B-176988, MAR 15, 1973

B-176988: Mar 15, 1973

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A SPORT GLIDER IS NOT INTENDED FOR USE AT HOME. NOR IS IT ASSOCIATED WITH THE MEMBER'S RESIDENCE. SINCE THE GLIDER WAS SHIPPED ON A FOREIGN FLAG VESSEL. NO REIMBURSEMENT MAY BE MADE IN THE ABSENCE OF AN APPROPRIATE STATEMENT THAT TRANSPORTATION ON AN AMERICAN FLAG VESSEL WAS NOT AVAILABLE. YOUR PORT CALL DATE WAS ESTABLISHED AS JULY 24. YOU WERE INFORMED AT THE SCHWAEBISCH HALL SUPPORT ACTIVITY THAT YOUR SPORT GLIDER WOULD BE SHIPPED BY THE ARMY AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. YOU WERE LATER TOLD THAT A FORMAL REQUEST FOR SHIPMENT WOULD BE NECESSARY. YOUR REQUEST WAS APPROVED. THE GLIDER WAS CRATED AT THE GLASFLUGEL FACTORY IN OBERLENNINGEN. WAS MOVED TO A COMMERCIAL STORAGE AREA AT HEILBRONN. FROM THAT LOCATION IT WAS TO BE LOADED INTO A "TYPE C" CONTAINER AND THEN TRANSPORTED TO A DESIGNATED PORT FOR TRANSOCEANIC SHIPMENT TO THE UNITED STATES.

B-176988, MAR 15, 1973

MILITARY PERSONNEL - SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS - SPORT GLIDER - USE OF FOREIGN FLAG VESSEL DECISION AFFIRMING DENIAL OF THE CLAIM OF COL. ROBERT F. LITLE FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR COSTS INCURRED IN THE SHIPMENT OF HIS SPORT GLIDER FROM SCHWAEBISCH HALL, GERMANY, TO FORT HOOD, TEX. A SPORT GLIDER IS NOT INTENDED FOR USE AT HOME, NOR IS IT ASSOCIATED WITH THE MEMBER'S RESIDENCE. THEREFORE IT MAY NOT BE REGARDED AS COMING WITHIN THE TERM "HOUSEHOLD GOODS" UNDER JTR, PARA. M8000-2. 52 COMP. GEN. , B- 174946, FEBRUARY 5, 1973. ACCORDINGLY, REIMBURSEMENT FOR THE COST OF SHIPMENT OF THE GLIDER MAY NOT BE MADE. IN ANY CASE, SINCE THE GLIDER WAS SHIPPED ON A FOREIGN FLAG VESSEL, NO REIMBURSEMENT MAY BE MADE IN THE ABSENCE OF AN APPROPRIATE STATEMENT THAT TRANSPORTATION ON AN AMERICAN FLAG VESSEL WAS NOT AVAILABLE. JTR, M2150.

TO COL. ROBERT F. LITLE, JR.:

WE REFER FURTHER TO YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 22, 1972, IN WHICH YOU REQUEST RECONSIDERATION OF OUR TRANSPORTATION AND CLAIMS DIVISION SETTLEMENT OF MAY 25, 1972, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR COSTS INCURRED IN THE SHIPMENT OF YOUR SPORT GLIDER FROM SCHWAEBISCH HALL, GERMANY, TO FORT HOOD, TEXAS.

SPECIAL ORDERS NUMBER 128, HEADQUARTERS, 15TH AVIATION GROUP (COMBAT), APO 09025 NEW YORK, NEW YORK, DATED JUNE 24, 1971, ORDERED YOUR PERMANENT CHANGE OF STATION TO FORT HOOD, TEXAS 76544, WITH REPORTING DATE OF SEPTEMBER 1, 1971. SUBSEQUENTLY, YOUR PORT CALL DATE WAS ESTABLISHED AS JULY 24, 1971.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT AFTER BEING ALERTED FOR ASSIGNMENT TO FORT HOOD, YOU WERE INFORMED AT THE SCHWAEBISCH HALL SUPPORT ACTIVITY THAT YOUR SPORT GLIDER WOULD BE SHIPPED BY THE ARMY AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. HOWEVER, YOU WERE LATER TOLD THAT A FORMAL REQUEST FOR SHIPMENT WOULD BE NECESSARY. LETTER OF JULY 12, 1971, YOU REQUESTED THAT YOUR GLIDER BE SHIPPED AS PART OF YOUR NORMAL HOUSEHOLD GOODS SHIPMENT. BY THIRD INDORSEMENT DATED JULY 14, 1971, HEADQUARTERS, UNITED STATES THEATER ARMY SUPPORT COMMAND, EUROPE, YOUR REQUEST WAS APPROVED.

THE GLIDER WAS CRATED AT THE GLASFLUGEL FACTORY IN OBERLENNINGEN, GERMANY, AND WAS MOVED TO A COMMERCIAL STORAGE AREA AT HEILBRONN, GERMANY, ON JULY 22, 1971. FROM THAT LOCATION IT WAS TO BE LOADED INTO A "TYPE C" CONTAINER AND THEN TRANSPORTED TO A DESIGNATED PORT FOR TRANSOCEANIC SHIPMENT TO THE UNITED STATES, AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE. YOU STATE THAT YOU LEFT SCHWAEBISCH HALL EN ROUTE TO FORT HOOD, TEXAS, ON JULY 23, 1971, AND THAT YOU RECEIVED A TELEPHONE CALL PRIOR TO DEPARTURE FROM THE AERIAL PORT OF EMBARKATION WHICH ADVISED YOU THAT AUTHORITY TO SHIP THE GLIDER HAD BEEN REVOKED. CONSEQUENTLY, A FRIEND ARRANGED FOR THE FACTORY TO ASSUME RESPONSIBILITY FOR FURTHER SHIPMENT TO FORT HOOD. SUBSEQUENTLY, YOUR CRATED GLIDER WAS TRANSPORTED VIA M.S. REGENSTEIN FROM HAMBURG, GERMANY, TO HOUSTON, TEXAS, WHERE YOU TOOK POSSESSION OF THE GLIDER.

INCIDENT TO YOUR CHANGE OF PERMANENT STATION, A HOUSEHOLD GOODS SHIPMENT OF 4239 POUNDS WHICH INCLUDED 500 POUNDS OF PROFESSIONAL BOOKS, PAPERS AND EQUIPMENT, AND PERSONAL EFFECTS TOTALING 564 POUNDS, SHIPPED AS BAGGAGE, WAS ARRANGED AND PAID FOR BY THE GOVERNMENT.

YOU MADE CLAIM FOR $1,371.30 ($1,371.40), WHICH INCLUDES A CRATING CHARGE OF $247.20; $1,048.04 TRANSOCEANIC SHIPPING COST; DOCK HANDLING AND UNCRATING AT HOUSTON, $32.98; HOTEL ROOM, CAR PARKING, AND TIPPING AT HOUSTON, $23.63; AND GASOLINE AND MEALS FOR ROUND TRIP TRAVEL FROM FORT HOOD TO HOUSTON, $19.55.

YOUR CLAIM, RECEIVED IN THIS OFFICE ON MARCH 29, 1972, WAS DISALLOWED ON MAY 25, 1972, ON THE BASIS THAT SINCE YOU WERE ENTITLED TO GOVERNMENT SHIPMENT OF 3,375 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS (COMPUTED UNDER PARAGRAPH M8003-2 JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS), AND YOU HAD SHIPPED 3,969 POUNDS OF SUCH GOODS, THERE WAS NO AUTHORITY FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF THE ADDED COSTS OF SHIPPING YOUR GLIDER.

IN YOUR LETTER YOU INDICATE THAT YOU WERE AUTHORIZED 3,375 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS PLUS 1,500 POUNDS OF BAGGAGE FOR A TOTAL WEIGHT ALLOWANCE OF 4,875 POUNDS, WHICH IN YOUR OPINION WOULD BE SUFFICIENT FOR THE TRANSPORTATION OF THE GLIDER, IN ADDITION TO THE SHIPMENT OF OTHER HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND BAGGAGE.

THERE WAS ENCLOSED WITH YOUR CLAIM A COPY OF A MEMORANDUM DATED JANUARY 21, 1972, SIGNED BY THE EXECUTIVE OFFICER, PER DIEM, TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE, CONCERNING YOUR CLAIM. THE MEMORANDUM REFERS TO PARAGRAPH M8000-2 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS WHICH DEFINES "HOUSEHOLD GOODS" IN GENERAL TERMS AND INCLUDES A LIST OF THOSE ITEMS NOT CONSIDERED TO BE HOUSEHOLD GOODS. SINCE A SPORT GLIDER IS NOT INCLUDED IN THIS LIST, IT IS CONCLUDED BY THE EXECUTIVE OFFICER THAT IF THE GLIDER CAN BE DISMANTLED AND PACKED IN CONTAINERS ACCEPTABLE TO A CARRIER AND SHIPPED UNDER APPROPRIATE TARIFFS ESTABLISHED FOR HOUSEHOLD GOODS, IT MAY BE CONSIDERED AS HOUSEHOLD GOODS. THE MEMORANDUM ALSO MAKES REFERENCE TO A SUBMISSION TO THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES DATED DECEMBER 9, 1971, IN WHICH A DECISION WAS REQUESTED AS TO A PROPOSAL TO REDEFINE HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO INCLUDE ALL PERSONAL PROPERTY ASSOCIATED WITH THE HOME AND PERSON WHICH WILL BE ACCEPTED AND SHIPPED BY A CARRIER AT THE RATES ESTABLISHED IN THE APPROPRIATE TARIFFS FOR HOUSEHOLD GOODS.

SECTION 406(B) OF TITLE 37, U.S. CODE, PROVIDES THAT IN CONNECTION WITH A CHANGE OF TEMPORARY OR PERMANENT STATION, A MEMBER IS ENTITLED TO TRANSPORTATION (INCLUDING PACKING, CRATING, DRAYAGE, TEMPORARY STORAGE, AND UNPACKING) OF BAGGAGE AND HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS, OR REIMBURSEMENT THEREFOR, WITHIN SUCH WEIGHT ALLOWANCES AS ARE PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED, WITHOUT REGARD TO THE COMPARATIVE COSTS OF THE VARIOUS MODES OF TRANSPORTATION. SUBSECTION (C) OF THAT SECTION PROVIDES THAT THE ALLOWANCES AND TRANSPORTATION AUTHORIZED BY SUBSECTION (B) ARE SUBJECT TO SUCH CONDITIONS AND LIMITATIONS, FOR SUCH GRADES, RANKS AND RATINGS, AND TO AND FROM SUCH PLACES AS PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARIES CONCERNED.

PURSUANT TO SUCH AUTHORITY, PARAGRAPH M8000-2, VOLUME 1, OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS DEFINES THE TERM "HOUSEHOLD GOODS," TO MEAN FURNITURE AND FURNISHINGS OR EQUIPMENT, CLOTHING, BAGGAGE, PERSONAL EFFECTS, PROFESSIONAL BOOKS, PAPERS, AND EQUIPMENT UNDER THE CONDITIONS DESCRIBED IN SUBPARAGRAPH 3 OF THIS PARAGRAPH, AND ALL OTHER PERSONAL PROPERTY ASSOCIATED WITH THE HOME AND PERSON. ALSO INCLUDED ARE SPARE PARTS FOR A PRIVATELY OWNED MOTOR VEHICLE (EXTRA TIRES AND WHEELS, TIRE CHAINS, TOOLS, BATTERY CHARGERS, ACCESSORIES, ETC.). THE TERM "HOUSEHOLD GOODS" DOES NOT INCLUDE, AMONG OTHER ITEMS: "3. TRAILERS, WITH OR WITHOUT OTHER PROPERTY; 4. BOATS."

IN 44 COMP. GEN. 65, 66 (1964), COPY ENCLOSED, WE POINTED OUT THAT:

THE TERMS "BAGGAGE" AND "HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS" ARE GENERAL TERMS NOT LENDING THEMSELVES TO PRECISE DEFINITION. IN ORDINARY AND USUAL USAGE, HOWEVER, THEY REFER TO PARTICULAR KINDS OF PERSONAL PROPERTY ASSOCIATED WITH THE HOME AND PERSON. AS GENERALLY UNDERSTOOD, THE TERM "HOUSEHOLD GOODS" REFERS TO FURNITURE AND FURNISHINGS OR EQUIPMENT - ARTICLES OF A PERMANENT NATURE - USED IN AND ABOUT A PLACE OF RESIDENCE FOR THE COMFORT AND ACCOMMODATION OF THE MEMBERS OF A FAMILY. THUS, NOTWITHSTANDING THE LACK OF PRECISENESS OF THE TERM, IT LONG HAS BEEN CONSIDERED THAT VARIOUS ITEMS, SUCH AS BOATS, AIRPLANES AND HOUSE TRAILERS DO NOT COME WITHIN ITS SCOPE.

AS NOTED IN THE ABOVE-CITED DECISION, OTHER SPORTS OR HOBBY EQUIPMENT INCLUDING BOATS, TRAILERS AND AIRPLANES, HAVE NOT BEEN REGARDED AS HOUSEHOLD GOODS. PARAGRAPH C1100, VOLUME 2 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, APPLICABLE TO CIVILIAN PERSONNEL OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, SPECIFICALLY EXCLUDES AIRPLANES, AS WELL AS MOTORCYCLES, MOTOR SCOOTERS AND PASSENGER CARRYING SNOWMOBILES FROM CONSIDERATION AS HOUSEHOLD GOODS ITEMS.

AS INDICATED ABOVE, THE QUESTION OF WHAT CONSTITUTES "HOUSEHOLD GOODS" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THAT TERM AS USED IN PARAGRAPH M8000-2, JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS, HAS RECENTLY BEEN CONSIDERED BY US. IN DECISION B-174946, FEBRUARY 5, 1973 (52 COMP. GEN. ), COPY ENCLOSED, WE CONSIDERED THE QUESTION AS TO WHETHER THE TERM "HOUSEHOLD GOODS" AS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPH M8000-2 MAY BE REDEFINED TO INCLUDE ALL PERSONAL PROPERTY ASSOCIATED WITH THE HOME AND PERSON WHICH WILL BE ACCEPTED AND SHIPPED BY A CARRIER AT RATES ESTABLISHED IN THE APPROPRIATE TARIFFS FOR HOUSEHOLD GOODS. REFERRED TO SPECIFIC DETERMINATIONS THAT CERTAIN ITEMS SHOULD BE EXCLUDED FROM THE TERM "HOUSEHOLD GOODS," WHICH WERE MADE OVER THE YEARS, AND WE CONCLUDED THAT THE RECORD BEFORE US DID NOT SUPPORT THE ADOPTION OF THE SUGGESTED BROADER DEFINITION OF "HOUSEHOLD GOODS" AT THIS TIME. WE DID SUGGEST, HOWEVER, THAT THE AGENCIES INVOLVED GIVE CONSIDERATION TO A MORE DETAILED REVIEW OF THIS MATTER WHICH MAY FORM A BASIS FOR MODIFYING EXISTING DEFINITIONS.

YOUR SAILPLANE, AS INDICATED BY THE RECORD, IS 22 FEET LONG AND HAS A WING SPAN OF 50 FEET. THUS, IT IS IN ESSENCE, A MOTORLESS AIRPLANE. SUCH PROPERTY, LIKE A BOAT OR TRAILER, IS NOT INTENDED FOR USE AT HOME, NOR HAS IT BECOME ASSOCIATED WITH ONE'S RESIDENCE. THEREFORE, AND IN THE LIGHT OF OUR DECISION OF FEBRUARY 5, 1973, IT MAY NOT BE REGARDED AS COMING WITHIN THE TERM "HOUSEHOLD GOODS" AS THAT TERM IS USED IN PARAGRAPH M8000-2.

EVEN ASSUMING THAT YOUR SPORT GLIDER COULD BE CONSIDERED AS PART OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD GOODS, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO REIMBURSE YOU FOR THE COST OF THE OVERSEAS SHIPMENT IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES DESCRIBED. PARAGRAPH M2150 OF THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS PROVIDES THAT SUBJECT TO CERTAIN EXCEPTIONS, VESSELS REGISTERED UNDER THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES WILL BE USED. SUBPARAGRAPH 3 STATES THAT WHERE THE TRANSPORTATION OR OTHER APPROPRIATE OFFICER DETERMINES THAT VESSELS REGISTERED UNDER THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES ARE NOT AVAILABLE, HE MAY AUTHORIZE OR APPROVE THE USE OF VESSELS OF FOREIGN REGISTRY. A STATEMENT OF THE DETERMINATION OF THE TRANSPORTATION OR OTHER APPROPRIATE OFFICER WILL BE ANNOTATED ON THE TRANSPORTATION REQUEST, BILL OF LADING, OR OTHER TRANSPORTATION DOCUMENT OR APPENDED TO THE MEMBER'S VOUCHER FOR REIMBURSEMENT. SUBPARAGRAPH 4 PROVIDES THAT DETERMINATIONS MAY NOT BE BASED UPON MERE INCONVENIENCE IN SECURING TRANSPORTATION IN VESSELS OF UNITED STATES REGISTRY, SHORT DELAYS IN AWAITING SUCH TRANSPORTATION, THE DESIRE TO ARRANGE CIRCUITOUS ROUTES FOR THE CONVENIENCE OF A TRAVELER, OR FOR ANY SIMILAR REASONS.

SINCE THE M.S. REGENSTEIN, A SHIP OF GERMAN REGISTRY, WAS UTILIZED FOR THE SHIPMENT OF YOUR GLIDER, IN ACCORD WITH PARAGRAPH M2150 OF THE REGULATIONS, NO REIMBURSEMENT WOULD BE AUTHORIZED IN ANY EVENT, FOR THE OVERSEAS SHIPMENT FROM HAMBURG TO HOUSTON, IN THE ABSENCE OF A STATEMENT FROM THE APPROPRIATE TRANSPORTATION OR OTHER OFFICER THAT AN AMERICAN VESSEL WAS NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE SHIPMENT IN QUESTION. IN THIS REGARD SEE DECISION B-150769, MAY 16, 1963, COPY ENCLOSED.

ACCORDINGLY, FOR THE REASONS INDICATED ABOVE, THE DISALLOWANCE OF YOUR CLAIM IS SUSTAINED.