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NOTES ON PROCEDURES FOR DECEASED SA CITIZEN

THE DEATH OF A FAMILY MEMBER, FRIEND OR COLLEAGUE OVERSEAS IS A TRAUMATIC TIME.  THE FOLLOWING NOTES HAVE BEEN COMPILED TO TRY TO HELP YOU IN THE ARRANGEMENTS THAT WILL HAVE TO BE MADE FOLLOWING A DEATH.

  • All remains are sent to Hamad Hospital Mortuary, regardless of where the person has died and are held there until all documents are completed. Post Mortem Examinations are not common practice in Qatar.  Depending on the circumstances of death, SA Coroner may call for a post mortem when remains are repatriated back to SA.   In cases where post mortem examinations are carried out in Qatar, relatives must sign a consent form (this will be in Arabic), but you should be aware that this consent form also allows for the removal and destruction of organs in non-criminal cases.  If there is any doubt as to the procedure, please raise your concerns with the Hospital Pathologist, before you sign any forms.
  • There are no undertakers in Qatar and cremation of remains is neither allowed nor available. To ensure their proper preservation for shipment, remains must be embalmed.  You will therefore need to contact the embalmer (Tel. 4427427) who together with a team of volunteers will help deal with the preparation of the body etc.  Although the embalmer provides this service voluntarily, donations will be accepted, which are often in turn donated to various community charities.
  • Order the Coffin – Gulf Box Sales are the authorised supplier, Tel. 4355460 Mob 5384072.  It takes 24 to 48 hours. They will need to know the height of the deceased and they will deliver to the mortuary on the day the remains are being returned to SA or a third country.  Payment is normally by cash in advance or a company LPO. Approximate charge is QR 3,000.
  • You should make 10 copies of the deceased’s Passport and ID + the spouses + yours if you are handling it on their behalf.
  • Obtain a Police Report (If the death occurs outside of Hospital) – this can be collected from the police station that the death was reported to.  When the police are satisfied that there are no suspicious circumstances, they will issue a letter to this effect.   This procedure normally takes about 24 hours.  This letter will not be issued until the ‘legal’ police doctor has examined the body and issued the ‘Notification of Death Certificate’ (NODC). 
  • Collect Notification of Death Certificate (NDC) – Yellow form obtained from the mortuary once the police certificate has been issued (Mortuary tel. 4392594).
  • DEATH CERTIFICATE

Death Certificates are obtained from the Death Registration Office of the Preventive Health Department at the National Health Authority Building (NHA) located across from Hamad Hospital on Al Rayyan Road (left hand side of The Lulu Centre), you will have to produce the Police Report (if applicable) along with NODC yellow form + copies of passports etc. They will then issue the paper work required – Cost is approximately QR 100.

For those remains that will be shipped from Qatar, the Preventative Health Department will only initially provide the “Copy of Death Certificate” until they receive a “Transfer of Remains Certificate” an “Airway Bill of Lading” to ship the coffin, and a “Release of Remains” letter from the SA Embassy – the Embassy will assist with the paperwork.

  • TRANSFER OF DEAD BODY CERTIFICATE

This is obtained from the CID.  Report to the CID with paperwork from the Preventive Health Department + copies of passports.

*CID is located at the new CID Compound on Sports City Street between the Khalifa Stadium Roundabout and Aziziyah Roundabout (opposite Tebah Gardens Compound). 

  • RELEASE OF REMAINS CERTIFICATE and SA DEATH CERTIFICATE

Report to the SA Embassy in Doha to obtain these certificates. The deceased’s passport will also be cancelled at the Embassy. Passport will be required by the airline if the body is to be repatriated.  If Resident in Qatar – arrange for sponsor to cancel Residence Permit.  In the case of a family member dying – also arrange for exit permit for spouse, and arrange for exit permits for any family members.

  • AIRWAY BILL OF LADING

The deceased’s representative is responsible for contacting an appropriate cargo agent.  There are many cargo agents based at the Cargo Department at Doha International Airport, located on Al Matar Street to the South of the Airport (turn right if approaching from D-Ring Road).

You will have to provide the cargo agent with copies of the “Transfer of Dead Body Certificate”, “Copy of Death Certificate” and “Release of Remains Certificate”.  On payment of shipping fees, the cargo agent will make a reservation and issue the “Airway Bill of Lading”.  The name of the funeral director should also be provided.   Please keep the Embassy informed of the date and time of the flight.

  • EMBALMING AND SEALING CERTIFICATE

Once the deceased has been embalmed and the above steps have been completed, return to the Preventive Health Department at the NHA building with 1 original and 2 copies of “Release of Remains Certificate”, 5 copies of the “Transfer of Dead Body Certificate” and 3 copies of the “Airway Bill of Lading”.  The Preventative Health Department will provide you with 4 sets of documents to deliver to:-

  • Family
  • Mortuary
  • Immigration (add a copy of the Airway Bill of Lading and the deceased’s passport)
  • Customs (including the “Letter for the Medical Officer of Health” at final destination)
  • 24 HOURS BEFORE DEPARTURE – Arrange for the embalmer to prepare the body for departure.  Someone will need to be there to deliver the deceased’s clothes etc.  You will also require 1 pillow. 
  • Mortuary – advise them of the time of departure, flight etc, and ask them to book an ambulance for 3 hours before flight departure.

ACTIONS FOR THE DAY OF THE SHIPMENT OF REMAINS TO THE U.K.

  • Report the Immigration Office located behind the gate between the Departure Hall and the First and Business Departure Hall and Lounge at Doha International Airport to obtain exit stamps and permission to depart for the deceased.  This small office is located to the right after entering Doha International Airport behind the gate between the two halls above.  Provide the package for Immigration given to you by the Preventative Health Department, a copy of the and the original cancelled SA Passport and a copy of the “Airway Bill of Lading” with a set air reservation.  An Immigration Officer will stamp the “Death Certificate” with a “No Objection to Transfer Remains” stamp to be shown to the Hamad Hospital Mortuary prior to shipment.  NOTE – The date of flight should be the same day as date of exit stamp.
  • Report to the Customs Department at Doha International Airport, located in the Arrivals Hall.  This office is located inside the Arrivals Hall.  Approach the point where arriving passengers enter the arrivals hall and ask the officer on duty to see a customs officer to obtain permission to ship the remains of a deceased SA Citizen.  Provide the customs department with their package and letter from the Preventative Health Department.  A customs officer will stamp the “Embalming and Sealing Certificate” with a “No Objection for Remains to Exit” stamp to be provided to Hamad Hospital Mortuary the same day prior to shipment.
  • Report to the Police located in the Cargo Department on Al Matar Street South of Doha International Airport.  Provide them with the “Copy of Death Certificate” stamped by Immigration, “Embalming and Sealing Certificate” stamped by Customs, and copy of Passport.
  • Report to Cargo Agent handling the shipment and provide copies of all documents obtained above.
  • Report to the Cargo Department and provide a “Copy of Death Certificate”, a copy of all documents issued so far, an official copy of the “Airway Bill of Lading”, and the deceased’s passport stamped by Immigration.  A cargo department representative will place all papers in an envelope to accompany the remains to their final destination.
  • 3 HOURS BEFORE DEPARTURE – The Mortuary will arrange for the ambulance to transport the body to the airport.  Approximately 4-6 men will be required to help lift the body into the coffin.  We also recommend that you bring 6 additional pillows to pack the inside of the coffin during transit. An Embassy Official will also need to be present to witness the sealing of the coffin.  One person will also need to sign for the body (copy of the receivers ID required) and follow the ambulance to the airport to deliver the paperwork to the accompanying family. 

NOTE:

The above information may appear very intimidating but please be assured that the Embassy is here to advise and support the family of the deceased with all the above arrangements at every step of the way where possible. The Human Resources Department of the Company with which the deceased was employed should have a hands-on approach in assisting with the repatriation of the remains of the deceased and in ensuring that the necessary documentation and procedures are followed.

 Unlike most other Embassies in Qatar, the SA Embassy does not charge a fee for any assistance rendered during death cases and will endeavour to deal with the matter with the utmost respect and sensitivity.

H E Prof Shirish Soni
Ambassador

 
 
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