B-197891.OM, APR 7, 1980

B-197891.OM: Apr 7, 1980

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FGMSD - CLAIMS GROUP (RM. 5858) RETURNED HEREWITH IS FILE Z-2814767. WAS PROPERLY CHARGED FOR THE COST OF AN EXCESS SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS. GODWIN WAS AUTHORIZED TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM HONOLULU TO MAUI. SHIPMENT WAS MADE BY TRANSCO HAWAII. WHICH IS ITEMIZED ON THE PUBLIC VOUCHER FOR TRANSPORTATION CHARGES AS COMPRISING TWO SEPARATE PICKUPS OF 9. GODWIN'S SHIPMENT WAS ACCEPTED BY THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE AS ADMINISTRATIVELY CORRECT. GODWIN WAS AUTHORIZED A MAXIMUM SHIPPING WEIGHT OF 11. HE WAS CHARGED $395.16 AS THE APPLICABLE VALUE OF THE RESULTING 1. 336 POUNDS) FOR WHICH THE GOVERNMENT WAS CHARGED. WAS SECTION 562 OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE MANUAL (TRAVEL HANDBOOK) (MAY 8.

B-197891.OM, APR 7, 1980

SUBJECT: CHRIS GODWIN - DETERMINATION OF NET WEIGHT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS - B-197891-O.M.

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, FGMSD - CLAIMS GROUP (RM. 5858)

RETURNED HEREWITH IS FILE Z-2814767. BY SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATE DATED NOVEMBER 2, 1979, YOU FOUND THAT MR. CHRIS GODWIN, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, WAS PROPERLY CHARGED FOR THE COST OF AN EXCESS SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS.

THE RECORD INDICATES THAT UNDER TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION NO. 58-8-4253-5 DATED JUNE 9, 1978, MR. GODWIN WAS AUTHORIZED TRANSPORTATION OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM HONOLULU TO MAUI, HAWAII, ON GOVERNMENT BILL OF LADING (GBL) NO. K-0-884-330, DATED JUNE 14, 1978. SHIPMENT WAS MADE BY TRANSCO HAWAII, INC., PER A STANDARD FORM 1113 (PUBLIC VOUCHER FOR TRANSPORTATION CHARGES) REFERENCING THE CARRIER'S BILL NO. TR 1003-78. THE GBL NO. K-0- 884-330 COVERING MR. GODWIN'S AUTHORIZED HOUSEHOLD GOODS SHIPMENT SHOWS A TOTAL WEIGHT SHIPPED OF 12,336 POUNDS, WHICH IS ITEMIZED ON THE PUBLIC VOUCHER FOR TRANSPORTATION CHARGES AS COMPRISING TWO SEPARATE PICKUPS OF 9,350 POUNDS AND 2,986 POUNDS. THE "NET WEIGHT" OF 12,336 POUNDS, APPEARING ON THE CARRIER'S BILL OF LADING NO. TR 1003-78 FOR MR. GODWIN'S SHIPMENT WAS ACCEPTED BY THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE AS ADMINISTRATIVELY CORRECT. SINCE MR. GODWIN WAS AUTHORIZED A MAXIMUM SHIPPING WEIGHT OF 11,000 POUNDS, HE WAS CHARGED $395.16 AS THE APPLICABLE VALUE OF THE RESULTING 1,336 POUNDS OF EXCESS WEIGHT. MR. GODWIN PAID THIS AMOUNT BY PERSONAL CHECK ON SEPTEMBER 28, 1978.

IN REQUESTING REIMBURSEMENT OF THIS AMOUNT, MR. GODWIN CLAIMED THAT TRANSCO HAWAII, INC., USED SPECIAL CONTAINERS WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 562.3 OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE MANUAL 1763 (IRM 1763). THE MANUAL RESTATES THE PROVISIONS FOR DETERMINING THE NET WEIGHT OF CONTAINERIZED SHIPMENTS CONTAINED IN PARA. 2-8.2(B)(3) OF THE FEDERAL TRAVEL REGULATIONS (FTR) (FPMR 101-7) (MAY 1973). HOWEVER, MR. GODWIN CONTENDS THAT THE NET WEIGHT USED BY TRANSCO HAWAII, INC., DID NOT REFLECT THE APPLICABLE COMPUTATION METHOD PROVIDED BY THESE REGULATIONS. YOU DENIED HIS CLAIM STATING THAT MR. GODWIN HAD FAILED TO PROVIDE SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE THAT HE SHIPPED LESS THAN THE AMOUNT (IE. 12,336 POUNDS) FOR WHICH THE GOVERNMENT WAS CHARGED.

THE APPLICABLE REGULATION FOR THE DETERMINATION OF NET WEIGHT IN EFFECT AT THE TIME OF MR. GODWIN'S SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS FROM HONOLULU TO MAUI, HAWAII, WAS SECTION 562 OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE MANUAL (TRAVEL HANDBOOK) (MAY 8, 1978), WHICH PROVIDED IN SECTION 562.3 AS FOLLOWS:

"CONTAINERIZED SHIPMENTS -

"WHEN SPECIAL CONTAINERS DESIGNATED NORMALLY 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 PERCENT OF THE GROSS WEIGHT, LESS THE WEIGHT OF THE CONTAINER. IF THE KNOWN TARE WEIGHT INCLUDES INTERIOR BRACING AND PADDING MATERIALS SO THAT THE NET WEIGHT IS THE SAME AS IT WOULD BE FOR UNCRATED SHIPMENTS IN INTERSTATE COMMERCE, THE NET WEIGHT SHALL NOT BE SUBJECT TO THE ABOVE REDUCTION."

IN THE PRESENT CASE WE NOTED THAT GBL NO. K-O-884-330, SHOWED A TOTAL WEIGHT OF 12,336 POUNDS, WHICH WAS ITEMIZED ON THE PUBLIC VOUCHER FOR TRANSPORTATION CHARGES AS COMPRISING TWO SEPARATE PICKUPS OF 9,350 POUNDS AND 2,986 POUNDS. THE SECOND AMOUNT, 2,986 POUNDS, IS SUPPORTED IN THE RECORD BY A PHOTOSTAT OF A WEIGHT CERTIFICATE, WHICH ALTHOUGH IT CONTAINS MATHEMATICAL ERRORS NOT ULTIMATELY DISPOSITIVE OF MR. GODWIN'S CLAIM, APPEARS OTHERWISE PROPERLY EXECUTED BY A CERTIFIED WEIGHMASTER. SINCE THE NET WEIGHT OF THAT PART OF THE COMBINED SHIPMENT WAS ESTABLISHED AT ORIGIN AS SHOWN BY THE WEIGHMASTER'S CERTIFICATE (DISREGARDING THE MINOR MATHEMATICAL ERROR), THE ONLY BASIS FOR THIS OFFICE TO QUESTION THE DETERMINATION OF EXCESS WEIGHT ON THIS PORTION OF THE COMBINED MOVE WOULD BE A SHOWING OF CLEAR ERROR. MR. GODWIN HAS ALLEGED NO CLEAR ERROR IN REGARD TO THIS PORTION OF THE SHIPMENT (AGAIN, OTHER THAN THE MINOR MATHEMATICAL ERROR) AND THAT FIGURE WAS PROPERLY ACCEPTED BY THE AGENCY. SEE FREDRIC NEWMAN, B-195256, NOVEMBER 15, 1979.

HOWEVER, THAT PORTION OF THE COMBINED PICKUPS THAT AMOUNTED TO 9,350 POUNDS IS SUSCEPTIBLE TO A DIFFERENT ANALYSIS. TRANSCO HAWAII, INC., AS SHIPPER OF MR. GODWIN'S HOUSEHOLD GOODS, APPARENTLY USED AN AGENT TO ACCOMPLISH THE ACTUAL MOVE FROM HONOLULU TO MAUI. IN THIS REGARD YOUNG BROTHERS, LIMITED, BILL OF LADING NO. 374581 APPEARS IN THE RECORD ITEMIZING RECEIPT FOR TRANSPORT OF 13 CONTAINERS, ALL BUT ONE OF WHICH HAD GROSS WEIGHTS OF BETWEEN 1,400 AND 2,000 POUNDS. IN ADDITION, NINE OF THE CONTAINERS HAD IDENTICAL CUBIC MEASUREMENTS LISTED AT 170, WHILE THREE OF THE REMAINING FOUR CONTAINERS EACH HAD A LISTED CUBIC MEASUREMENT OF 180. THREE OF THE CONTAINERS ARE READILY IDENTIFIED AS THE THREE CONTAINERS TOTALING 2,986 POUNDS, WHICH WERE CERTIFIED BY THE WEIGHMASTER. THE GROSS WEIGHT OF THESE THREE CONTAINERS, 3,832 POUNDS, WHEN SUBTRACTED FROM THE TOTAL GROSS WEIGHT OF 20,999 POUNDS FOR THE 13 CONTAINERS LISTED ON BILL OF LADING NO. 374581, RESULTS IN A GROSS WEIGHT OF 17,167 POUNDS FOR THE REMAINING TEN CONTAINERS. SINCE THE BILLING DATA FOR THE ORIGINAL PORTION OF THE SHIPMENT WAS ITEMIZED ON THE PUBLIC VOUCHER FOR TRANSPORTATION CHARGES AS 9,350 POUNDS, IT APPEARS THAT THE WEIGHT OF THE CONTAINERS (TARE WEIGHT) - NOT OTHERWISE AVAILABLE IN THE RECORD-APPLICABLE TO THE ORIGINAL PORTION OF MR. GODWIN'S COMBINED SHIPMENT WAS 7,817 POUNDS. (17,167 MINUS 9,350).

IN THE PRESENT CASE WE HAVE NOTED THAT TRANSPORTATION OF THE 9,350 POUNDS WAS ACCOMPLISHED IN TEN ESSENTIALLY UNIFORM CONTAINERS. IT IS COMMON PRACTICE TO USE HOUSEHOLD GOODS SHIPPING BOXES OR PERMANENT CONTAINERS IN THE OVERSEAS SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS. SEE B-193944 O.M., MARCH 14, 1979, AND B-186898-O.M., APRIL 13, 1977. THUS, THE INDICATION OF TEN ESSENTIALLY UNIFORM CONTAINERS WOULD SEEM TO EVIDENCE THE UTILIZATION OF "HOUSEHOLD GOODS SHIPPING BOXES" FOR A CONTAINERIZED SHIPMENT WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 562.3 OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE MANUAL AND PARA. 2- 8.2(B)(3) OF THE FTR.

AS A RESULT, MR. GODWIN'S ENTITLEMENT TO REIMBURSEMENT, IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES PRESENTED, TURNS ON WHETHER THE TARE WEIGHT OF 7,817 POUNDS FIGURED FOR THE FIRST ITEMIZED PICKUP ON THE PUBLIC VOUCHER FOR TRANSPORTATION CHARGES INCLUDES THE ADDED WEIGHT OF INTERIOR BRACING AND PADDING MATERIALS. THIS DETERMINATION REPRESENTS AN ISSUE OF FACT ESSENTIAL TO FIGURING THE ACTUAL NET WEIGHT OF THAT PORTION OF MR. GODWIN'S HOUSEHOLD GOODS SHIPMENT. HOWEVER, 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. B-193906-O.M., JANUARY 8, 1980, AND CASES CITED THEREIN.

ACCORDINGLY, WE BELIEVE THAT THE CORRECT METHOD OF COMPUTING MR. GODWIN'S WEIGHT ALLOWANCE SHOULD INCLUDE APPLICATION OF THE 85 PERCENT METHOD TO THE FIRST ITEMIZED PICKUP ON THE PUBLIC VOUCHER FOR TRANSPORTATION CHARGES. APPLYING THIS FORMULA TO MR. GODWIN'S COMBINED SHIPMENT OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS RESULTS IN ITEMIZED WEIGHTS OF 6,675 POUNDS (AS REVISED) AND 2,986 POUNDS (IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE WEIGHT CERTIFICATE), OR A REVISED NET WEIGHT TOTAL OF 9,661 POUNDS. (SEE SCHEDULE OF COMPUTATIONS ATTACHED). THEREFORE, MR. GODWIN'S SHIPMENT IS WITHIN THE AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE OF 11,000 POUNDS. 5 U.S.C. SEC. 5724(A)(2) (1976).

SINCE MR. GODWIN DID NOT EXCEED HIS AUTHORIZED WEIGHT ALLOWANCE, A REVISED SETTLEMENT CERTIFICATE SHOULD BE ISSUED DIRECTING REFUND TO MR. GODWIN IN THE AMOUNT OF $395.16, CHARGED FOR EXCESS WEIGHT VALUATION.

COMPUTATIONS:

20,999 - GROSS WEIGHT OF COMBINED SHIPMENT FROM YOUNG BROTHERS, LIMITED, BILL OF LADING NO. 374581

12,336 - TOTAL WEIGHT DECLARED ON GBL NO. K-O-884-330, RESULTING FROM COMBINED PICKUPS OF THE FOLLOWING TWO ITEMIZATIONS LISTED ON STANDARD FORM 1113 (PUBLIC VOUCHER FOR TRANSPORTATION CHARGES):

9,350 - ITEMIZATION #1, DECLARED WEIGHT, SUBJECT TO REVISION (SEE BELOW)

2,986 - ITEMIZATION #2, NET WEIGHT, DOCUMENTED BY WEIGHT CERTIFICATE NOT SUBJECT TO REVISION (NOT REFLECTING MATHEMATICAL ERROR CORRECTION)

3,832 - GROSS WEIGHT OF ITEMIZATION #2 (FROM WEIGHT CERTIFICATE), TO BE SUBTRACTED FROM COMBINED GROSS WEIGHT (20,999) TO DERIVE GROSS WEIGHT OF ITEMIZATION #1.

17,167 - GROSS WEIGHT OF ITEMIZATION #1

14,592 - 85 PERCENT OF GROSS WEIGHT OF ITEMIZATION #1 (17,167) (APPLYING FORMULA FROM SECTION 562.3 OF IRM)

7,817 - WEIGHT OF CONTAINERS FOR ITEMIZATION #1; DERIVED BY SUBTRACTING THE DECLARED WEIGHT OF ITEMIZATION #1 (9,350) FROM THE GROSS WEIGHT OF ITEMIZATION #1 (17,167)

6,675 - REVISED NET WEIGHT OF ITEMIZATION #1; DERIVED BY APPLYING FORMULA FROM SECTION 562.3 OF IRM: NET WEIGHT 85 PERCENT OF GROSS WEIGHT MINUS WEIGHT OF CONTAINERS.

2,986 - NET WEIGHT OF ITEMIZATION #2 (NOT REFLECTING MATHEMATICAL ERROR CORRECTION)

9,661 - REVISED TOTAL NET WEIGHT OF MR. GODWIN'S HOUSEHOLD GOODS SHIPMENT.