Disposition of Remains: Solomon Islands

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: Solomon Islands

Part II.  U.S. Embassy Port Moresby

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

Phone:  (+ 675) 321-1455

Fax: (+ 675) 321-1593

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

 

U.S. Consular Agency Honiara

Address:  BLUMS BLD, Commonwealth Avenue, Honiara, Solomon Islands

Phone:  (+677) 23426
Fax:  (+677) 27429
E-mail:    us_consular@usconsular.com.sb

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

Country Profile: Visit the State Department’s website “Background Note: Solomon Islands”

Religions:  Approximately 90 percent of the population is affiliated with one of the following Christian churches:  Anglican Church of Melanesia – 33 percent, Roman Catholic – 19 percent, South Seas Evangelical – 17 percent, Seventh-day Adventist – 11 percent, and United Methodist – 10 percent.  An estimated 5 percent of the population, consisting primarily of the Kwaio community on the island of Malaita, adheres to indigenous animistic religions.  Groups together constituting less than 5 percent of the population include Muslims, Baha’is, Jehovah’s Witnesses, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), members of the Unification Church, and members of indigenous churches that have broken away from major Christian denominations.

 

Part IV.  Funeral Directors, Mortician and Related Services Available in the Host Country:  There are no known funeral homes or undertakers in Solomon Islands.  The Embassy is aware of one small, locally owned business in Honiara that offers some funeral support services such coffin transportation via hearse and assistance arranging documents for exportation of remains.  Contact:

Grant Graffiths

Phone: (+677) 7449490 or 7446588

Email: pasha@solomon.com.sb

 

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.

 

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

  1. General conditions: Only basic mortuary services are available in Solomon Islands, most of which are located in Honiara. There are no known services available in the outer islands or provincial centers.  Bodies will need to be transported by inter island aircraft or helicopter (charters are available) to Honiara for mortuary services.  This will involve further costs, which can only be established on a case-by-case basis.
  2. Local circumstances: Due to extreme tropical conditions, burial or embalming should take place as soon as possible after death. The Central Referral Hospital in Honiara has a morgue, but it is not cold enough to hold bodies more than 48 hours.  Cost of Morgue: $100 per night.
  3. 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.

The cost to uplift the Human Remain is varying depending on the international destination and the weights.  The most popular destination in the USA is Los Angeles and the approximate total cost is USD 2,750

  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:

Death certificates are generally issued by the doctor attending the death at the National Referral Hospital in Honiara.  If a death occurs outside of the hospital, relatives of the deceased can provide proof of death to the National Referral Hospital and the death certificate will be issued by the medical superintendent.  Contact the Accounts and General Oversight Office on (+677) 23600 or (+677) 22812.

(1)  There are no regulations pertaining to the legal maximum period before burial of remains.

(2)   Embalming Services:  The Central Referral Hospital in Honiara is able to provide embalming services.  They request that suitable clothing be given to the doctor performing the services to dress body after embalming.  Estimated cost of embalming:  USD 700.00

(3)  Cremation Services:  The Honiara City Council can arrange for cremation.  Contact the City Council at +677 28294, or request assistance from the U.S. Consular Agency in Honiara.  The City Council requires at least 24-hour advance notice and request longer if possible.  Please note cremations are not a normal practice in Solomon Islands.  There is no guarantee of receiving the ashes cremation.  Cremation fee: USD 672.  PLUS the total cost of operation:  USD 9,000 (cost includes logistic support, labor, transport and all costs involved) The fee must be paid before work commences.

(4)  Caskets and Containers:

Lead line coffins (for international shipment) are provided by LKP Hardware Ltd. (+677 -22594) Cost, regardless of size:  USD3,000.  This charge includes transportation, metal siling and soldering.

Wooden coffins (for local burials) are provided by Island Enterprises (+ 677- 30152).  Costs vary by size:

Extra Large (Gasket DX 2doors)                USD825.00

Large                                                          USD487.00

Standard                                                     USD 437.00

Medium                                                       USD312.50

Small 1 (5’ (L) x 1.7’ (w))                             USD 312.50

Small 2  (4’ (L) X 1.5 (w))                            USD112.50

Small baby (3’ (L) x 1.2’ (w))                       USD 112.50

Smallest size (1.8’ (L) x 1’ (w))                   USD 112.50

Delivery service (within Honiara only)        USD 375.00

After hours delivery fee                              USD 375.00

 

(5)  Exportation of Human Remains:  Remains must be embalmed and a lead lined coffin must be used.  The embalmer will usually help organize the required documentation, which is included in the fee.  An ambulance service will not generally be provided to take casket to the airport, so transportation has to be hired.  St. John Ambulance provided a service at a cost of USD50 per trip within Honiara. International Medivac is a standard charge from anywhere in Honiara to the international airport is USD450.  In the short term to call the Ambulance call 73 98566 or emergency number 111

Airlines require the following documents in order to uplift remains:

  1. Customs export certificate (arranged by Solomon Airlines or freight agent)
  2. Death certificate by authorized authorities (Central referral hospital)
  3. Embalming certificates by authorized doctor
  4. Sealing Certificate
  5. Freight Charges paid by sender
  6. Passport: The original passport of the deceased is not required. A photocopy is acceptable.
  7. Police Report
  8. Medical report
  9. consignee’s contact address

 

(6)  Local Burials:   Gravediggers charge USD 75 grave for an adult, USD 50 for a child.  Transport from the Central Referral Hospital to the cemetery by St. John Ambulance will cost USD 50

(7)   All cost estimates are based on an exchange rate on April 30, 2018 of $1.00 USD = 8.00 Solomon Dollars (SBD).

(8)    Exhumation and Shipment:  It is against Solomon Island law to exhume bodies.  This can only be done through a court order and is very unusual.  Costs would be approximately SBD 1,250