B-142375, APR. 25, 1960

B-142375: Apr 25, 1960

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YOU WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM BOGOTA. SHIPMENT OF EFFECTS WAS TO BE MADE UNDER TABLE I OF THE FOREIGN SERVICE TRAVEL REGULATIONS 5.11. AN X MARK WAS PLACED IN THE BOX SHOWING THAT THE APPLICATION REGULATIONS . I FSM III 180 FSTR" ARE APPLICABLE. YOU WERE REIMBURSED IN THE AMOUNT OF $93.91 FOR THE COST OF INLAND TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR NEWLY PURCHASED AUTOMOBILE FROM STUTTGART TO HAMBURG. WAS DISALLOWED BECAUSE IT WAS SHIPPED ON THE SS. YOUR LETTER FURTHER STATES THAT IN A SUBSEQUENT LETTER FROM THE FACTORY YOU WERE NOTIFIED THAT "AS AN AMERICAN VESSEL WAS NOT AVAILABLE AT THE TIME AND . . . SINCE A LATER SHIPMENT ABOARD AN AMERICAN VESSEL WOULD HAVE INVOLVED A CONSIDERABLE LOSS OF TIME AND MONEY.

B-142375, APR. 25, 1960

TO MR. FRANCIS HUGH THOMAS:

YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 9, 1960, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTS REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT OF OCTOBER 15, 1959, WHICH DISALLOWED THAT PART OF YOUR CLAIM FOR THE COST OF SHIPPING YOUR AUTOMOBILE ON A FOREIGN REGISTERED VESSEL FROM HAMBURG, GERMANY, TO NEW YORK, NEW YORK, AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT BY TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION 9-03577, DATED AUGUST 12, 1958, YOU WERE AUTHORIZED TO TRAVEL FROM BOGOTA, COLUMBIA, TO WASHINGTON, D.C., UPON A PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION. SHIPMENT OF EFFECTS WAS TO BE MADE UNDER TABLE I OF THE FOREIGN SERVICE TRAVEL REGULATIONS 5.11. ALSO, AN X MARK WAS PLACED IN THE BOX SHOWING THAT THE APPLICATION REGULATIONS ,I FSM III 180 FSTR" ARE APPLICABLE. YOU SAY THAT YOU PURCHASED AN AUTOMOBILE THROUGH A DEALER IN COLUMBIA, SOUTH AMERICA, FOR SHIPMENT FROM GERMANY TO NEW YORK IN PLACE OF RETURNING YOUR AUTOMOBILE FROM SOUTH AMERICA.

YOU WERE REIMBURSED IN THE AMOUNT OF $93.91 FOR THE COST OF INLAND TRANSPORTATION OF YOUR NEWLY PURCHASED AUTOMOBILE FROM STUTTGART TO HAMBURG, GERMANY ($66.66), AND FROM NEW YORK, NEW YORK, TO WASHINGTON, D.C. ($24), PLUS TOLL CHARGES ($3.25). THAT PART OF YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF TRANSPORTATION COSTS OF YOUR NEWLY PURCHASED AUTOMOBILE FROM HAMBURG, GERMANY, TO NEW YORK, NEW YORK, WAS DISALLOWED BECAUSE IT WAS SHIPPED ON THE SS. TUEBIGEN, A VESSEL OF FOREIGN REGISTRY. YOUR LETTER STATES IN JUSTIFICATION OF THE TRANSPORTATION ON A FOREIGN SHIP, THAT THE LOCAL AUTOMOBILE DEALER IN COLUMBIA FROM WHOM YOU PURCHASED THE AUTOMOBILE INSTRUCTED THE SHIPPER AT HAMBURG TO SHIP THE AUTOMOBILE VIA THE SS. AMERICAN MERCHANT, SAILING ON DECEMBER 20, 1958. HOWEVER, THE FACTORY WITHOUT EXPLANATION OR REQUEST FOR AUTHORIZATION SHIPPED THE AUTOMOBILE BY THE SS. TUEBIGEN OF THE HAMBURG-AMERICAN LINE ON DECEMBER 29, 1958. YOUR LETTER FURTHER STATES THAT IN A SUBSEQUENT LETTER FROM THE FACTORY YOU WERE NOTIFIED THAT "AS AN AMERICAN VESSEL WAS NOT AVAILABLE AT THE TIME AND . . . SINCE A LATER SHIPMENT ABOARD AN AMERICAN VESSEL WOULD HAVE INVOLVED A CONSIDERABLE LOSS OF TIME AND MONEY, THE LATTER DUE TO WAREHOUSE STORAGE, WE TRUST TO HAVE ACTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH YOUR INTERESTS BY HAVING PROCEEDED AS MENTIONED ABOVE.'

OUR OFFICE HAS HELD REPEATEDLY THAT THE REQUIREMENTS OF SECTION 901 OF THE MERCHANT MARINE ACT 1936, 49 STAT. 2015, 46 U.S.C. 1241 (A) AS TO THE USE OF AMERICAN VESSELS ARE MANDATORY AND REQUIRE THE DISALLOWANCE FOR ALL TRAVEL AND SHIPPING EXPENSES ON A FOREIGN VESSEL IN THE ABSENCE OF SATISFACTORY PROOF OF THE NECESSITY THEREFOR. THE ONLY EXCEPTION TO THE REQUIREMENT THAT OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES SHIP EFFECTS ON SHIPS REGISTERED UNDER THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES IS THAT NO AMERICAN VESSEL IS AVAILABLE. ALSO, ECONOMY, ALONE, DOES NOT JUSTIFY THE USE OF FOREIGN VESSELS. SEE 10 COMP. GEN. 170; ID. 245; 14 ID. 645; ID. 906; 18 ID. 858; 31 ID. 351.

AS WE UNDERSTAND THE FACTS, YOUR AGREEMENT TO PURCHASE CALLED FOR DELIVERY OF THE AUTOMOBILE FOR SHIPMENT ABOARD THE SS. AMERICAN MERCHANT SAILING FROM HAMBURG ON DECEMBER 20, 1959. A FAILURE ON THE PART OF THE MANUFACTURER OR HIS AGENT IN HAMBURG TO SHIP IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS OF THE SALE CAN HARDLY BE VIEWED AS CREATING AN OBLIGATION ON THE PART OF THE UNITED STATES TO PAY THE TRANSPORTATION CHARGES FOR SHIPMENT ABOARD A VESSEL OF FOREIGN REGISTRY UPON THE GROUNDS THAT A VESSEL OF AMERICAN REGISTRY WAS NOT AVAILABLE AT THE TIME OF DELIVERY IN HAMBURG. RATHER ON THE PRESENT RECORD THE MATTER APPEARS TO BE ONE FOR ADJUSTMENT BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR DEALER SINCE THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT THE AUTOMOBILE WAS TENDERED FOR SHIPMENT ABOARD THE SS. AMERICAN MERCHANT AND REJECTED BECAUSE OF THE ABSENCE OF AVAILABLE SPACE.

THEREFORE, AS THE RECORD STANDS, THE SETTLEMENT OF YOUR CLAIM IS CORRECT AND, UPON REVIEW, IT MUST BE SUSTAINED.