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Ethiopia - Obtain a Burial Permit

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There are a number of things to consider which cannot be arranged before the death occurs. These will need to be taken into consideration as well.
Step 1 Go to the Office of health official at the Municipal Council or his representative in your Area.Death certificates are available from Municipal City Councils and in order to register the death under the civil laws any of the following are required:

  • A death certificate/report from a hospital;
  • A death certificate/evidence of burial from religion institutions or Labour and Social Affairs Bureau.

A declaration signed by three witnesses in front of Kebele officials, confirming death.

When registering at the Municipal City Council, you are required to produce one of the above, as well as the applicants Kebele card or passport. The spouse, parents, children of the deceased or other legally represented individual may apply for these certificates
Step 2 Bring the required documents.
Step 3 Present and submit the documents.

  • While local law does not prohibit cremation, there are no facilities available in Ethiopia for that purpose and there is no immediate likelihood of cremation becoming available.
  • When the deceased is a foreigner and is to be exported. When the remains of a deceased person are to be transported out of the country, they are placed in zinc-lined coffin which is sealed by soldering.
  • The coffin has to be with a hardwood exterior.
  • Before shipping by air, the coffin is placed in a wooden shipping case.
  • All required containers are readily available locally through the undertakers.
  • The caskets and the containers are sealed by the Ethiopian Ministry of Health official for customs clearance.
  • If the deceased dies outside his home, the person in whose house the death has occurred shall be bound to declare the death.
  • Where a person dies, the persons who live with him shall he bound to declare his death. (2) In default of such persons, such obligation shall devolve on his relatives by consanguinity or affinity, if they live in the same commune, and, in their default, on his nearest neighbors.

If a death occurs in a hospital, a school, a hotel or a prison, the death shall be declared by the person who is in charge of the establishment in question. (2) The death of persons executed by virtue of a criminal sentence passed on them shall be declared by the director of the prison where, at the time of his execution, the condemned person was in custody

Deaths of soldiers on active service shall be declare by the commanding officer of the unit to which they belong, unless the soldier is living with his family or his death occurs during a period of leave granted to him or in a place where his unit is not stationed.

  • In cases where an applicant claims that a death certificate for a parent is not available because the relative died at home, officers should request the applicant to formally register the death with the city administration. Officers should not accept a testimonial issued by a Kebele social court as a formal death certificate. Testimonials are unreliable as they are issued based on verbal information provided by declarants without any verification of the information presented.

Exportation of Remains
Local requirements and procedure for the exportation of human remains are
  • Embalming of the remains.
  • Enclosure of the remains as described in Paragraph above.
  • Copy of official death certificate from Ethiopian health authorities.
  • Embalming certificate (Form A or B) from health authorities.
  • Burial permit from the local health authorities.
  • Consular Mortuary Certificate for shipment from the consular of your embassy in Ethiopia of remains .
  • Affidavit of Funeral Director for witnessing the packing of the remains to the foreign country , notarized by Consul from the embassy.
  • Expedition Permit of Human Remains
  • The Final preparations for shipment are usually made in Lagos.

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Required Documents[edit]

To obtain a new burial permit,
  • Bring either a copy of the original burial permit,
  • Transit burial permit, or death certificate.
  • If you do not have a copy of the original forms, you will be required to complete a "Disinterment Form" prior to receiving the new burial permit.
  • A medical certificate of death issued by the hospital or death certificate
  • A copy of the National Identity Card of the deceased or any other document certifying his identity
  • Authorization of foreign consular services the deceased (for foreigners)
For foreigners
  • Death certificate;
  • Embalming certificate where applicable;
  • Sealing (of the coffin) certificate;
  • Export Permit; and
  • Air Waybill (Air Consignment Note) if by air.
Requirements Shipping Human Remains
Transport of Human Remains

1. Certified copies of Death certificate. (2) If the death certificates do not show cause of death, the consulate will require a photo of the original showing the cause or a letter of non contagious disease w/ cause from attending

2. Burial/Transit Permit w/ raised seal

3. Passport of decedent

4. Embalmer's affidavit

5. Letter of embalming on funeral home letterhead. Letter must state remains were placed in a metal sealer casket, signed and notarized

6. Letter of non-contagious disease from local State or County Health Official stating that the body did not die from a communicable disease and that there were no contagious diseases present in the area at the time of death, signed and notarized

7. Letter of preparation on funeral home letterhead,

8. Certificate of Authentication for Notary from County Clerk

9. Funeral home letter stating: 1) only remains are inside the casket 2) flight itinerary; 3) consignee's name, address, and telephone number; signed and notarized

10. Metal Sealer Casket

11. Outer wood box required/ no inner liner

12. No consul inspection is required. The Consul will issue a letter of permission to ship. Fee $10.00 (money orders only)

13. Letter from the family verifying that they will pick up the body upon arrival in Nigeria with the name, address and phone number of the consignee

Office Locations & Contacts[edit]

Civil registra
Ministry of justice

P.O Box 1370

Addis Ababa Ethiopia

Tel: 00251115515099

Fax: 517755


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Any interested person or his authorized representative can obtain a burial permit.


The fee for a burial permit is $12.00 which is equivalent to 1500Birr

  • If death occurs in a private hospital, there is a charge which varies from $ $180. per day for the use of morgue facilities. which
  • If death occurs out of Addisabab, additional charges must be added to estimates for mileage and overland transportation costs between Addisababa and the major cities of Ethiopia.
  • The cost of exhumation and preparation for shipment includes a $1000 donation to the American Cemetery (if the remains are buried at the American Cemetery in Addisababa)an extra pay is required for the maintenance of the grounds and for digging the plot.


Usually It is Valid for 3 months in Ethiopia.

Documents to Use[edit]

Please attach documents that can be used by people. e.g. links

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Sample Documents[edit]

Please attach sample completed documents that would help other people.

Processing Time[edit]

It take 7 days to 21 days to process a Burial Permit.

Related Videos[edit]

Videos explaining the procedure or to fill the applications. 
Attach videos using the following tag <&video type="website">video ID|width|height<&/video&> from external websites.
Please remove the "&" inside the tags during implementation.
Website = allocine, blip, dailymotion, facebook, gametrailers, googlevideo, html5, metacafe, myspace, revver, 
sevenload, viddler, vimeo, youku, youtube
width = 560, height = 340, Video ID = Can be obtained from the URL of webpage where the video is displayed.
e.g In the following url "" Video ID is "Y0US7oR_t3M". 


  • The Ethiopian Local laws specifies that embalming should begin within 24 hours after death has occurred at the lates.
  • Births, deaths and marriages shall be proved, in case of doubt or of contention, by means of the records of civil status.

Required Information[edit]

When planning a funeral, consider the following.

1. Collect personal information and compile to form an obituary.

2. information on the Chosen funeral home.

3. information where the decease will be buried or cremated.

4. information on the funeral location

5. information on the family members cemetery plot.

6. information on the will if he left one.

Need for the Document[edit]

The Civil Code of Ethiopia contains information regarding record-keeping for births, deaths and marriages.

Burial permits are used for burial, cremation, scattering or disinterment. Burial permits may be obtained through any licensed funeral director or by applying in person at the Birth and Death Registration office located in Abuja or Lagos. A burial permit requires administrative authorization. Following are the procedures on how to obtain burial permit in Nigeria

Information which might help[edit]

  • Local and regional governments assign burial plots to various faiths.

Other uses of the Document/Certificate[edit]

Please explain what are other uses of obtaining this document/certificate.
e.g. Birth Certificate can be used as proof of identity.

External Links[edit]


More information which might help people.