Registration of Death Abroad
Providing support to the family of a deceased American citizen is one of the primary functions of the U.S. Embassy in Malta. Even if no assistance is needed in making funeral arrangements, the death of an American citizen must be immediately reported to the Embassy regardless of whether he or she is a resident or tourist in Malta. You can contact the Embassy at ACSMalta@state.gov. The Embassy issues a Report of Death of an American Citizen Abroad for every civilian American who dies in Malta, which is necessary to settle legal and estate matters in the United States. We provide 10 copies of the document free of charge.
The Embassy can act as liaison in arranging the disposition of remains and help forward personal effects. The family or legal representative must pay all funeral home charges, shipping costs for the remains and personal effects (if applicable).
Additional information regarding death of a U.S. citizen abroad is available at the Department of State website.
How Can I Obtain a Consular Report of Death of a U.S. Citizen Abroad?
Documents required to obtain a Consular report of Death of a U.S. Citizen Abroad are:
- The most recent U.S. passport, or other proof of citizenship; e.g. a naturalization certificate, a U.S. birth certificate, a consular Report of Birth;
- The official death certificate issued by the local authorities;
- Medical certificate showing date and hour and cause of death, signed by the local physician.
The following information will be required:
- The Social Security Number;
- The place of death: e.g. name and address of the hospital;
- The name and address of the next of kin;
- The disposal of the remains (in case of burial: name of cemetery);
- The latest local address;
- The latest address in the United States.
How Can Remains Be Transported to the United States?
CDC requirements for importing human remains to the United States 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.
*Please note, cremation services are not currently performed in Malta.
Maximum Period Before Burial
Maltese law requires at least 24 hours between time of death and time of burial. The Health Authorities have the right to order the burial of a corpse should it feel that it may contain infectious diseases or if there is an advanced stage of decomposition.
Maltese Law prohibits disinterment for two years following burial.
Exportation of Remains
The regulations require the following:
- That the body has been duly embalmed by means of formalin and saline injected into the veins and arteries
- That the coffin is hermetically sealed in a zinc box in the presence of Port Health Inspector
- That the zinc box is placed inside a wooden box or coffin
- That the coffin would be sealed in an airtight cover or a sealed wooden packing box
- That the following documentation is attached to the coffin:
- A certificate of death stating the cause thereof
- A certificate of identity of the deceased stating that the contents of the coffin are the true remains of the deceased in question
- A certificate of embalming stating the embalming process carried out
- A certificate by the Public Health Authorities stating that the coffin has been hermetically sealed in the presence of a port health inspector and that the deceased is free of infectious diseases
- A Burial Permit by the Police (this is also valid for international transportation or cremation)
Depending on the destination of the coffin some other documentation may be required (eg. Translations, apostille, Permit from the embassy).
Approximate costs for repatriation of a deceased to the United States.
BOS, MIA, IAH, SFO: €4,350
LAX, IAD, ATL, ORD, JFK: €4,550
(Updated March 14, 2018)
The above costs include the following:
-The full embalming and preparation of the deceased for international travel
– Supply of standard type wooden coffin with interior zinc lined box and canvas sealed cover conforming with international health and airline regulations
– Registration of death, documentation handling, administration of all required permits etc…
– Hearse service from the mortuary to the airport
– Pallbearers services and transport
– Port Health authority tax for repatriation of a deceased
These costs are based on the following assumptions:
– The coffin including contents will not exceed 140kgs
– The death occurs at Mater Dei Hospital or St James Capua Hospital
– No medical or hospital bills are included
– Fuel prices as at 14/3/2018
Quote does not include:
– Removal of the deceased from place of death to the mortuary
– Religious services
– Medical fees
– Coffin upgrade
– Payment processing fees or bank charges
– Any other service or extra not listed above
Cost for an average type local funeral and burial with the services listed below will amount to €2,000
Full embalming and preparation of the deceased
A quality mahogany or oak veneer coffin
The services of a hearse from the hospital to church and the cemetery
A car for the priest or the family
Four coffin bearers and their transport
A standard type wreath or flower arrangement
Administrative expenses, documentation handling and sundries
Professional funeral direction and handling fees
Burial fees or standard gratuity to cemetery gravediggers
VAT @ 18%
Not included: Church fees (if applicable and subject to choice of Parish), music in church
For more information about autopsies, we recommend contacting the Head of the Pathology Department at Mater Dei Hospital.
Money can be transferred from the U.S. using private companies, such as Western Union, or via the Department of State’s OCS/TRUST system or directly transferred to a local funeral home bank account in Malta. For more information on transferring money, visit our page Sending Money to a U.S. Citizen Overseas.
Undertakers in Malta
More can be found online, this is only a sampling.
Camilleri Funeral Directors International
102 Triq Manoel De Vilhena,
Gzira Malta GZR 1017
43 Villina Pat Triq Blanche Huber,
Sliema Malta SLM 2053
21 339 579
www.colombomichelle.com Manuel Agius
117 Triq il-Punent,
Valletta Malta VLT 1535
21 225 701 Anna Falzon Undertaker Tal-Mosta
35 Rosemarie Triq il-Pont,
Mosta Malta MST 2176
21 411 207
12 Triq San Gwann Battista,
Sliema Malta SLM 1124
99 425 430
Borg Francis Funeral Undertaker
Francis Triq il-Gudja,
Luqa Malta LQA 2022
99 490 161
Briffa International Funeral Services
84 Triq il-Marsa,
Marsa Malta MRS 1702
99 492 918
69 Triq Santa Liena,
Bormla Malta BML 1683
99 492 001
Fenech Ray Funeral Services
Sempreviva Triq il-Gizwiti,
Naxxar Malta NXR 2030
99 409 332
In Memoria Funeral Services
142 Triq Gorg Borg Olivier,
21 632 725
Joseph Attard Funeral Services
79 Triq Enrico Mizzi,
Victoria-Gozo Gozo VCT 2047
21 561 234
Ta’ Bertu Mallia Funeral Services
27 Pjazza l-Assunta,
Zebbug-Gozo Gozo ZBB 1240
99 426 840