B-158529, MAR. 30, 1966

B-158529: Mar 30, 1966

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USN: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 31. PURSUANT TO YOUR APPLICATION THE MAJOR PORTION OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WAS SHIPPED ON GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING A1290365. RESULTED IN AN EXCESS WEIGHT OF 631 POUNDS ON THE SECOND SHIPMENT YOU WERE CHARGED WITH EXCESS COST OF $194.36. WHICH SUM WAS COLLECTED FROM YOU. THAT SHIPMENT WAS MADE BY DEWITT FREIGHT FORWARDING. WHICH FIRM HAS STATED THE SHIPMENT WAS MADE IN "THROUGH- CONTAINERS.'. THE NAVY HAS REPORTED THAT THE SHIPMENT WAS BILLED ON DOOR TO DOOR CONTAINER RATES AND THAT DOOR TO DOOR CONTAINERS REQUIRE THE MINIMUM AMOUNT OF PACKING WITH PAPER TYPE PADDING AND WITH NO PACKING AND HEAVY CRATING USED. IT IS SHOWN THAT THE EFFECTS WERE RELEASED BY THE CARRIER AT A VALUATION OF $0.30 PER POUND PER ARTICLE.

B-158529, MAR. 30, 1966

TO STANLEY E. WHEELER, SK-1, USN:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 31, 1965, REQUESTING REVIEW OF THE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 2, 1965, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REFUND OF $194.36 REPRESENTING THE EXCESS COST OF SHIPPING YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM YOKOHAMA, JAPAN, TO SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, INCIDENT TO CHANGE OF STATION ORDERS DATED JULY 19, 1963.

PURSUANT TO YOUR APPLICATION THE MAJOR PORTION OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WAS SHIPPED ON GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING A1290365, DATED AUGUST 19, 1963, WHICH SHOWS A GROSS WEIGHT OF 28,373 POUNDS, A TARE WEIGHT OF 22,222 POUNDS AND A NET WEIGHT OF 6,151 POUNDS COVERING HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND PACKING. SINCE THIS SHIPMENT COMBINED WITH A PRIOR SHIPMENT OF 256 POUNDS, NET WEIGHT, RESULTED IN AN EXCESS WEIGHT OF 631 POUNDS ON THE SECOND SHIPMENT YOU WERE CHARGED WITH EXCESS COST OF $194.36, WHICH SUM WAS COLLECTED FROM YOU. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOUR APPLICATION SPECIFIED DOOR TO DOOR SHIPMENT, AND THAT SHIPMENT WAS MADE BY DEWITT FREIGHT FORWARDING, WHICH FIRM HAS STATED THE SHIPMENT WAS MADE IN "THROUGH- CONTAINERS.'

THE NAVY HAS REPORTED THAT THE SHIPMENT WAS BILLED ON DOOR TO DOOR CONTAINER RATES AND THAT DOOR TO DOOR CONTAINERS REQUIRE THE MINIMUM AMOUNT OF PACKING WITH PAPER TYPE PADDING AND WITH NO PACKING AND HEAVY CRATING USED. ALSO, IT IS SHOWN THAT THE EFFECTS WERE RELEASED BY THE CARRIER AT A VALUATION OF $0.30 PER POUND PER ARTICLE, WHICH IS THE RELEASE RATE FOR UNCRATED HOUSEHOLD GOODS. THEREFORE, IN COMPUTING THE EXCESS WEIGHT OF THE SECOND SHIPMENT THE NAVY ALLOWED 5 PERCENT FOR PACKING WITHIN THE CONTAINERS. WHEN THE NAVY ISSUED A PAY ADJUSTMENT AUTHORIZATION ON MARCH 5, 1964, TO COLLECT THE EXCESS COST IT STATED THEREIN THAT THE SHIPMENT WAS MADE IN VAN-PAC CONTAINERS; HOWEVER, THIS WAS LATER CORRECTED ON THE BASIS OF INFORMATION FROM DEWITT FREIGHT FORWARDING THAT DOOR TO DOOR (THROUGH) CONTAINERS WERE USED.

WHEN YOU PRESENTED YOUR CLAIM TO THIS OFFICE YOU CONTENDED THAT YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS WERE NOT SHIPPED "VAN-PAC" AND THAT THE NAVY FINANCE OFFICE ERRONEOUSLY COMPUTED THE EXCESS COSTS ON THAT BASIS. YOU STATED THAT THE REGULATIONS DO NOT SPECIFY THAT "DOOR TO DOOR" CONTAINERS OR ,THROUGH-CONTAINERS" ARE VAN-PAC; THAT THE 5 PERCENT ALLOWANCE IS ONLY FOR VAN-PAC SHIPMENTS; AND THEREFORE, THAT YOU SHOULD BE GIVEN A GREATER ALLOWANCE FOR PACKING. IN EARLIER CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE NAVY YOU CONTENDED THAT A 40 PERCENT ALLOWANCE WOULD BE PROPER.

IN THE SETTLEMENT MENTIONED ABOVE YOU WERE ADVISED THAT PARAGRAPH M8002-1 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IN EFFECT DURING THE PERIOD OF YOUR CLAIM PROVIDES THAT WHEN THE ACTUAL NET WEIGHT OF UNPACKED AND UNCRATED HOUSEHOLD GOODS IS NOT KNOWN AND SHIPMENT IS MADE IN AN UNCRATED CONDITION BY A COMMERCIAL FREIGHT FORWARDER THE NET WEIGHT OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS CHARGEABLE AGAINST THE MEMBER'S PRESCRIBED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE WILL BE DETERMINED BY SUBTRACTING 5 PERCENT FROM THE GROSS WEIGHT OF THE SHIPMENT. THIS WAS DONE IN YOUR CASE. IN YOUR PRESENT LETTER YOU CONTEND THAT THE TYPE OF PACKING USED IN THE SHIPMENT WAS HEAVIER THAN IS USED IN SEA VAN SHIPMENTS; THAT THE DOOR TO DOOR CONTAINERS USED SHOULD BE CONSIDERED "HOUSEHOLD GOODS SHIPPING BOXES" AS DESCRIBED IN PARAGRAPH M8002-2 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, WHICH WOULD AUTHORIZE AN ALLOWANCE OF 15 PERCENT OF PACKING WITHIN THE BOXES, AND PERMIT ALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM.

THE PERTINENT STATUTE, 37 U.S.C. 406, PROVIDES THAT UNDER SUCH CONDITIONS AND LIMITATIONS AS THE SECRETARIES MAY PRESCRIBE, MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES SHALL BE ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS IN CONNECTION WITH A CHANGE OF STATION. THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS IMPLEMENTING THAT PROVISION AND IN EFFECT AT THE TIME HERE INVOLVED, PROVIDE (PARAGRAPH M8002-1) FOR A 5 PERCENT ALLOWANCE FOR PACKING WHEN THE EFFECTS ARE SHIPPED IN AN UNCRATED CONDITION BY A FREIGHT FORWARDER, MOTOR VAN OR SEA VAN AND THE ACTUAL WEIGHT OF THE EFFECTS IS NOT KNOWN. PARAGRAPH M8002-2 PROVIDES FOR A 15 PERCENT ALLOWANCE FOR PACKING WITHIN THE CONTAINER WHEN SHIPMENT IS MADE IN ESPECIALLY DESIGNED CONTAINERS SUCH AS COLLAPSIBLE CONTAINERS, HOUSEHOLD SHIPPING BOXES, LIFT VANS OR TRANSPORTERS. THAT PARAGRAPH PROVIDES THAT THE EMPTY WEIGHT WILL BE STENCILED ON THE CONTAINER; THAT IN LIEU OF THE PERCENTAGE ALLOWANCE OF WEIGHT FOR PACKING AND CRATING MATERIALS PRESCRIBED IN SUBPARAGRAPH 1, THE ACTUAL TARE WEIGHT STENCILED ON THE CONTAINER WILL BE USED TO COMPUTE THE WEIGHT SHIPPED FOR THE MEMBER, AND TO ALLOW FOR WEIGHT OF PACKAGING MATERIALS WITHIN SUCH CONTAINER, THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE GROSS WEIGHT OF THE CONTAINER WHEN PACKED OR LOADED AND THE STENCILED WEIGHT OF THE EMPTY CONTAINER WILL BE REDUCED BY 15 PERCENT. THE RECORD SUBMITTED HERE DOES NOT SHOW THAT THE SHIPMENT WAS IN ESPECIALLY DESIGNED CONTAINERS AS CONTEMPLATED IN PARAGRAPH M8002-2 OR THAT A SHIPMENT IN THE DOOR TO DOOR CONTAINERS REQUIRED THAT THE GOODS BE IN OTHER THAN AN UNCRATED CONDITION. IT HAS BEEN ADMINISTRATIVELY DETERMINED BY THE NAVY DEPARTMENT THAT THE SHIPMENT IN DOOR TO DOOR CONTAINERS REQUIRED ONLY THE MINIMUM AMOUNT OF PACKING AND THEREFORE THE 5 PERCENT ALLOWANCE PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH M8002-1 IS ALL THAT IS AUTHORIZED.

THE REGULATIONS COMTEMPLATE THE SHIPMENT AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS PACKED FOR SHIPMENT AT NOT TO EXCEED AN OVER-ALL WEIGHT ALLOWANCE OF NET WEIGHT PLUS AN ALLOWANCE FOR PACKING. SUCH OVER-ALL WEIGHT ALLOWANCE OF WHICH THE NET WEIGHT OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS IS BUT ONE PART, REPRESENTS THE MAXIMUM WEIGHT THAT MAY BE SHIPPED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE IRRESPECTIVE OF WHETHER THE ACTUAL NET WEIGHT OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS EXCEEDS THE NET WEIGHT ALLOWANCE SET FORTH IN THE REGULATIONS. WEIGHT EXCEEDING THE MAXIMUM OVER-ALL WEIGHT IS CHARGEABLE TO THE MEMBER. THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT THAT THE MATERIALS USED FOR PACKING MATCH POUND FOR POUND THE ALLOWANCE FOR PACKING BY THE MODE UTILIZED.

THE QUESTION OF WHETHER AND TO WHAT EXTENT AUTHORIZED WEIGHTS HAVE BEEN EXCEEDED IN THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, AND THE EXCESS COSTS INVOLVED, ARE CONSIDERED TO BE MATTERS PRIMARILY FOR ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION SINCE WE HAVE NO FIRST HAND INFORMATION CONCERNING THE MATTER AND NECESSARILY MUST RELY ON THE ADMINISTRATIVE DETERMINATION IN THAT REGARD IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE SHOWING IT TO BE CLEARLY IN ERROR. 3 COMP. GEN. 51; 16 ID. 325; ID. 414; 20 ID. 578. THE RECORD DOES NOT ESTABLISH THAT YOUR SHIPMENT WAS MADE UNDER CONDITIONS ENTITLING YOU TO A PACKING ALLOWANCE OF 15 PERCENT AND SINCE YOUR SHIPMENT WAS DETERMINED ADMINISTRATIVELY UNDER NORMAL OPERATING PROCEDURES, TO HAVE EXCEEDED YOUR WEIGHT ALLOWANCE AND THE EVIDENCE SUBMITTED BY YOU DOES NOT REFUTE SUCH DETERMINATION, YOU WERE PROPERLY CHARGED WITH EXCESS COST AND THE RECORD PRESENTS NO BASIS FOR THE ALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM. THEREFORE, THE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 2, 1965, WAS CORRECT AND IS SUSTAINED.