Skip Global Navigation to Main Content
Skip Breadcrumb Navigation

Disposition of Remains Report

Report date: August 14, 2013

Part I. Name of Country
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 :

State Department Country Specific Information:

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:

Religious activities for Visitors:

Modern Dutch society is very secular and many do not identify themselves with an organized religion. However there are plenty of churches, mosques, synagogues and other places of worship, and people have the opportunity to practice their own religion.

Churches: English-language services are held in many places of worship in The Hague, including the American Protestant Church, the International Roman Catholic Parish of The Hague, the Church of the Latter-day Saints, St. John and St. Philip Episcopal Church and the Liberal Jewish Congregation. Some churches outside The Hague include St. James Anglican Church in Voorschoten, Trinity International Church in Leidsendam, and Scots International Church in Rotterdam. Many of the churches have active youth and women’s groups, and a few offer religious education.

Mosques: With more than 500,000 practicing Muslims, Islam has become one of the country’s main religions. Subsequently, 450 mosques can be found among the larger cities and their suburbs. Masjid Noor ul Islam is located on Scheetersstraat, close to the Hague Centrum. The Dutch public is gradually learning more about Islam, and make allowance for pupils and colleagues such as leaving for Friday prayers or fasting in Ramadan.

Synagogues: There are small Jewish communities throughout the country, but the vast majority of Jewish life is centered in Amsterdam. There is a Liberal Jewish Congregation located in The Hague, and Orthodox Jewish Synagogue located in Scheveningen, both offering services in English.

More information see Wikipedia

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

PC Hooft Groep (Funeral Home PC Hooft Groep)
Address: Kabelweg 22, 1014 BB Amsterdam
Phone +31 20 580 5000
Fax: +31 20 580 5142

(Funeral Home) Van der Heden IRU
Address: Melkpad 21A, 1217 KA Hilversum
Phone: 31 35 621 7862
Fax:  +31 35 621 8643

Funeral Home Henning
Bautersemstraat 1
2518 PC The Hague
Phone : +31 70 345 4810
Fax: +31 070 - 346 39 47

Funeral Home Goetzee DELA
Boezemsingel 35
3034 EC Rotterdam
Phone: +31 10 280 52 80

Part V.  Profile of Services available in the Netherlands regarding preparation and shipment of remains:

Both burial and cremation are common in the Netherlands.  Hospitals and 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 automotive 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.

International Airport Schiphol is the Netherlands’ main international airport, located 20 minutes southwest of Amsterdam,  in the municipality of Haarlemmermeer.  The airport is the primary European gateway for major airlines to the United States, such as KLM, British Airways, Delta and United.  It also is the world’s 5th busiest by international passenger traffic and the 17th largest for cargo tonnage.

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 6000 – 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 United States.


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.

Caskets and Containers:

For air shipment, a hermetically sealed zinc lined coffin is required.

A wooden coffin with zinc inner case will fulfill requirements.

Exportation of Remains:

Local requirements for the exportation of human remains to the United States are as follows:

a) Consular Mortuary Certificate

b) Official Death Certificate

c) Statement indicating cause of death

d) Affidavit of undertaker regarding contents and suitability of coffin

e) Embalming certificate

f) Transit permit

g) Burial/Cremation permits

h) Statement from U.S. funeral home undertaking to accept the remains for disposition.


Exportation of Ashes:     

Local requirements for the exportation of ashes are as follows:

a)  Official Death Certificate

b)  Cremation certificate

c) Statement from U. S. funeral home undertaking to accept ashes for disposition.d)  Export permit from District Attorney's office. 

Shipment of ashes can only be effected after the mandatory one month resting period has expired.  Dutch law permits the shipment of ashes to private individuals.


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 cemetary 5600
Regular grave, 10 year lease 2000
Total cost of local burial 7600
2 Local Cremation:
Funeral expenses 4800
Cremation cost 2400
Total cost of cremation and local burial 7200
3 Shipment of Body to the United States: USD
  Preparation for shipment to the United States 3400
Embalming   650
Coffin approved for shipment to the United States 1300
Total cost of preparation for shipment to the United States 5350
Airfreight for coffin to New York 2600
Airfreight for coffin to Chicago 2700
Airfreight for coffin to Los Angeles 2850
Summary of cost estimates:
Preparation and shipment of remains to New York 7950
Preparation and shipment of remains to Chicago 8050
Preparation and shipment of remains to Los Angeles 8200
4 Shipment of Ashes to the United States:
Airfreight for urn to New York, Chicago or Los Angeles   800














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 mayor 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.

Local Customs regarding Funerals, Disposition of Remains, Mourning, Memorial Services:

Traditionally, Dutch funerals tend to be quite muted and sober affairs.  Sometimes the death is announced in a local newspaper, but generally, family and friends will receive a card announcing the death and funeral services, if any.  Funeral attendance is often subject to invitation and may or may not include a church service.  Many times the funeral is concluded at the funeral parlor or a reserved room in a restaurant where coffee and refreshments are offered.

However, with the mix of cultures co-existing in the Netherlands, more elaborate death rituals have found their way into the funeral service and now almost any kind of ceremonial observance is possible and acceptable.