B-175176, MAR 31, 1972

B-175176: Mar 31, 1972

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THERE IS NO EVIDENCE TO INDICATE THAT MR. NENNO: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 19. WHICH WILL BE VIEWED AS CONSTITUTING AN APPEAL FROM THE ACTION OF OUR CLAIMS DIVISION IN DENYING YOUR CLAIM FOR THE COST OF SHIPPING A VOLVO STATION WAGON FROM SWEDEN TO CANBERRA. THE RECORD INDICATES THAT YOU WERE TRANSFERRED FROM WASHINGTON. THE RECORD FURTHER SHOWS THAT YOU WERE NOT ALLOWED TO BRING YOUR CAR TO AUSTRALIA AS IT WAS A LEFT-HAND DRIVE CAR. YOU WERE TOLD YOU SHOULD PURCHASE A CAR IN AUSTRALIA WITH RIGHT-HAND DRIVE. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE CAR WAS EARMARKED FOR YOU WHILE IN TRANSIT. DELIVERY OF THE AUTO WAS MADE AT CANBERRA ON OCTOBER 24. EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY SECTIONS 165.3 AND 165.4. "165.2 SHIPMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES "THE AUTHORIZATION FOR THE SHIPMENT OF A PRIVATELY OWNED MOTOR VEHICLE IS BASED UPON SECTION 913 OF THE FOREIGN SERVICE ACT OF 1946.

B-175176, MAR 31, 1972

CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE - AUTOMOBILE SHIPPING COSTS - REIMBURSEMENT - TITLE DURING SHIPMENT DECISION AFFIRMING PRIOR DENIAL OF A CLAIM OF WILLIAM C. NENNO FOR THE COST OF SHIPPING A VOLVO STATION WAGON FROM SWEDEN TO AUSTRALIA WHILE AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE. THE PROVISIONS OF VOLUME 6, FOREIGN AFFAIRS MANUAL 165.1 AND 165.2, ALLOW REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE SHIPPING COSTS OF AN EMPLOYEE-OWNED AUTO. HOWEVER, IN THE INSTANT CASE, THERE IS NO EVIDENCE TO INDICATE THAT MR. NENNO HELD TITLE TO THE AUTO DURING SHIPMENT. ACCORDINGLY, THE PRIOR DISALLOWANCE OF HIS CLAIM MUST BE SUSTAINED.

TO MR. WILLIAM C. NENNO:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 19, 1971, WHICH WILL BE VIEWED AS CONSTITUTING AN APPEAL FROM THE ACTION OF OUR CLAIMS DIVISION IN DENYING YOUR CLAIM FOR THE COST OF SHIPPING A VOLVO STATION WAGON FROM SWEDEN TO CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA, WHILE AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE, UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES HEREINAFTER DESCRIBED.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT YOU WERE TRANSFERRED FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., TO CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA, AND REPORTED TO THE NEW DUTY STATION ON SEPTEMBER 4, 1970. THE RECORD FURTHER SHOWS THAT YOU WERE NOT ALLOWED TO BRING YOUR CAR TO AUSTRALIA AS IT WAS A LEFT-HAND DRIVE CAR. YOU WERE TOLD YOU SHOULD PURCHASE A CAR IN AUSTRALIA WITH RIGHT-HAND DRIVE. YOU ARRIVED IN AUSTRALIA ON SEPTEMBER 4, 1970, AND ON SEPTEMBER 25 YOU ORDERED A VOLVO STATION WAGON FROM THE LOCAL VOLVO DEALER. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE CAR WAS EARMARKED FOR YOU WHILE IN TRANSIT. THE AUSTRALIAN DEPARTMENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS ALLOWED THE AUTO TO BE IMPORTED WITHOUT PAYMENT OF DUTY AND SALES TAX ON THE BASIS OF PERMISSION REQUESTED SEPTEMBER 25, 1970. DELIVERY OF THE AUTO WAS MADE AT CANBERRA ON OCTOBER 24, 1970.

THE CONTROLLING REGULATIONS IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF THE SHIPMENT OF YOUR AUTOMOBILE, VOLUME 6, FOREIGN AFFAIRS MANUAL 165.1 AND 165.2, PROMULGATED PURSUANT TO TRANSMITTAL LETTER GS-136, JUNE 4, 1970, STATED IN PERTINENT PART:

"165.1 AUTHORIZED TRANSPORTATION OF PRIVATELY OWNED MOTOR VEHICLES

"A TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION WHICH INCLUDES AUTHORITY FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF EFFECTS CONSTITUTES AUTHORITY FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF ONE MOTOR VEHICLE OWNED BY THE EMPLOYEE OR BY A MEMBER OF THE EMPLOYEE'S FAMILY WHEN SUCH TRANSPORTATION HAS BEEN DETERMINED TO BE NECESSARY OR EXPEDIENT, UNLESS PROHIBITED BY REGULATION OR ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION. NOT MORE THAN ONE MOTOR VEHICLE MAY BE TRANSPORTED TO A POST OF ASSIGNMENT, EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY SECTIONS 165.3 AND 165.4.

"165.2 SHIPMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES

"THE AUTHORIZATION FOR THE SHIPMENT OF A PRIVATELY OWNED MOTOR VEHICLE IS BASED UPON SECTION 913 OF THE FOREIGN SERVICE ACT OF 1946, AS AMENDED, AND A POLICY DECISION THAT AN EMPLOYEE'S EFFECTIVENESS AT AN OVERSEAS POST OF DUTY IS ENHANCED THEREBY."

AS INDICATED BY THE PROVISIONS QUOTED ABOVE, AN IMPLICIT PREREQUISITE TO THE GOVERNMENT ASSUMING THE COST OF THE SHIPMENT OF THE VEHICLE IS THAT AT THE TIME OF SHIPMENT IT IS OWNED BY THE EMPLOYEE. SEE ALSO 10 COMP. GEN. 268 (1930).

ALTHOUGH THE AUTOMOBILE FOR WHICH YOU SEEK REIMBURSEMENT OF SHIPPING COSTS WAS "EARMARKED" AS YOURS DURING THE SHIPMENT, THERE IS NO EVIDENCE INDICATING THAT YOU HAD TITLE TO IT DURING SUCH SHIPMENT. FOR EXAMPLE, YOU COULD NOT HAVE CONSUMMATED A SALE OF THE AUTO TO ANOTHER PERSON WHILE IT WAS IN TRANSIT SINCE YOU DID NOT HAVE POSSESSION OF EITHER THE AUTO OR THE CERTIFICATE OF TITLE. FURTHERMORE, IT IS QUESTIONABLE THAT YOU COULD HAVE MADE AN INSURANCE CLAIM FOR DAMAGES THAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN INCURRED WHILE THE AUTO WAS IN TRANSIT. IN SUCH LIGHT WE MUST CONCLUDE, AS YOU STATED IN YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 19, 1971, THAT WHEN ORDERING THROUGH A DEALER, "'TITLE' TO THE AUTOMOBILE PASSES TO THE CUSTOMER ON DELIVERY TO HIM AND NOT WHEN THE CAR LEAVES THE FACTORY."

ACCORDINGLY, AND ON THE BASIS OF THE CONTROLLING REGULATIONS AND DECISIONS, THE ACTION OF OUR CLAIMS DIVISION IN DENYING YOUR CLAIM FOR SHIPPING COST OF YOUR AUTO FROM SWEDEN TO AUSTRALIA, IS AFFIRMED.