Disposition of Remains

U.S. Embassy Information

U.S. Embassy
Address: #1 Street 96, Sangkat Wat Phnom, Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Phone: (855) 23-728-000
Fax: (855) 23-728-700
Website: U.S. Embassy website; State Department Country Specific Information Website

Funeral and Related Services Available in Cambodia

Autopsies are not available in Cambodia. Embalming services, meeting international standards for long term preservation, are available. There is no Cambodian law limiting the time in which a body must be interred, but the scarcity and expense of refrigerated storage facilities dictate that the disposition of remains be completed as soon as possible.

There are two main options for disposition of remains in Cambodia: (1) cremation; or (2) having the body embalmed and returned to the U.S.

Cremation

Cremation is the traditional practice of Cambodians and is usually conducted at a local temple. Most families choose to have their loved one’s remains cremated in Cambodia, and to have the urn shipped back to them in the U.S. Cremation and related services (including urn) range in price from $500 to $1750.

Crematoriums are located throughout Cambodia; arrangements are handled by local undertakers. Cambodian law requires “Permission for Cremation” issued from the Ministry of Health and a Death Certificate/Certification from a hospital or the forensic police. Cambodian cremation procedures do not result in fine ashes as is normal in the United States; cremains will include large pieces of bone.

Shipment costs vary depending on the company and shipment method used, and may include customs clearance fees for the urn (a necessary step prior to shipping). Many international courier services have policies that do not allow them to ship human ashes. Human ashes cannot be shipped through the diplomatic pouch.

The Cambodian postal system will not ship human ashes to any destinations. Shipment of ashes can be arranged through private funeral service companies (Osborn and Monkhouse). These companies can also arrange for the return of the deceased’s personal effects, if any. Human ashes cannot be sent through the diplomatic pouch.

Repatriating Embalmed Remains to the United States

Repatriating a body to the United States from Cambodia is possible but can be very expensive, often exceeding $12,000-$15,000.

A casket containing a human body or human ashes is treated as ordinary freight. Shipping companies do not require special containers as long as the body is placed in a proper casket.

Two private companies operating in Cambodia are capable of providing the full range of the above described services, and can provide price quotes for services. The U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh, Cambodia takes no responsibility for the liability and quality of services provided by the following entities.

John Allison Monkhouse
(A private company located inside the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital),
No. 156, 271 St., Chamkarmorn District, Phnom Penh;
Contact person: Mr. Han Rutten, Tel: +855 16 553 329
allison.monkhouse@online.com.kh

Osborn Funeral Services
P.O. Box: 3073 Phnom Penh
Contact person Ms. Phalleap Sophean, Tel. +855 92 462 946
Phalleap@osbornfuneralservices.com
www.osbornfuneralservices.com

Burial

Burial is unusual and only a small number of Cambodians are buried rather than cremated. Burial plots are usually located outside of major cities in Cambodia, along National Road 4 and cost approximately $5,500. Currently, burial services are offered exclusively by:

Chinese Association
Contact Person: Mr. Yim Wattana, Tel: (855) 12957 024