Disposition of Remains Report
Report date: July 7, 2010
The following information is submitted in accordance with the referenced requirements. Various area mortuaries were surveyed in order to compile this data. The laws cited are from the Dutch Burial and Cremation Act.
Part I. The Netherlands
Part II. U.S. Consulate General Amsterdam
Address: Museumplein 19, 1071 DJ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Phone: +31 20 575 5309
Fax: +31 20 575 5330 (American Citizen Services)
After hours phone: +31 70 – 310 2209
Website : http://amsterdam.usconsulate.gov/
Registration with the U.S. Consulate:
Part III. Profile of Religions of the Host Country and Religious Services available to visitors:
Country Profile: See “Background Note: Netherlands: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/3204.htm
PART IV. Funeral Directors, Mortician and Related Services Available in the Host Country:
DISCLAIMER: The U.S. Consulate General, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 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.
The following funeral homes provide all general and special funeral services, including repatriation of human (c)remains.
Uitvaartcentrum Zuid (Funeral Home Zuid)
Address: Fred. Roeskestraat 91, 1076 EC Amsterdam
Phone: 31 20 646 06 06
Fax: 31 20 644 0527
Part V. Profile of Services available in The Netherlands regarding preparation and shipment of remains:
Both burial and cremation are common in The Netherlands. Most funeral homes have refrigerated morgues. Police stations and hospitals usually have local funeral home contacts available for families of deceased individuals.
The Netherlands is a small country and transportation between the different locations is usually facilitated by vehicular transport.
Autopsies are generally only performed when death is not due to natural causes. In cases where death is due to an infectious disease, the Ministry of Health will determine how the remains may be disposed.
(1) Maximum period before Burial of Remains:
Dutch law requires disposition of remains within six days of death. The undertaker handling the funeral arrangements files a report of death with the Civil Registry, which is responsible for issuing burial/cremation permits.
The mandatory six day period for disposition may be extended by local officials at the request of the party making funeral arrangements.
In cases where death has not occurred as a result of natural causes, the District Attorney must release the body before disposition will be permitted to take place.
The estimated cost of funeral arrangements in The Netherlands is between US Dollars 4000 – 8000.
Embalming facilities are available locally, and arranged through the local funeral home. Embalming is required for transportation of the remains outside of The Netherlands. Local practice places less emphasis on cosmetisizing the remains than in the U.S.
Cremation is permitted and crematoriums are located in most major cities. A permit must be obtained from the Civil Registry before cremation can take place.
(4) Caskets and Containers
For airshipment a hermetically sealed zinc lined coffin is required.
A wooden coffin with zinc inner case will fulfill requirements.
(5) Exportation of Remains:
Local requirements for the exportation of human remains are as follows:
- Consular Mortuary Certificate
- Official Death Certificate
- Statement indicating cause of death
- Affidavit of undertaker regarding contents and suitability of coffin
- Embalming certificate
- Transit permit
- Burial/Cremation permit
- Statement from U.S. funeral home undertaking to accept the remains for disposition.
(6) Exportation of Ashes:
Local requirements for the exportation of ashes are as follows:
- Official Death Certificate
- Cremation certificate
- Statement from U. S. funeral home undertaking to accept ashes for disposition.
- Export permit from District Attorney's office.
Dutch law permits the shipment of ashes to private individuals. However, ashes can only be released for disposition after the mandatory one month waiting period has expired. While shipment of ashes from the Netherlands must be coordinated through the Schiphol Mortuarium, any Dutch funeral home may liaise with them regarding the details.
Current cost estimates are listed below based on an exchange rate of USD = €0.75 and are subject to change.
(1) Local Burial USD
Funeral Expenses, including transportation to cemetery $3,000
Regular grave, 10 year lease $2,750
Total cost of local burial $5,750
(2) Local Cremation
Funeral Expenses $3,000
Cremation Cost $1,500
Burial of ashes and 10 year lease $1,500
Total cost of cremation and local burial $5,000
Total cost of cremation and scattering of
ashes locally 4000
(3) Shipment of Body to the United States USD
Preparation for shipment to the U.S. $1,500
Coffin approved for shipment to the U.S. $2,200
Total cost of preparation for shipment to the U.S. $5,100
Airfreight for coffin to New York $2,400
Airfreight for coffin to Chicago $2,650
Airfreight for coffin to Los Angeles $2,800
Summary of Cost Estimates:
Preparation and shipment of remains to New York $7,600
Preparation and shipment of remains to Chicago $7,750
Preparation and shipment of remains to Los Angeles $7,900
(4) Shipment of Ashes to the United States:
Cremation Cost & Funeral Expenses $4,500
Airfreight for urn to New York, Chicago, or
Los Angeles $1,000
Total cost of cremation and shipment of ashes to the United States $5,500
Special religious or other requirements regarding preparation and shipment will increase the foregoing estimates.
A permit for exhumation of remains must be obtained from the burgomaster of the municipality where the burial took place. In addition to the documentation listed in (5) an exhumation permit must accompany the remains if shipped out of the country. Exhumation costs depend on the municipality in which the interment took place.
(9) Local Customs regarding Funerals, Disposition of Remains, Mourning, Memorial Services:
Funerals are attended by invitation only (though a general invitation may be placed in the form of a newspaper advertisement if the deceased was well known, or if family members and friends cannot be traced) and an invitation may be for a specific part of the funeral only. It may or may not include a church service. A funeral is often spread over several different locations: gathering at a funeral home or a family residence for a wake or viewing where farewells may be said to the deceased in the open casket, followed by a church service or a non-religious service at a funeral home or cremation center. A burial may follow the church service. The funeral is concluded at the funeral parlor or a reserved room in a restaurant where sandwiches and drinks are offered.
Transportation between the different locations is usually by car, with all cars having their lights on or marked with a small flag to indicate a procession. They tend to ride slowly on the way toward the funeral, but usually maintain normal speed on the way back.
Generally people dress formally in black, dark blues or grays. White is not commonly worn.
Funerals tend to be muted affairs. People keep their voices down but avoid more overt displays of grief. The mood usually lightens after the funeral itself and can become quite lighthearted at the reception afterward.
Sending flowers to a funeral is common practice, but the displays are usually small. This is one of the few occasions that the Dutch usually send flowers rather than bring them, even when attending the funeral in person.