Reporting deaths and death certificates

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Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

In the Netherlands all deaths must be reported to the municipality. If you are a funeral director you may do this on behalf of the next of kin.

Reporting a death

You report a person's death to the municipalty where the death has occurred. You can do this digitally, using eHerkenning. To report a death you need a death certificate.

In the case of a death by natural causes, the attending physician will issue you with an A certificate and a B certificate.

  • The A certificate is the declaration of death, with the name of the deceased and the date of death.
  • The B certificate states the cause of death and is for Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

These certificates are used to report the death and cause of death to the municipality where the death has occurred.

The municipality will then issue a death (registration) certificate (overlijdensakte). They will also provide the:

  • authorisation for burial
  • authorisation for cremation
  • authorisation for dissection

You must give this authorisation to the staff of the cemetery or the crematorium.

Early funeral

In the Netherlands, a deceased cannot be buried or cremated within 36 hours (1.5 days) after their death (in Dutch). Do the deceased's next of kin wish to have the funeral sooner? You need a permit from the municipality in which the death occurred. You can only apply for this permit with a statement of no objection from the public prosecutor and the mayor. This is because in some cases the police may need to carry out a criminal investigation, if there are concerns on the cause of death.

Deferred funeral

Do the deceased's next of kin wish that you bury or cremate the deceased later than 6 working days after their death? You need permission from the mayor. You can apply for the permit to the municipality in which the deceased died. Reason to defer a funeral can for instance be that family needs to travel from abroad to attend the funeral. Religious beliefs can also be a reason to defer a funeral.

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