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A carrier's claim for transportation charges cannot be allowed when more than 3 years have elapsed between delivery of a service member's household goods shipment and the receipt of the carrier's Public Voucher for Transportation Charges (SF 1113) at the military Service concerned. We have reviewed our records. The original claim for shipping charges would have been untimely. Edwards were transported from Idaho to Hawaii. Were delivered in Hawaii on July 9. Because the claim was barred from payment as untimely under 31 U.S.C. The amount paid for property loss/damage is not specified. A claim for transportation charges cannot be allowed unless it is received no later than 3 years after the later of the following dates: the accrual of the claim.

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B-258412 September 23, 1994

Pursuant to 31 U.S.C. Sec. 3726, a carrier's claim for transportation charges cannot be allowed when more than 3 years have elapsed between delivery of a service member's household goods shipment and the receipt of the carrier's Public Voucher for Transportation Charges (SF 1113) at the military Service concerned. The carrier's voluntary or involuntary payment of a claim for transit loss or damage within 3 years of the delivery does not extend the period in which the carrier may file its claim for charges.

Bobby L. Cates Resource Protection P.O. Box 3417 Tampa, Florida 33601-3417

Dear Mr. Cates:

This letter refers to your letter dated August 8, 1994, on behalf of AALCO Forwarding, Inc.

We have reviewed our records, and we cannot find an indication of receipt of previous correspondence from you or AALCO with respect to an initial claim for shipping charges ($7,752.30) on Personal Property Government Bill of Lading transaction DP-643,166. However, even if we did receive AALCO's claim for charges on March 26, 1991, as you allege, the original claim for shipping charges would have been untimely.

In reaching this conclusion, we assume the accuracy of the facts and statements in the copies of the correspondence you provided to us. The correspondence indicates that the household goods of James W. Edwards were transported from Idaho to Hawaii, and were delivered in Hawaii on July 9, 1986. The Navy Material Transportation Office received a first bill for this service on October 4, 1989, more than 3 years after delivery. The Office of Transportation Audits of the General Services Administration (GSA) denied AALCO's claim on January 5, 1990, because the claim was barred from payment as untimely under 31 U.S.C. Sec. 3726. You contend that the 3-year statute of limitations did not begin to run until AALCO completed its obligations under the contract of carriage by paying the damage claim of the service member, and that this did not occur until April 26, 1988. The amount paid for property loss/damage is not specified.

We find no support for your position. Under 31 U.S.C. Sec. 3726(a), a claim for transportation charges cannot be allowed unless it is received no later than 3 years after the later of the following dates: the accrual of the claim; the payment for the transportation; a refund of an overpayment; or a deduction for an overpayment. Thus, this statute is very specific about which events are relevant to the running of the statute of limitations; other events cannot be considered. Since the loss/damage claims are not mentioned, the only event related to your position is accrual. In this respect, a deduction or payment by a carrier for transit damage is not a deduction or payment within the meaning of 31 U.S.C. Sec. 3726. See B-174885, Jan 28, 1972.

A carrier's right to freight charges accrues upon acceptance of a shipment by the consignee or upon the carrier's delivery of the shipment at destination. See 52 Comp.Gen. 713, 715 (1973); Gambia Airways Ltd., B-185014, Dec. 30, 1975. Accordingly, GSA's position on the timeliness of your claim appears to be correct.

We therefore are closing our file in this matter. A copy of 31 U.S.C. Sec. 3726, as it existed in early 1986, is enclosed for your information.

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