Disposition of Remains Report

U.S. Embassy Information

U.S. Embassy Kolonia
Address: P.O. Box 1286, Kolonia, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Phone: Country Code 691 Area Code 320-2187
Fax: Country Code 691 Area Code 320-2186
State Department Country Specific Information
State Department Travel Information
Smart Travel Enrollment Program (STEP)

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

The religious compositions of the Federated States of Micronesia are mostly Protestant and Catholic. Small religious groups include BaptistsAssemblies of GodSalvation ArmySeventh-day AdventistsJehovah’s Witnessesthe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), and the Baha’i Faith.

Traditionally, a wake is held from the 1st day to a week waiting for the disposition of the remains. This is a common practice in the Federated States of Micronesia, where the deceased’s remains are displayed in a church or at the family’s home before burial.

Funeral Directors, Mortician and Related Services Available in the FSM

See the U.S. Embassy Kolonia’s list of “Hospitals and Clinics.”

Profile of services available in FSM regarding preparation and shipment of remains

Maximum Period Before Burial: Unless embalmed, bodies must be buried within 24 hours.

Embalming: On the main islands of Pohnpei and Chuuk, embalming is available at the State Hospitals. There is a private embalmer on the main island of Yap, and Kosrae also uses a private embalmer who used to be a part of the Kosrae State Hospital.

Cremation: Cremation is not available.

Caskets and Containers: Caskets are sometimes available at local variety and hardware stores; the only ones currently in stuck in Pohnpei costs between $1,395.00 to $1,460.00; but the pallbearers at a recent funeral were advised by the vendor not to use the handles because they could break off.

Exportation of Remains: To export human remains, the following documents are required:

  • Death Certificate
  • Embalming Certificate
  • Removal Permit
  • Packing Certificate

Costs: The Federated States of Micronesia uses the U.S. Dollars as its currency.

  • There are no funeral homes or public cemeteries. It is normal practice to bury the deceased on private property adjacent to their home, often in front yards.
  • Cremation is not available.
  • Embalming: The Pohnpei State Hospital charges $500 to embalm a body and additional $30 for storage fee per day. The embalmer on Yap charges $800 to embalm and an additional $80.00 per day for storage. On Chuuk, embalming local Chuukese cost $235, and foreigners including other FSM States cost $250. There are additional costs for ambulance $250, transfer permit $100, labe fee $1,500 and death certificate $10. On Kosrae, embalming is not available since the qualified individual is no longer working with the state hospital. The Kosrae hospital’s morgue costs $50 per day.
  • Autopsy: Pohnpei State Hospital charges $300 for autopsy. On Chuuk, autopsy is done by the Chuuk State Hospital at the request of the Chuuk State Government without a fee. For Yap, autopsy is also done at the Yap State Hospital at the request of the Yap State Government possibly with a fee. Since such request has not been made to Yap, there is no fixed fee yet. Kosrae does not do autopsy.
  • Preparation and Shipment of Remains:
  • Shipping Container: Shipping container is no longer available at united cargo but they do accept plywood trays prepared by local carpenters for caskets to be placed inside.
  • Freight Costs: $8.40- 17.26 per kilo Pohnpei to U.S.
  • Security Charges collected by TSA: $15.00 minimum
  • Exhumation: There are no regulations on exhumation.

Outer Islands

Facilities for dealing with remains are available only on the FSM’s main islands. None of the outer islands or atolls has any capacity for dealing with remains other than rapid burial. Access to many locations within the FSM is difficult. Only a few of the outer islands have airstrips and the light aircraft serving them would have difficulty carrying a coffin. Islands without airstrips can be reached only by boat. Operation of the government-owned inter-island ships is erratic and visits occur on a quarterly basis, at best.

(Last Updated: April 29, 2019)