links

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Sample Documents[edit]

Please attach sample completed documents that would help other people.

Processing Time[edit]

Takes 3 - 5 working days

Related Videos[edit]

Videos explaining the procedure or to fill the applications. 
Attach videos using the following tag <&video type="website">video ID|width|height<&/video&> from external websites.
Please remove the "&" inside the tags during implementation.
Website = allocine, blip, dailymotion, facebook, gametrailers, googlevideo, html5, metacafe, myspace, revver, 
sevenload, viddler, vimeo, youku, youtube
width = 560, height = 340, Video ID = Can be obtained from the URL of webpage where the video is displayed.
e.g In the following url "" Video ID is "Y0US7oR_t3M". 

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  • Report death to authorities;
  • Seek advice from the local health authorities
  • Acquire all the required documents;
  • Be sure of hoe you are to transport the body;
  • Should have enough money to cater for expenses in the process;
  • Notify family of requirements to claim remains of a loved one

Required Information[edit]

  • Name and address of exporter
  • Details of the deceased
  • Cause and place of death
  • Country of origin of the deceased
  • Details of relative / next of kin in the country of origin
  • Transportation details (full flight or shipping details to the destination)
  • Details of the consignee (who is the funeral director or person responsible for collection of body at the destination airport,
  • Details of the intended place of rest.
  • Passport number of the deceased

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Need for the Document[edit]

It refers to transferring a deceased body from the country of death to another country in most cases country of origin.

Information which might help[edit]

That the Department of Health does not deal with undertakers directly. Only documents from the Department of International Relations and Cooperation or the Nigerian Representative will be accepted.

This includes transit through Nigeria.
No importation permit is needed if the remains are cremated. The death certificate, cremation certificate and a copy of the deceased identification to accompany the ashes at all times.
Please note that the next of kin must complete an affidavit selecting option to return mortal remains to Nigeria signed by commissioner of oaths with certified copy of id/Nigerian passport of the who signed affidavit.
Flying a dead body

This is where using an organization specialized in funeral shipping is important. It can cost up to $10,000 to internationally ship human remains, and this can be a huge unexpected and unplanned for expense on top of a funeral.

Some of the Funeral Homes who specialize in human remains transportation can offer you a service that will cost between $3800 -$5500 depending on the country they are going to, (excluding the actual airline shipping fee which can range from $1200 to Mexico, up to $4,500 to Greece or India), so a total cost is likely to be more in the region of $5,000 - $8500.

Flying a dead body is an expensive cost, so the other alternative is to ship cremated remains. Many of the funeral providers who specialize in funeral shipping will also be able to assist you with the option of arranging a direct cremation at the place of death, and then transportation of the ashes back to the family. What does an International Funeral.

Other uses of the Document/Certificate[edit]

Please explain what are other uses of obtaining this document/certificate.
e.g. Birth Certificate can be used as proof of identity.

External Links[edit]

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More information which might help people.