CDC requirements for importing human remains depend upon if the body has been embalmed, cremated, or if the person died from a quarantinable communicable disease.
At this time, COVID-19 is a quarantinable communicable disease in the United States and the remains must meet the standards for importation found in 42 Code of Federal Regulations Part 71.55 and may be cleared, released, and authorized for entry into the United States only under the following conditions:
- The remains are cremated; OR
- The remains are properly embalmed and placed in a hermetically sealed casket; OR
- The remains are accompanied by a permit issued by the CDC Director. The CDC permit (if applicable) must accompany the human remains at all times during shipment.
- Permits for the importation of the remains of a person known or suspected to have died from a quarantinable communicable disease may be obtained through the CDC Division of Global Migration and Quarantine by calling the CDC Emergency Operations Center at 770-488-7100 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please see CDC’s guidance for additional information.
In the unfortunate event of the death of a U.S. citizen in a foreign country, there are certain services the Embassy can provide to the next-of-kin of the deceased. Please write to ParaguayACS@state.gov to notify the Embassy.
To learn about these services, please follow these links:
Please be aware that the Embassy can not commit Government funds to cover the funeral expenses of private citizens.
The American Citizen Services section can assist family and friends in the event of the death of an American citizen in Paraguay. Our first responsibility is to locate and inform the official next-of-kin. Sometimes discovering the next-of-kin is difficult.
If the American’s name is known, the Bureau’s Office of Passport Services will search for his or her passport application and review internet resources. Once we locate the next-of-kin, we can act as a liaison in arranging the disposition of remains and help with forwarding personal effects.
The disposition of remains is affected by local laws, customs and facilities, which can be vastly different from those in the U.S. The family or legal representative must pay all funeral home charges and shipping costs for the remains and personal effects (if applicable). We will work with any funeral home selected by the family to ensure proper documentation for shipment of remains to the United States.
We maintain a list of several funeral homes that are familiar with international shipping requirements.
Even if no assistance is needed in making funeral arrangements, the death of an American citizen, whether resident or tourist in Paraguay, should be reported to the Embassy so that a Report of Death of an American Citizen Abroad can be issued. This document is necessary to settle legal and estate matters in the United States.
Death of an American Citizen in Paraguay
The American Citizen Services in the Consular Section in Asuncion, Paraguay can issue up to 30 copies of the Report of Death of an American Citizen, which is usually sufficient in number to settle matters in the United States.
Embalming is carried out in accordance with local laws. In most cases, the services fall short of those expected in the United States. If the remains are returned to the United States, it is recommended that the U.S. funeral home director determine the advisability of viewing the remains.
There is no time limit within which remains must be cremated.
An autopsy is performed in cases involving violent or suspected violent death (murder, suicide or accidental). It is also performed in cases of natural death when it occurs in circumstances that are not clear (sudden or unexpected deaths).
Documentation Required for Exportation of Remains
To facilitate the exportation of the remains, the Embassy prepares a Consular Mortuary Certificate which includes flight details and consignee and incorporates the following documents:
1. Paraguayan Death Certificate: This certificate is issued by the local Paraguayan registrar’s office.
2. Transit Permit: This document is issued by the local Ministry of Health (Ministerio de Salud) where the death occurred.
3. Certificate of Embalming: This document certifies the chemicals that were used for embalming the body. In Paraguay, this certificate is issued by the funeral home.
4. Affidavit by the Local Paraguayan Undertaker: An affidavit or sworn declaration by the undertaker or person responsible for packing the body for shipment should be attached to the Consular Mortuary Certificate. This affidavit must state that the casket contains only the body of the deceased and the necessary clothing and packing. This document is prepared by the Embassy.
Documentation Requirements for Exportation of Human Cremains/Ashes
The following documents are required to export cremated remains:
1. Written consent of the deceased or family
2. Physician or Forensic Cetificate of Death
3. Paraguayan Death Certificate
4. Certificate of Cremation issued by the Paraguayan Crematorium
5. Transit permit from the Vital Records of the Paraguayan Ministry of Public Health
The U.S. Embassy in Asuncion, Paraguay, assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the following persons or firms. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the funeral directors, morticians and other service providers.
Funeral Homes & Morticians
Margatti Funeral Home
Address: Pai Perez 845 e/ Pettirossi y Teodoro S. Mongelos.
Contact: Manuel Martinez
Cell phones: 0971-207-597 and 0981-402-849
Telephone & Fax: (595-21) 207-880 and 211-248
English speaking staff: Yes
Parque Serenidad Funeral Home
Address: Espana Av. 693 esq. Boqueron
Contact: Fernando Ibarra
Telephone: (595-21) 207-013; 211-452 and 212-456
English speaking staff: Yes
Prevision – Crichigno E.U.S.A. Funeral Home
Address: Manuel Dominguez 208 e/ Yegros.
Contact: Carolina Duarte, Marta or Carlos Crichigno (0991-867-000)
Cell phones: 0991-204-151
Telephone & Fax: (595-21) 449-998; 498-804 and 492-776
English speaking staff: Yes
The above funeral homes provide all types of mortuary services and have experience in preparation and shipment of remains to the United States and other countries. They also have refrigerated morgues.