B-165265, NOVEMBER 20, 1968, 48 COMP. GEN. 335

B-165265: Nov 20, 1968

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

TRANSPORTATION - RATES - VALUE RELEASED V UNRELEASED - BILL OF LADING PROVISION CONDITION 5 OF THE GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING THAT "SHIPMENT IS MADE AT THE RESTRICTED OR LIMITED VALUATION SPECIFIED IN THE TARIFF OR CLASSIFICATION AT OR UNDER WHICH THE LOWEST RATE IS AVAILABLE" ENTITLES THE GOVERNMENT ON A SHIPMENT SUBJECT TO A SECTION 22 QUOTATION THAT DOES NOT REQUIRE NOTICE OF SHIPPER'S RELEASED VALUATION IN A SPECIFIED FORM TO THE LOWEST RATE PROVIDED IN THE QUOTATION. EVEN THOUGH A QUOTATION IS NOT A "TARIFF OR CLASSIFICATION" WITHIN THE STRICT MEANING OF THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE ACT. IT IS THE SCHEDULE OF CHARGES FOR SERVICES CONTEMPLATED BY THE DEFINITION OF THE WORLD "TARIFF"- . A STATEMENT BY A CARRIER THAT IT WILL FURNISH CERTAIN SERVICES UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS FOR CERTAIN PRICES.

B-165265, NOVEMBER 20, 1968, 48 COMP. GEN. 335

TRANSPORTATION - RATES - VALUE RELEASED V UNRELEASED - BILL OF LADING PROVISION CONDITION 5 OF THE GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING THAT "SHIPMENT IS MADE AT THE RESTRICTED OR LIMITED VALUATION SPECIFIED IN THE TARIFF OR CLASSIFICATION AT OR UNDER WHICH THE LOWEST RATE IS AVAILABLE" ENTITLES THE GOVERNMENT ON A SHIPMENT SUBJECT TO A SECTION 22 QUOTATION THAT DOES NOT REQUIRE NOTICE OF SHIPPER'S RELEASED VALUATION IN A SPECIFIED FORM TO THE LOWEST RATE PROVIDED IN THE QUOTATION--- THE RELEASED VALUE RATE. EVEN THOUGH A QUOTATION IS NOT A "TARIFF OR CLASSIFICATION" WITHIN THE STRICT MEANING OF THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE ACT, IT IS THE SCHEDULE OF CHARGES FOR SERVICES CONTEMPLATED BY THE DEFINITION OF THE WORLD "TARIFF"- -- A STATEMENT BY A CARRIER THAT IT WILL FURNISH CERTAIN SERVICES UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS FOR CERTAIN PRICES, A SCHEDULE OF RATES AND CHARGES.

TO THE GEORGIA HIGHWAY EXPRESS, INC., NOVEMBER 20, 1968:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 11, 1968, WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING REVIEW OF THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM BY SUPPLEMENTAL BILL NO. 6275 IN THE AMOUNT OF $31.89 FOR ADDITIONAL FREIGHT CHARGES ON A SHIPMENT OF GOVERNMENT PROPERTY FROM OGDEN, UTAH, TO FORT BENNING, GEORGIA, UNDER GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING C-9150223, SEPTEMBER 23, 1966.

YOUR CLAIM IS BASED ON YOUR CONTENTION THAT CONDITION 5 OF THE GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING IS INAPPLICABLE IN CONNECTION WITH SECTION 22 RATES AND YOU RELY ON OUR DECISION DATED MAY 18, 1959, 38 COMP.GEN. 768.

AT THE TIME THE INVOLVED SHIPMENT MOVED, ITEM 35 OF THE 1ST REVISED PAGE 18-B, ROCKY MOUNTAIN TARIFF BUREAU, INC., U.S. GOVERNMENT QUOTATION I.C.C. NO. 18, EFFECTIVE JULY 11, 1966, WAS IN EFFECT AND PROVIDED ONLY: RATES PUBLISHED IN THIS QUOTATION ARE DEPENDENT UPON THE DECLARED OR RELEASED VALUE OF THE PROPERTY AND ARE BASED UPON PROPERTY DECLARED TO BE OF, OR RELEASED TO, A VALUE NOT EXCEEDING $50.00 FOR ANY SHIPMENT OF 100 POUNDS OR LESS, OR NOT EXCEEDING 50 CENTS PER POUND, ACTUAL OR BILLING WEIGHT, FOR ANY SHIPMENT IN EXCESS OF 100 POUNDS.

THERE WAS NO REQUIREMENT FOR ANY SPECIFIC FORM OF NOTIFICATION ON THE BILL OF LADING BY WHICH THE CARRIER WAS TO BE NOTIFIED THAT THE SHIPMENT WAS MADE AT THE RELEASED VALUATION AND CONDITION 5 OF THE REVERSE SIDE OF THE GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING PROVIDES: THIS SHIPMENT IS MADE AT THE RESTRICTED OR LIMITED VALUATION SPECIFIED IN THE TARIFF OR CLASSIFICATION AT OR UNDER WHICH THE LOWEST RATE IS AVAILABLE UNLESS OTHERWISE INDICATED ON THE FACE HEREOF.

WITH REFERENCE TO YOUR RELIANCE ON OUR DECISION DATED MAY 18, 1959, 38 COMP. GEN. 768, IT SHOULD BE POINTED OUT THAT IT WAS HELD IN SUCH DECISION, AT PAGE 772, THAT: * * * DESPITE CONDITION 5 OF THE GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING, THE OFFERS OF REDUCED RATES WERE MADE CONDITIONED UPON THE NOTATION OF THE SHIPPER'S RELEASED VALUATION IN A SPECIFIED FORM ON THE BILL OF LADING, IT CANNOT REASONABLY BE HELD THAT THE INTENT OF THE OFFEROR IN MAKING THE CONDITION IS FULFILLED BY THE MERE EXISTENCE OF CONDITION 5. AS INDICATED BY THE UNDERLINED MATERIAL, OUR DECISION WAS CONCERNED WITH RELEASED VALUATION PROVISIONS WHICH REQUIRED A NOTATION IN A "SPECIFIED FORM," AND, AS SHOWN ABOVE, THE RELEASED VALUATION PROVISION APPLICABLE IN THE PRESENT INSTANCE DID NOT REQUIRE A NOTATION IN ANY SPECIFIC FORM AT THE TIME THE SUBJECT SHIPMENT MOVED.

WITH RESPECT TO YOUR OBJECTION THAT CONDITION 5 ON THE GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING REFERS TO A TARIFF OR CLASSIFICATION AND U.S. GOVERNMENT QUOTATION I.C.C. NO. 18 IS A QUOTATION AND NOT A TARIFF OR CLASSIFICATION AND CONDITION 5 WOULD NOT HAVE APPLICATION, IT SHOULD BE OBSERVED THAT A "TARIFF" HAS BEEN DEFINED AS A STATEMENT BY CARRIER TO POSSIBLE SHIPPERS THAT IT WILL FURNISH CERTAIN SERVICES UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS FOR CERTAIN PRICES, A SCHEDULE OF RATES AND CHARGES. UNION PACIFIC R. CO. V HIGGINS, 223 F.SUPP. 396, 400 (1963). SEE ALSO, PACIFIC SS. CO. V CACKETTE, 8 F.2D 259, 261 (1925); TUROFF V EASTERN AIRLINES, 129 F.SUPP. 319, 321 (1955); AND BERNARD V U.S. AIR COACH, 117 F.SUPP. 134, 138 (1953). QUOTATION I.C.C. NO. 18 IS SUCH A SCHEDULE OF CHARGES FOR SERVICES WITHIN THE MEANING OF THAT DEFINITION, WHETHER OR NOT IT WOULD BE CONSIDERED A TARIFF WITHIN THE RESTRICTED MEANING OF THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE ACT, 49 U.S.C. 1, AND FOLLOWING SECTIONS. COMPARE GREAT NORTHERN RY. CO. V UNITED STATES, 156 CT. CL. 332, 312 F.2D 901 (1962).

CONDITION 5 IS NOT SPECIFICALLY LIMITED TO "PUBLISHED" OR "FILED" TARIFFS, AND THE GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING IS INTENDED TO COVER THE TRANSPORTATION OF GOVERNMENT FREIGHT IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES WHETHER OR NOT SUBJECT TO REGULATION. IT IS THEREFORE OUR VIEW THAT THE TERMS ARE NOT TO BE LIMITED TO THE RESTRICTED DEFINITIONS OF THE WORD "TARIFFS" IN PARTICULAR SITUATIONS. IN STRICKLAND TRANSPORTATION COMPANY V UNITED STATES, 334 F.2D 172, 179, THE COURT FOUND THAT THE EFFECT OF CONDITION 5 IS THAT: THE GOVERNMENT, IN THE ABSENCE OF AFFIRMATIVE DECLARATION TO THE CONTRARY, INTENDS THEREBY TO SHIP AT THE LOWEST POSSIBLE RATE, AND IF THAT CAN ONLY BE ACCOMPLISHED BY A LIMITATION IN VALUE (RELEASED SHIPMENT), IT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE GOVERNMENT TO DECLARE THAT VALUE. IF NOT A LITERAL, IT WAS NONETHELESS, A SUBSTANTIAL COMPLIANCE. ALSO, THE COURT THERE STATED: * * * THE STANDARD UNIFORM GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING DECLARES THE UNIVERSAL PURPOSE TO GET THE MOST TRANSPORTATION AT THE CHEAPEST PRICE. IN THE PRESENT INSTANCE, THE LOWEST RATE IS A RELEASED VALUE RATE PROVIDED IN A SECTION 22 QUOTATION. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, THE SETTLEMENT OF AUGUST 30, 1968, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM MUST BE AND IS SUSTAINED.