Disposition of Remains: Papua New Guinea

The following general information is provided to assist families in making initial decisions in case of death of their loved one.  Indicated costs are estimates and should be considered as guides only.  These estimates also relate only to costs incurred in Vanuatu.  U.S. funeral home costs would be handled separately.

Updated: July 12, 2018

Part I.  Country: Papua New Guinea

Part II.  U.S. Embassy Port Moresby

Address: Douglas Street, Port Moresby 121, National Capital District Papua New Guinea

Phone:  (+ 675) 321-1455 /308 2100

Fax: (+ 675) 321-1593

After-hours U.S. citizen emergencies: (+ 675) 7200-9439

Part III.  Profile of Religions of the Host Country and Religious Services available to visitors.

Country Profile: Visit the State Department’s website “U.S. Relations with Papua New Guinea”

Religions:  Approximately 96 percent of PNG citizens identify themselves as Christian.  Approximately 27 percent are Roman Catholic, 20 percent Evangelical Lutheran, 12 percent United Church, 10 percent Seventh-day Adventist, 9 percent Pentecostal, 5 percent Evangelical Alliance, 3 percent Anglican, and 3 percent Baptist.  Other Christian groups, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the Salvation Army, together constitute 9 percent.  Baha’is make up less than 1 percent of the population, and the remaining 3 percent hold indigenous or other beliefs. Many citizens integrate Christian faith with some indigenous beliefs and practices.  Muslim and Confucian organizations largely serve the expatriate population.  The Muslim community has about 4,000 members.  Pentecostal and charismatic Christian groups have found converts within congregations of the more established churches.

Part IV.  Funeral Directors, Mortician and Related Services Available in the Host Country:

DISCLAIMER:  The U.S. Embassy Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea 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.

 

There are three known funeral homes in Papua New Guinea providing a full range of funeral services, including embalming and shipment of human remains.  These companies may provide services in other areas of Papua New Guinea at additional cost.

 

Dove Funeral Services Ltd.

PO Box 3017

Boroko, NCD

Papua New Guinea

Phone: (+675) 323-9654 or 7106-8091

Fax: (+675) 7201-1505

Email: info@dovefunerals.com.pg

 

The Funeral Home

Hubert Murray Hwy Erima

PO Box 6217

Boroko, NCD

Papua New Guinea

Phone: (+675) 325-7793

After hours: (+675) 325-6512

Fax: (+675) 325-8747

Email: ravenpol80@gmail.com

 

Glenrowen Funeral Home

(With locations in Goroka and Lae.  Main office in Goroka.)

PO Box 1253

Goroka

Papua New Guinea

Phone: (+675) 532-1177

-and-

PO Box 66

Lae 411

Morobe Province

Papua New Guinea

Fax: (+675) 532-1911

Email: john.glenrowen@gmail.com

 

Part V.  Profile of services available in the host country regarding preparation and shipment of remains.

  1. General conditions: Mortuary services are available in Port Moresby, Goroka and Lae. There are no known services available outside these urban areas.  Bodies may need to be transported to these locations for mortuary services.  This will involve further costs, which can only be established on a case-by-case basis.

Autopsies are performed for criminal investigation purposes, when the cause of death is unknown, or at the request of the family.  Autopsies can be performed either at the hospital or at The Funeral Home of Port Moresby.

  1. Local circumstances: Due to tropical conditions, burial or embalming should take place soon after death.
  2. Shipment by air: International airlines will not uplift without the confirmed address of receiver in the United States. Please note that experience has shown that it can be difficult to secure confirmed onward transportation of the casket once it reaches LAX, especially if the ongoing carrier is a small domestic airline.  A U.S. based mortuary service provider may need to be engaged to assist with such services from port of entry in the United States to final destination.  A casket containing a body or human ashes is treated as ordinary freight.  Shipping companies, however, require that the body be placed in a metal or zinc lined casket.  Estimated cargo rates on Air Niugini from Port Moresby, depend/varies on the weight and the International destination most often is Los Angeles and the estimated cost is $3,031 and over.

 

  1. Local authorities responsible for licensing funeral directors and morticians: None
  2. Local authorities responsible for making findings regarding the cause of death and for issuing death local certificates: The Registrar General, Registration Officer (Death), National Civil Registry Office, Department of Community Development Religion, PO Box 7354, Boroko 111, National Capital District, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

(1)  Although there is no law or regulation requiring burial within a specific period, most decedents are buried within three days of death.  In the villages, time before burial may be as short as one day, depending on the cause of death.  Funeral homes are not used for most burials in Papua New Guinea.

(2)   Embalming Services:  Embalming are available in Port Moresby and Lae.  Prices can range from: Normal $320 to $2,750, and other $370 to $3,650

(3)  Cremation Services:  Cremation is uncommon in Papua New Guinea, but is available.  Cremation facilities in PNG may not be to the same standard as found in the United States.  The cost of cremation is approximately $1,850.

(4)  Caskets, Containers and Funeral Service Costs:

Casket, Local (Regular)                  $330 to 1,700 (prices varies),

Casket, Local (Oversize)                $1.220 to $2,340 (prices varies)

Casket, Imported                             $7,580 to 8,490 (metal), and $13, 640 to $10,910 (wooden)

Galvanized zinc liner                       $31 to $1,070 (dependent on Funeral Home)

Ceramic Urn for cremains             $760

Wooden Urn for cremains           $304

Cool Room Services                        $31-304 per night (dependent on Funeral Home)

Transport Services                           $100-200 (Dependent on vehicle.  A hearse is more expensive.)

Funeral Director’s fee                    $304

Sealing and Certification               $304

Administrative fee                          $190 -460 (dependent on Funeral Home)

Allowance for Contingency          $760 (dependent on Funeral Home)

Post Mortem Services                   $160 -1,070 (dependent on Funeral Home

Professional Handling                    $70 -760 (dependent on Funeral Home)

After Hours Services                       $70-304 (dependent on Funeral Home)

Miscellaneous expenses                $1,070

(5)  Exportation of Human Remains:  All human remains repatriated to the United States must be shipped in a leak-proof container and must be accompanied by a death certificate stating the cause of death.  For more information, see http://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/human-remains.html .  Air carriers will generally require:

  • Embalming by US standard method.
  • Use of hermetically sealed coffin or casket.
  • Use of all wood outer shipping-container – wrapped or packaged, inclusive of absorbent
  • material, in either a “custom-made carton”, protective wrapping, felt or foam sheeting and suitably stitched and labelled
  • Certified copy of death certificate.
  • Locally issued burial and/or transit permit.
  • Embalmers (non-contraband) affidavit – to be typed in funeral home letterhead.
  • Shipper declaration for dangerous goods – if not embalmed.
  • Non-contagious disease letter from local health authority – to be typed on letterhead of local authority or Coroner/Medical Examiner.
  • Full flight itinerary, with name/address/phone number of consignee (quarantine clearance cannot be issued without this information).
  • Passport or copy of passport.
  • Next of kin/contact information in final destination.

 

(6)  Local Burials:   Plots at Nine Mile Cemetery outside of Port Moresby can be purchased from the National Capital District Commission (Department of Health) at an approximate cost of $50 (165 PGK) for an adult and $34 (110 PGK) for a child.

(7)   All cost estimates are based on an exchange rate on July 12, 2018 of $1.00 USD = 3.30 PNG Kina.

(8)    Exhumation:   Exhumation is possible.  A police officer, a health officer, cemetery personnel and funeral home personnel must attend the exhumation.  It is preferable not to disturb the surrounding ground.  Apply in writing to the National Capital District Commission:

City Manager

City Hall

P.O. Box 7270

Boroko, NCD 111

Papua New Guinea

Phone: (+675) 325-0280/323-3212

Fax: (+675) 323-3082