B-152502, NOV. 8, 1963

B-152502: Nov 8, 1963

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ARMY (RETIRED): REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 6. YOU WERE TRANSFERRED FROM ENT AIR FORCE BASE. SHIPMENT OF YOUR PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE WAS AUTHORIZED IN THESE ORDERS. IT APPEARS THAT YOUR AUTOMOBILE WAS SHIPPED FROM THE BROOKLYN ARMY TERMINAL. YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF SUCH AMOUNT WAS DISALLOWED BY THE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 19. WAS A PERSONAL EXPENSE FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT WAS NOT AUTHORIZED. THE STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR TRANSOCEANIC SHIPMENT AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE OF PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLES OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WAS ENLARGED BY THE ACT OF MAY 28. PRIVATELY OWNED AMERICAN SHIPPING SERVICES MAY BE UTILIZED FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF MOTOR VEHICLES OWNED BY GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL WHENEVER TRANSPORTATION OF SUCH VEHICLES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IS OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED BY LAW.'.

B-152502, NOV. 8, 1963

TO COLONEL JOHN J. WALD, U.S. ARMY (RETIRED):

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 6, 1963, IN EFFECT REQUESTING REVIEW OF THE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 19, 1963, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF CERTAIN PORT-HANDLING CHARGES AND CUSTOMS- BROKERAGE FEE INCIDENT TO THE PROCESSING OF YOUR PRIVATELY OWNED AUTOMOBILE AT LE HAVRE, FRANCE, ON AUGUST 23, 1962.

BY SPECIAL ORDERS NO. 120, DATED MAY 24, 1962, AS AMENDED, YOU WERE TRANSFERRED FROM ENT AIR FORCE BASE, COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO, TO FRANCE, AND SHIPMENT OF YOUR PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE WAS AUTHORIZED IN THESE ORDERS. IT APPEARS THAT YOUR AUTOMOBILE WAS SHIPPED FROM THE BROOKLYN ARMY TERMINAL, NEW YORK, TO LE HAVRE, FRANCE, VIA THE UNITED STATES LINES RATHER THAN ON A SPACE AVAILABLE BASIS VIA THE MILITARY SEA TRANSPORTATION SERVICE. UPON ARRIVAL OF THE VEHICLE AT LE HAVRE YOU PAID 45,80 NEW FRANCS, WHICH WE UNDERSTAND TO APPROXIMATE $9.35 IN AMERICAN MONEY. YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF SUCH AMOUNT WAS DISALLOWED BY THE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 19, 1963, ON THE BASIS THAT THE EXPENSE INCIDENT TO PROCESSING THE RELEASE OF YOUR CAR AT LE HAVRE, FRANCE, WAS A PERSONAL EXPENSE FOR WHICH REIMBURSEMENT WAS NOT AUTHORIZED. IN YOUR REQUEST FOR REVIEW, YOU REPEAT YOUR CLAIM FOR "DEPROCESSING CHARGES" AT LE HAVRE AND YOU MAKE NOTE THAT YOU SHIPPED THE SAME CAR UNDER IDENTICAL ARRANGEMENTS FROM LE HAVRE TO NEW YORK IN AUGUST 1963 AND PAID NO ACCESSORIAL CHARGE. ON SUCH BASIS, YOU APPARENTLY BELIEVE THAT YOUR CLAIM SHOULD BE ALLOWED.

THE STATUTORY AUTHORITY FOR TRANSOCEANIC SHIPMENT AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE OF PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLES OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES WAS ENLARGED BY THE ACT OF MAY 28, 1956, 70 STAT. 187, 46 U.S.C. 1241 (C), WHICH AMENDED SECTION 901 OF THE MERCHANT MARINE ACT OF 1936, AS AMENDED, BY ADDING AT THE END THEREOF A NEW SUBSECTION READING AS FOLLOWS:

"/C) NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW, PRIVATELY OWNED AMERICAN SHIPPING SERVICES MAY BE UTILIZED FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF MOTOR VEHICLES OWNED BY GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL WHENEVER TRANSPORTATION OF SUCH VEHICLES AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IS OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED BY LAW.'

IMPLEMENTING REGULATIONS CONTAINED IN ARMY REGULATION 55-76, PARAGRAPH 11, CITES THE PORTS OF BREMERHAVEN, LA PALLICE AND ST. NAZAIRE AS PORTS DESIGNATED TO RECEIVE SHIPMENTS OF PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLES. UNDERSTAND FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY THAT MEMBERS OF THE ARMED SERVICES AUTHORIZED CONCURRENT TRANSPORTATION OF THEIR PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLES TO LE HAVRE VIA UNITED STATES LINES PASSENGER VESSELS SHOULD HAVE BEEN INFORMED THAT IF THEY ELECTED THAT METHOD OF SHIPMENT TO LE HAVRE AT THE TIME INVOLVED IN YOUR CLAIM, THE EXPENSES INCIDENT TO PROCESSING THE PRIVATELY OWNED VEHICLE AT LE HAVRE WOULD HAVE TO BE DEFRAYED FROM THEIR PERSONAL FUNDS WITHOUT REIMBURSEMENT.

IN ANY EVENT, IT WOULD SEEM THAT THE PORT-HANDLING CHARGE OF 45,80 NEW FRANCS ($9.35) WHICH IS SHOWN TO INCLUDE "SERVICE OF GARAGIST, TRANSIT COMMISSION, CUSTOMS BROKERAGE FEE, LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE CALL, STATIONERY, CORRESPONDENCE AND POSTAGE," MAY NOT PROPERLY BE CONSIDERED AS PART OF THE OCEAN TRANSPORTATION COSTS INVOLVED IN TRANSPORTING YOUR VEHICLE FROM THE UNITED STATES TO FRANCE. THE ACT OF MAY 28, 1956, AUTHORIZES ONLY THE USE OF "AMERICAN SHIPPING SERVICES" AND CLEARLY, THE PORT-HANDLING CHARGES AND CUSTOMS BROKERAGE FEES FOR SERVICES RENDERED AT LE HAVRE AFTER YOUR CAR WAS UNLOADED AT THAT PLACE ARE NOT SUCH SHIPPING SERVICES. SEE 39 COMP. GEN. 713, COPY ENCLOSED. ANY FAILURE ON THE PART OF ARMY PERSONNEL TO PROPERLY ADVISE YOU IN THE MATTER AFFORDS NO LEGAL BASIS TO ALLOW YOUR CLAIM.

ACCORDINGLY, THE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 19, 1963, DISALLOWING YOUR CLAIM, IS SUSTAINED.