B-160422, MAY 22, 1967

B-160422: May 22, 1967

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TO UNITED STATES AIR FORCE MISSION TO COLOMBIA: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM FOR REFUND OF EXCESS WEIGHT CHARGES. THE CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY SETTLEMENT DATED OCTOBER 11. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WAS MADE TO YOUR NEW STATION AT BOGOTA. 492 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM WHICH WAS DEDUCTED 675 POUNDS FOR PACKINGS. SINCE YOU WERE AUTHORIZED TO SHIP 11. THERE WAS AN EXCESS WEIGHT OF 1. 650 POUNDS THE COST OF THIS SHIPMENT WAS $6. 768.30 AND IT WAS DETERMINED THAT $883.81 OF THE SHIPPING COST WAS ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE EXCESS WEIGHT OF 1. CONTENDING THAT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 5106 OF AIR FORCE MANUAL 75-4 IT IS THE JOINT RESPONSIBILITY OF THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER AND THE OWNER OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO INSURE THAT WEIGHT RESTRICTIONS ARE NOT EXCEEDED.

B-160422, MAY 22, 1967

TO UNITED STATES AIR FORCE MISSION TO COLOMBIA:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM FOR REFUND OF EXCESS WEIGHT CHARGES, CURRENTLY BEING DEDUCTED FROM YOUR PAY, ON SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM LOTHIAN, MARYLAND, TO BOGOTA, COLUMBIA, INCIDENT TO YOUR REASSIGNMENT TO THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE MISSION COLOMBIA, PURSUANT TO SPECIAL ORDER A-532 DATED JULY 11, 1963, AS AMENDED. THE CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED BY SETTLEMENT DATED OCTOBER 11, 1966.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WAS MADE TO YOUR NEW STATION AT BOGOTA, COLOMBIA, IN TWO LOTS. THE FIRST LOT, SHIPPED BY VANPAC CARRIERS, INC., HAD A GROSS WEIGHT OF 14,650 POUNDS CONSISTING OF 1,158 POUNDS OF PROFESSIONAL ITEMS AND 13,492 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS FROM WHICH WAS DEDUCTED 675 POUNDS FOR PACKINGS, LEAVING A NET WEIGHT OF 12,817 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS. SINCE YOU WERE AUTHORIZED TO SHIP 11,000 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, THERE WAS AN EXCESS WEIGHT OF 1,817 POUNDS OF SUCH EFFECTS PLUS 96 POUNDS AS THE PRO RATA WEIGHT OF PACKING MATERIALS ON THE EXCESS, RESULTING IN A TOTAL EXCESS WEIGHT OF 1,913 POUNDS IN THE FIRST LOT. ON THE BASIS OF A CHARGE OF $46.20 PER HUNDRED POUNDS AND A TOTAL WEIGHT OF 14,650 POUNDS THE COST OF THIS SHIPMENT WAS $6,768.30 AND IT WAS DETERMINED THAT $883.81 OF THE SHIPPING COST WAS ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE EXCESS WEIGHT OF 1,913 POUNDS. MULTIPLYING THE EXCESS WEIGHT OF 1,913 POUNDS BY $46.20 PER HUNDRED POUNDS GIVES THE SAME RESULT. THE SECOND LOT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WEIGHING 666 POUNDS COST $23.51 TO SHIP TO BOGOTA MAKING A TOTAL EXCESS WEIGHT CHARGE OF $907.32.

IN YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 10, 1966, TO OUR OFFICE YOU PROTEST THE EXCESS WEIGHT CHARGE, CONTENDING THAT UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 5106 OF AIR FORCE MANUAL 75-4 IT IS THE JOINT RESPONSIBILITY OF THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER AND THE OWNER OF THE HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS TO INSURE THAT WEIGHT RESTRICTIONS ARE NOT EXCEEDED. YOU SAY YOU WERE ANXIOUS TO AVOID ANY EXCESS WEIGHT CHARGE AND THAT EVERY ACTION WAS TAKEN BY YOU TO INSURE THE DISCHARGE OF YOUR SHARE OF THIS JOINT RESPONSIBILITY. YOU ALSO SAY THAT YOU HAVE FURNISHED EVIDENCE THAT NONE OF THE ACTIONS WERE TAKEN BY THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER WHICH WOULD HAVE REVEALED AND CONSEQUENTLY PRECLUDED THE OVERWEIGHT SHIPMENT. IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES YOU URGE THAT YOU SHOULD NOT BE CHARGED WITH THE COST OF SHIPPING THE EXCESS WEIGHT. THESE SAME POINTS WERE MADE BY YOU IN AN INTERVIEW WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF THIS OFFICE.

SECTION 406 OF TITLE 37, U.S.C. PROVIDES FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS OF MEMBERS OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES TO AND FROM SUCH PLACES AND WITHIN SUCH WEIGHT ALLOWANCES AS MAY BE PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED. BECAUSE OF THE OBVIOUS IMPRACTICABILITY INVOLVED IN WEIGHING EACH OF THE MANY SHIPMENTS OF SUCH EFFECTS BY SERVICE PERSONNEL BEFORE PACKING AT ORIGIN, OR AFTER UNPACKING AT DESTINATION, FOR THE PURPOSE OF COMPUTING EXCESS COST ON THE BASIS OF THE ACTUAL NET WEIGHTS INVOLVED, THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS SPECIFY CERTAIN METHODS OF PACKING AND SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS WITH PROVISION FOR THE COMPUTATION OF EXCESS COST FOR EXCESS WEIGHT SHIPPED BY SUCH MEANS.

PARAGRAPH M8002 OF THE REGULATIONS PROVIDES IN CASES WHERE THE ACTUAL NET WEIGHT OF UNPACKED AND UNCRATED HOUSEHOLD GOODS IS NOT KNOWN AND SHIPMENT IS MADE IN UNCRATED CONDITION BY COMMERCIAL MOTOR VAN, MOTOR VAN--- SEA VAN, MOTOR VAN--- AIR VAN, OR FREIGHT FORWARDER, THAT THE NET WEIGHT OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS CHARGEABLE AGAINST THE MEMBER'S PRESCRIBED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE WILL BE DETERMINED BY SUBTRACTING 5 PERCENT FOR PACKING FROM THE GROSS WEIGHT OF SUCH SHIPMENT. PARAGRAPH M8007 OF THE REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT THE MEMBER WILL BEAR ALL TRANSPORTATION COSTS ARISING FROM SHIPMENT OF WEIGHTS IN EXCESS OF THE MAXIMUM ALLOWANCE, AND THAT IN DETERMINING THE COST ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE EXCESS WEIGHT, THE TOTAL COST OF TRANSPORTATION SHALL BE PRORATED ON THE BASIS THAT THE MEMBER BEARS THE PORTION THEREOF THAT THE EXCESS NET WEIGHT BEARS TO THE TOTAL NET WEIGHT TRANSPORTED. THE CHARGES IN YOUR CASE WERE COMPUTED ON THAT BASIS.

GENERALLY, THE REGULATIONS CONTEMPLATE THE SHIPMENT AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS, AS PACKED FOR SHIPMENT, AT NOT TO EXCEED AN OVER-ALL WEIGHT ALLOWANCE OF THE NET WEIGHT AUTHORIZED BY VIRTUE OF THE MILITARY RANK OR GRADE OF THE SHIPPER PLUS AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE INCREASE TO COVER PACKING MATERIALS, AND SUCH OVER-ALL WEIGHT REPRESENTS THE MAXIMUM WEIGHT THAT CAN BE SHIPPED AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE ACTUAL NET WEIGHT OF THE GOODS SHIPPED EXCEEDS THE NET WEIGHT ALLOWANCES SET FORTH IN THE REGULATIONS.

PARAGRAPH 5106 OF AIR FORCE MANUAL 75-4 PROVIDED, AT THE TIME INVOLVED, THAT THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER AND THE OWNER WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR INSURING THAT ALL WEIGHT OR OTHER COMMAND-IMPOSED LIMITATIONS WERE OBSERVED. HOWEVER, YOUR 11,000 POUND WEIGHT ALLOWANCE IS NOT A LIMITATION ON THE TOTAL WEIGHT WHICH YOU MAY SHIP, PROVIDED YOU ASSUME THE COST OF THE EXCESS AND NO WEIGHT OR COMMAND-IMPOSED LIMITATIONS ON THE AMOUNT OF HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS WHICH YOU WERE PERMITTED TO SHIP TO BOGOTA HAVE BEEN FOUND. IN THIS REGARD, THE RECORD INDICATES THAT BOTH YOU AND THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER RECOGNIZED PRIOR TO SHIPMENT, THE POSSIBILITY THAT THE WEIGHT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS MIGHT EXCEED YOUR AUTHORIZED ALLOWANCE, YOUR APPLICATION FOR SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS (DD FORM 1299) DATED JULY 18, 1963, STATING THAT YOU HAD APPROXIMATELY 11,634 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS, AS WELL AS PROFESSIONAL ITEMS, AND CARRYING THE TYPED NOTATION THAT "OWNER WILL COVER ALL EXCESS COST.' IT IS ADMINISTRATIVELY REPORTED THAT THIS WAS ACCOMPLISHED BECAUSE OF THE EXPECTED OVERWEIGHT OF YOUR SHIPMENT AND IT SEEMS APPARENT THAT ON THE BASIS OF THAT NOTATION, THE TRANSPORTATION OFFICER WAS AUTHORIZED TO MOVE THE EXCESS WEIGHT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS ON THE GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING.

IT IS ALSO ADMINISTRATIVELY REPORTED THAT SHIPMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS WAS MADE BY SURFACE-AIR SINCE THIS CONSTITUTED THE LOWEST COST MEANS OF SHIPMENT CONSISTENT WITH THE SHIPMENT REQUIREMENTS. YOUR APPLICATION FOR SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS REQUESTED THAT THEY BE PICKED UP ON AUGUST 21, 1963, AND STATED THAT THEY WERE REQUIRED AT DESTINATION ON SEPTEMBER 12, 1963. BASED UPON INFORMATION SUPPLIED BY YOU AS TO POSSIBLE ROUTING OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, THE SHIPPING TRANSPORTATION OFFICER QUERIED ALBROOK AIR FORCE BASE, CANAL ZONE, ABOUT SHIPMENT TO THAT BASE FOR AIRLIFT TO BOGOTA. PROPER ROUTING WAS REQUESTED. IN REPLY, ALBROOK RECOMMENDED THROUGH BILL OF LADING BY AIR DIRECT TO BOGOTA ON THE BASIS THAT SUCH MODE RATE WAS FAVORABLE UNDER DEFENSE TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT SERVICE ADVISORIES AND NORMAL ROUTINGS, BOTH MILITARY AND COMMERCIAL, THROUGH THE CANAL ZONE WERE DIFFICULT TO TRANS-SHIP.

IN THE LIGHT OF THE FOREGOING WE MAY NOT CONCLUDE THAT MILITARY AUTHORITIES FAILED TO COMPLY WITH GOVERNING STATUTORY AND REGULATORY PROVISIONS IN THE MOVEMENT OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS. ACCORDINGLY, THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM WAS PROPER AND MUST BE SUSTAINED.