G) Household Goods Shipments
A successful move is not a matter of chance. It is the result of planning and hard work. At the center of these efforts is you - the shipper. If you expect a good move, you must play an active role.
The entitlement of transportation of household goods accrues and becomes fixed on the effective date of the orders directing PCS or TDY. Your prescribed weight allowance is based on the grade or rating held on the effect date of orders authorizing the shipment of property.
What You May Ship As Household Goods - You may ship all personal property associated with the home and all personal effects belonging to you and your dependents on the effective date of orders of your permanent or temporary change of station orders. Also included are spare parts for a privately owned vehicle (extra tires and wheels, tire chains, tools, battery chargers, accessories) and a pickup tailgate when removed to install a camper. Snowmobiles, motorcycles, mopeds and golf carts may be shipped as household goods.Ask the Personal Property Counselor for more information. What You May Not Ship As Household Goods
- Airplanes, automobiles, trucks, vans and similar motor vehicles; camper trailers; farm equipment.(You have a separate entitlement for your privately owned vehicle when moving to, from or between overseas duty stations.)
- Live animals not required in the performance of official duties, including birds, fish and reptiles;
- Articles of household goods acquired after the effective date of the orders Cordwood and building materials;
- Property for resale, disposal or commercial use rather than for use by the member and dependents;
- Privately owned firearms, live ammunition, powder, primers or igniting devices.
Local laws or carrier regulations may prohibit commercial shipment of certain articles not listed above. Articles liable to impregnate or otherwise damage equipment or other property - for example, hazardous materials including explosives, flammable and corrosive materials and poisons are prohibited by laws and regulations.
H) Unaccompanied Baggage Shipments
Unaccompanied Baggage (UB) is commonly referred to as "Express Shipment", is the portion of household goods that is shipped separately and apart, usually by an expedited mode, which is required immediately upon or soon after you or your dependent's arrival at destination.
Unaccompanied baggage may include but is not limited to clothing, uniforms, pots, pans, cribs, playpens, ironing boards, irons, coffee pots, toasters, small radios, portable television sets, stereo components, portable sewing machines, portable air-conditioners, golf clubs and bags, collapsible nonmotorized golf carts, fishing equipment, etc.
Unaccompanied baggage may not include major items of furniture such as chairs, tables, cabinets, washers, dryers, freezers, large-size refrigerators, beds, mattresses, etc.
The shipment of unaccompanied baggage are limited to your prescribed weight allowances authorized to, from, and between overseas stations and in some cases within CONUS. Shipments should be arranged to arrive at destination within 5 days of arrival of you or your dependents. Unaccompanied baggage shipments within CONUS are normally shipped with the household goods shipment and referred to as a partial delivery.
I) Permanent Storage
Permanent or Nontemporary storage (NTS) is generally authorized for those members making a permanent change of duty station from the CONUS to an overseas area. Personnel falling into this category can store all or part of the personal property, within the prescribed weight allowances within the geographical area they are stationed as determined by the local TMO responsible for that area.
NTS is commonly used to store personal property pending shipment overseas OR PERMANENTLY WHILE ASSIGNED OVERSEAS TO A WEIGHT RESTRICTED AREA. This occurs when there is a shortage of housing suitable for dependents in the overseas area. Once the restriction is lifted, all or a portion of the property may be released and shipped to the new duty station.
Permanent storage is authorized until the date at which you report to your new duty station NTS STORAGE SHIPMENTS WILL NOT BE ARRANGED FOR DELIVERY FROM ANY LOCATION UNTIL A RESIDENTIAL ADDRESS IS PROVIDED. If you extend on-island, you must notify the originating TMO of the need to extend the storage of your property. Contact TMO Outbound section and we can assist you.
NOTE: There are no NTS storage facilities on Okinawa. All items shipped here must be able to fit into your residence.
J) Arranging the Move
When to Make Arrangements - If on active duty, you may ship personal property anytime after receipt of permanent change of station orders. The earlier you call or visit your transportation office, the greater your chances of moving on the date you desire. Delaying the call or visit only creates hardships for everyone. During the peak summer move season a minimum of two weeks prior notice is necessary.
Who to See - Normally you can go to the nearest Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard transportation offices. To arrange your move On Okinawa, all Navy and Marine Corps personnel must use the nearest Marine Corp TMO. The only exception is Navy personnel assigned to Commander Fleet Activities Okinawa (CFAO) who are services by Kadena AB, TMO. There you will get an entitlement and service authorized by your branch. Your origin transportation office is your first point of contact when questions or problems about the movement of your personal property arise prior to shipment. Your transportation office will make all arrangements necessary to schedule packing and pickup of your household goods. Be prepared when you go to your transportation office to have:
- Six copies of your orders (and amendments/endorsements) for each type of shipment planned (household goods, Nontemporary storage, unaccompanied baggage, etc.)
- An idea of when you want to move. Be as flexible as possible. You will be asked to select a packing and pickup date. During some periods, especially the summer, the date(s) you prefer may not be available. If at all possible, do not schedule pickup, lease termination, or house sale closing on the same date. Leave some time in your schedule for the unforeseen.
- The date you plan to arrive at your new duty station. The counselor uses this date to determine the required delivery date of your shipment(s). For example, if you know you can't accept a shipment for three months, don't ask for delivery in one month. An idea of the types of shipments you expect to make and the estimated weight of each
- A list of large or unusual items (piano, pool table, china cabinet, wall unit, satellite dish, hot tub, boat, motorcycle, recreational vehicle, etc.). If you are unable to visit the transportation office, you may appoint your spouse or an agent to act on your behalf. A letter of authorization signed by you or a power of attorney is required. Be sure the person you choose knows what you want and has all the information to make the right arrangements. Remember, this person is acting for you, and you are responsible for that person's decisions.
Insurance Decision - Unfortunately, you may suffer loss or damage to your personal property when it is moved by a carrier or other third party. To protect against the possibility of such loss or damage, you must decide whether to purchase additional protection through a private insurance carrier. If your property is lost or damaged during a move, you may file a claim against the government. The maximum statutory amount the government can pay on a single claim is $40,000.Refer to page 5 and 6 of the Smooth Move Pamphlet.
K) Do-It-Yourself Moves
Any member authorized to ship household goods at Government expense may take part in the DITY move program. This includes members with orders for PCS, TDY, separation, retirement, or assignment to, from, or between Government quarters. This program allows a member to use a rented or leased truck, van, or trailer or certain POV to move their personal property instead of having the Government move it. You must first obtain approval from a TMO, pick up the equipment, pack and load the personal property, obtain tare and gross weight tickets, drive to the authorized destination, unload the vehicle, and return the vehicle to the dealer. More details can be obtained from the outbound personal property section, 645-0922/3120.
NOTE: Failure to obtain approval from TMO will result in the government not reimbursing the member for moving expenses.> RETURN TO TOP RETURN HOME
L) Unauthorized Items
- Household Goods carriers are not licensed to carry firearms.
- All Personal Firearms must be sent via US Mail.
- Alcohols Antifreeze Compounds Camphor Oil
- Combustible Fluid Cleaners Chlorinated Hydrocarbons in decorative lamps
- Battery with acid Disinfectants Dyes
- Flame retardant compounds Sulfuric acid Iron/steel rust preventing compound
- Paint Paint related materials Iron/steel rust removing compound
- Muriatic acid Nitric acid Photographic acids
- Ammunition Black Powder Blasting Caps
- Dynamite or similar explosives Explosive auto alarms Fireworks
- Fuse lighters Igniters Primers
- Propellants Signal flares Smokeless powder
- Souvenir explosives (war item) Spear guns w/charged heads Toy Propellants or smoke device
- Acetone Adhesives (glues, cements) Ammonia
- Charcoal briquettes Cleaning fluids
- Denatured alcohol Enamel Gasoline
- Insecticides Kerosene Lacquer
- Leather dressing or bleach Lighter fluids Liquors (any single container exceeding 1 gallon)
- Matches Wood oil stains Paint
- Paint or varnish remover Propane tanks (non-purged) Other gas used for cooking or heating
- Shellac Liquid shoe polish Plastic solvents
- Stains Turpentine Varnish
- Wood filler
- Engine starting fluids Fire extinguishers Construction gases (welding)
- Scuba tanks (see note #1)
- Containing a flammable gas Flammable liquids Contain a toxic substance
- Containing a corrosive substance
- Note- Only those scuba diving tanks containing not more than 25 pounds per square inch at 70 degrees Fahrenheit may be shipped as in personal property. Servicing for shipment will include: (1) Written certification of purging serviced by dive shop or licensed individual qualified to perform purging. A tag or label must be affixed to the tank certifying service was performed; or (2) Completely empty tank, remove the valve and replace valve with plug designed for this purpose.
Other regulated material termed combustible, corrosive, or flammable.
M) Moving Tips
Prior to packing your household goods, the carrier's representative may conduct a pre-move survey telephonically or on-site, especially if your estimated weight is over 6,000 lbs. During the pre-move survey, show/tell the representative any item you think should deserve special attention. For example: Grandfather clocks, paintings, china, silverware. Don't forget the outside shed or garage. Any outdoor equipment is required to be disassembled and cleaned by the owner prior to shipment.
You should consider the following items as well during your move;
- Insure that you or your designated representative are present during all phases of the move.
- Control your pets. Pets have wandered into boxes, drawers, and trucks while packing is taking place. It is best to arrange for your pet to be at another location during the entire process.
- Your rugs, except throw rugs, should be rolled for transport or storage. Do not permit the carrier to fold your rugs.
- Insure clothing and draperies hung in upright wardrobes contain only those items. Nothing else should be placed into those containers. Upright wardrobes are not used for overseas, storage or domestic containerized shipments.
- New cartons must be used for clothing, linen, bedding, mattresses, and box springs. Used cartons, in good condition, may be used for other items provided the old markings are obliterated.
- Insure hardware from furniture dissembled by the carrier is placed in bags and attached to the article. Upon delivery, if you desire, these articles must be reassembled by the carrier.
- If you own a large wall unit, slate-bed pool table, pipe organ or water bed, and it is disassembled by a third party contractor or the carrier, you may need proof of this at destination. Insist that a notation be made on your household goods inventory and the DD Form 619, Statement of Accessorial Services Performed.
- If firearms are shipped or stored, insure that each firearm is listed on the inventory separately with the make, model, caliber or gauge, and serial number.
- If you declare professional books, papers and equipment (PBP&E), insure that each item is listed as PBP&E on the inventory in addition to the description of contents. The net weight of each PBP&E item or cube must also be annotated. This is important to insure you are credited with the weight of approved PBP&E items, which is in addition to your authorized weight entitlement.
- Insure the items you intend to take with you are placed out of the way. Lock them in a closet or your automobile. DO NOT LEAVE JEWELRY, PURSES OR WALLETS LAYING AROUND. Place these items in a secure place also.
- Before you release the carrier, make certain all property to be shipped is removed from residence by checking all rooms, closets, cabinets, and storage areas.
- Contact your destination transportation office as soon as you arrive.
- Have expensive and valuable items (artwork, collectibles, heirlooms, etc.) appraised. The government will not pay for the appraisals, but consider this part of your investment in the event of loss or damage. Use a video camera or take close-up pictures to record the condition of your furniture and to show what your expensive and valuable items look like. This will allow you to show the item as it was, if it is lost or damaged during shipment.
- Don't ship small, extremely valuable items such as stocks, bonds, jewelry, coins/coin collections, and items of great sentimental value such as photo albums. Pack them in your suitcases and hand carry them, as well as your purchase receipts, pictures and appraisals.
Bear in mind that if you waive unpacking, the carrier is not required to return later to unpack or remove the empty cartons and crates. An unpacking waiver lets the carrier off the hook for completing the job, including removing empty cartons, packing materials and other debris. If at any time you decide to assist the carrier, that is, help load/unload the truck, you may relieve the carrier of any liability.
Household goods and unaccompanied baggage shipments should not be scheduled for pickup on the same day. Items you intend to be in one shipment may wind up in the other causing you hardship. Additionally you may incur excess cost if one agent has to wait on the other to finish. Note that it is the agent’s option to wait or cancel the pickup either decision would result in excess cost to YOU. You, not your transportation officer or the carrier are responsible for staying within the weight allowance. If the weight of items packed, shipped or stored exceeds your weight allowance, you must pay all charges connected with the excess weight.
For this reason, estimating the weight of your household goods is very important. Estimates should start early, even before you visit your transportation office to set up the move. The counselor at your transportation office will need an estimated weight for each shipment you intend to make.An easy and fairly dependable method for making this estimate is to figure 1,000 pounds per room (not including storage rooms or bathrooms) and then add the estimated weight of large appliances and items in the garage, storage rooms, basement, etc.
Verify Accuracy of Excess Cost - To avoid excess weight charges, stay within your authorized weight allowance by estimating early and disposing of unnecessary possessions. When you receive a notification for exceeding your weight allowance, check it carefully. Often you may not have received credit for professional books, papers and equipment or some other entitlement. If you have any question concerning your excess weight, contact your transportation office.
Request for Reweigh - You are entitled to have your shipment reweighed prior to delivery at destination. A request for a reweigh can be made through the transportation office either at origin or at destination prior to delivery.
N) Your Responsibilities at Origin
Keep your transportation office informed of any change in your orders or other changes, such as the telephone number at which you can be reached until you leave your old duty station.
After arrangements have been made, they should not be changed. Changing moving dates, especially during summer months, can mean a lengthy delay in getting your move rescheduled. If you find the date must be changed, contact the transportation office immediately. Do not call the carrier!
You or your representative designated in writing must be home when the movers arrive to pack and remove your belongings.
- Thirty days in advance is not too early to begin preparation for your move.
- Remove your TV antenna/disconnect satellite dish. Empty, defrost and thoroughly wash the inside of your refrigerator and/or freezer. To keep mildew at a minimum during transit and storage, these appliances need at least two days to dry out. Leave doors open after cleaning.
- Drain water from hot tubs and water beds.
Remove window air conditioners.
- Disconnect and prepare all components such as stereos, turntables, compact disc players, video disc players, computers, printers, televisions and VCRs for the move.
- Disconnect all appliances such as washer, dryer and cooking stove. If plumbing, electrical or carpentry work is needed in disconnecting these appliances, you must arrange for the work and pay the charges connected with it.
- Dispose of foods that could spill or spoil in transit or storage.
- Dispose of worn out and unneeded items before the move to avoid wasteful packing, moving or storage expenses and most important, excess weight to you.
- Remove pictures, curtain rods and mirrors from walls. Inspect the kitchen for utensil and food racks or other holders secured to walls, cabinets or doors and remove them.
- Dismantle outdoor play equipment and outdoor structures (utility sheds, playhouses, swing or gym sets, etc.).
- Ensure personal property items are free of soil/pest infestation that is, gypsy moths, brown tree snakes, etc. Remember: Complying with requirements of the U.S. Department of
- Agriculture and state laws is your responsibility.
- Remove personal property from an attic, crawl space or similar storage area within the residence. The carrier's personnel are not required to go into areas that:
- Are not accessible by a permanent stairway (ladders are not considered a permanent stairway)
- Are not adequately lighted
- Do not have a finished floor
- Do not allow a person to stand erect
- Have your property separated by shipment and distinctly marked. Put items that are to go in the unaccompanied baggage shipment in one room, distinctly mark items for storage, items not to be packed and so on. This reduces the chance that items will get into the wrong shipment or that items to be discarded will be shipped. When possible, dispose of all trash and items to be discarded prior to the mover's arrival.
- Separate your professional items and authorized consumables. Be sure they are identified on the inventory as professional books, papers and equipment or authorized consumables as the items are weighed separately
- Remove all old carrier markings and stickers from furniture and boxes.
- Identify contents left in drawers. Be sure the inventory reflects the contents.
- Ensure each carton and loose item (ladder, rake, etc.,) has an inventory tag and appears on the inventory.
- Monitor the wrapping and packing of your items. Make sure everything is wrapped individually and adequately. Make sure heavy items aren't packed on top of light items.
- Don't allow your property to be taken to the warehouse to be packed without first consulting the transportation office.
- Drain all gasoline, oil and water, and remove the battery from power-driven equipment (motorcycle, moped, lawn mowers, etc.) prior to pickup.
- Carefully read the inventory prepared by the carrier's personnel before you sign. Look at it from time to time while the items are being packed. Make sure all boxes and loose items are listed. If a box contains crystal, make sure the inventory says "crystal" not "kitchen items." Make sure descriptions of major items are complete and accurate. If the packers list "color television", have them add the size, make, model and when readily accessible, the serial number. This also applies to stereo and video components. Check the string of symbols listed for each item closely (this is how the packers show pre-existing damage). These symbols are explained in the top, right-hand corner of the inventory. For example, "BR 2-4-5-3" means "broken, bottom front left corner." A good inventory shows what you shipped and what condition the item was in at the time of pickup. If your inventory is inaccurate, tell the carrier's representative and write down why you disagree at the bottom of the inventory in the space marked for exceptions.
- Do not argue with the carrier's representative. If you have a problem, call your transportation office at once. Do not sign anything until you read, understand and agree with it. You must be provided a legible copy of everything you sign. Never sign a blank, incomplete or illegible form or a form you cannot clearly understand.
O) Carrier Responsibilities at Origin
The carrier is responsible for packing and preparing all your property for shipment. You can expect the carrier to begin service between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. The start and completion of any service provided by the carrier can vary depending on the type of move - that is, NTS, internationalshipment, etc. Contact your local transportation office for specifics. However, if you have no objection to the carrier beginning service before or after these hours, let the origin transportation know.
At pickup, the carrier must:
- Use new, clean packing materials for linen, clothing and bedding.
- Use new or like-new packing materials for all other items. Excelsior or newspaper is not allowed. Items packed in boxes should be padded and insulated from carton walls.
- Pack mirrors, pictures and glass table tops in specially designed cartons.
- Wrap and protect all finished surfaces from marring or scratching. Usually this is accomplished through use of furniture pads.
- Properly roll and protect rug and rug pads at residence. Only small throw rugs may be folded.
- Pack all designated professional books, papers and equipment in separate boxes. These cartons must be marked "Professional Books, Papers, and Equipment," weighed separately and listed on the inventory form.
- Put all nuts, bolts and screws from an item disassembled for movement by carrier personnel in a bag and attach the bag securely to the item.\
- Mark each carton to show general contents.
- Prepare an accurate and legible inventory.
- Obtain approval from the transportation office prior to loading on the tailgate of the moving van. Remove all excess packing material from your residence.