B-193906.OM, JAN 8, 1980

B-193906.OM: Jan 8, 1980

Additional Materials:

Contact:

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

 

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

CLAIMS DIVISION: RETURNED HEREWITH IS FILE Z-194348. WAS PROPERLY CHARGED FOR THE COST OF AN EXCESS SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS. SINCE HE WAS AUTHORIZED A MAXIMUM SHIPPING WEIGHT OF 11. RODEN WAS CHARGED FOR THE EXCESS POUNDS IN THE AMOUNT OF $238.88. WHICH WAS DEDUCTED FROM HIS RETIREMENT PAY. RODEN CLAIMED THAT HE WAS NOT GIVEN CREDIT FOR A PACKING ALLOWANCE. YOU DENIED HIS CLAIM STATING THAT BECAUSE HOUSEHOLD GOODS TRANSPORTED BY THE CODE 5 METHOD ARE CONSIDERED TO BE UNCRATED SHIPMENTS. THE NET WEIGHT SHOWN ON THE GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING WAS THE CORRECT WEIGHT TO BE ASSESSED TO MR. HE WAS NOT ENTITLED TO THE EXTRA PACKING ALLOWANCE AUTHORIZED FOR CRATED OR CONTAINERIZED SHIPMENTS. THE APPLICABLE REGULATION IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM ENGLAND TO ILLINOIS WAS 2 JTR PARA.

B-193906.OM, JAN 8, 1980

SUBJECT: VICTOR C. RODEN - DETERMINATION OF NET WEIGHT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS - B-193906-O.M.

DIRECTOR, CLAIMS DIVISION:

RETURNED HEREWITH IS FILE Z-194348. BY SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATE DATED SEPTEMBER 1, 1978, YOU FOUND THAT MR. VICTOR C. RODEN, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, WAS PROPERLY CHARGED FOR THE COST OF AN EXCESS SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT MR. RODEN SHIPPED 11,875 POUNDS OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS, CODE 5, INTERNATIONAL DOOR-TO-DOOR CONTAINER SURFACE-GOVERNMENT, FROM ENGLAND TO JOLIET, ILLINOIS, ON GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING NO. D 2,440,979, DATED JUNE 6, 1972. SINCE HE WAS AUTHORIZED A MAXIMUM SHIPPING WEIGHT OF 11,000 POUNDS, MR. RODEN WAS CHARGED FOR THE EXCESS POUNDS IN THE AMOUNT OF $238.88, WHICH WAS DEDUCTED FROM HIS RETIREMENT PAY. IN REQUESTING REIMBURSEMENT OF THIS SUM, MR. RODEN CLAIMED THAT HE WAS NOT GIVEN CREDIT FOR A PACKING ALLOWANCE. YOU DENIED HIS CLAIM STATING THAT BECAUSE HOUSEHOLD GOODS TRANSPORTED BY THE CODE 5 METHOD ARE CONSIDERED TO BE UNCRATED SHIPMENTS, THE NET WEIGHT SHOWN ON THE GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING WAS THE CORRECT WEIGHT TO BE ASSESSED TO MR. RODEN, AND HE WAS NOT ENTITLED TO THE EXTRA PACKING ALLOWANCE AUTHORIZED FOR CRATED OR CONTAINERIZED SHIPMENTS.

THE APPLICABLE REGULATION IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF THE SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM ENGLAND TO ILLINOIS WAS 2 JTR PARA. C7050-2B (CHANGE 75, DECEMBER 1, 1971) WHICH PROVIDED THAT:

"WHEN PROPERTY IS SHIPPED UNCRATED IN A HOUSEHOLD MOVER'S VAN OR IN SPECIAL HOUSEHOLD GOODS CONTAINERS AS A CONTAINERIZED SHIPMENT, DETERMINATION OF THE NET WEIGHT WILL INCLUDE THE GOODS, SEPARATE PACKING CONTAINERS, AND WRAPPING AND FILLER MATERIAL USED FOR PROTECTION IN THE VAN OR INSIDE A SPECIAL HOUSEHOLD GOODS CONTAINER FOR CONTAINERIZED SHIPMENTS. PADDING MATERIAL OF ANY TYPE BELONGING TO AND/OR USED BY THE CARRIER IN THE VAN OR INSIDE A HOUSEHOLD GOODS CONTAINER, OR BLOCKING AND BRACING MATERIAL USED TO SECURE THE SHIPMENT IS PART OF THE TARE WEIGHT AND NOT INCLUDED IN THE NET WEIGHT."

HOWEVER, THE SAME PARAGRAPH ALSO PROVIDED THAT:

"FOR CONTAINERIZED SHIPMENTS WHEN SPECIAL CONTAINERS DESIGNED FOR REPEATED USE, SUCH AS LIFT VANS, CONEX TRANSPORTERS, AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS SHIPPING BOXES, ARE USED AND THE KNOWN TARE WEIGHT DOES NOT INCLUDE THE WEIGHT OF INTERIOR BRACING AND PADDING MATERIALS BUT ONLY THE WEIGHT OF THE CONTAINER, THE NET WEIGHT OF THE HOUSEHOLD GOODS SHALL BE 85% OF THE GROSS WEIGHT LESS THE WEIGHT OF THE CONTAINER."

IN THE PRESENT CASE WE NOTE THAT THE "WEIGHT TICKET" FOR MR. RODEN'S HOUSEHOLD GOODS SHIPMENT INDICATES THE USE OF 12 CASES. WE HAVE PREVIOUSLY NOTED THAT IT IS COMMON PRACTICE TO USE HOUSEHOLD GOODS SHIPPING BOXES OR PERMANENT CONTAINERS IN THE OVERSEAS SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS. SEE B-186898-O.M., APRIL 13, 1977, AND B-193944-O.M., MARCH 14, 1979. THUS, THE INDICATION OF 12 CASES WOULD SEEM TO EVIDENCE THE UTILIZATION OF "HOUSEHOLD GOODS SHIPPING BOXES" FOR A CONTAINERIZED SHIPMENT WITHIN THE MEANING OF 2 JTR PARA. C7050-2B SET FORTH IN PERTINENT PART ABOVE.

THEREFORE, MR. RODEN'S ENTITLEMENT TO REIMBURSEMENT TURNS ON WHETHER THE TARE WEIGHT OF 4,164 POUNDS INDICATED ON THE "WEIGHT TICKET" AND THE GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING INCLUDES THE WEIGHT OF INTERIOR BRACING AND PADDING MATERIAL. THE DOCUMENTATION IN THE FILE DOES NOT PROVIDE AN ANSWER. IN THE ABSENCE OF SUCH A FINDING OF FACT, WE HAVE IN THE PAST PRESUMED THAT THE ADDED WEIGHT OF INTERIOR BRACING AND PADDING MATERIALS WAS NOT INCLUDED IN THE TARE WEIGHT UNLESS EXPRESSLY STATED. SEE B-186753, SEPTEMBER 24, 1976; B-186898-O.M., APRIL 13, 1977, AND B-193944-O.M., MARCH 14, 1979. FURTHER, A REQUEST TO THE CARRIER FOR MORE INFORMATION CAME BACK NEGATIVE.

ACCORDINGLY, WE BELIEVE THAT THE CORRECT METHOD OF COMPUTING MR. RODEN'S WEIGHT ALLOWANCE SHOULD BE THE 85 PERCENT METHOD. APPLYING THIS FORMULA TO MR. RODEN'S SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS TO JOLIET, ILLINOIS, INDICATES HE SHOULD BE CHARGED FOR 9,469 POUNDS. HIS SHIPMENT, THEREFORE, IS WITHIN THE AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE OF 11,000 POUNDS. 5 U.S.C. 5724(A)(2) (1970).

SINCE MR. RODEN DID NOT EXCEED HIS AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE A REVISED SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATE SHOULD BE ISSUED DIRECTING REFUND TO MR. RODEN OF THE AMOUNT DEDUCTED FROM HIS RETIREMENT PAY.