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					                                                                                 Chapter 11 Packing to Go


                                                                           HOUSEHOLD EFFECTS
                                                                           Types of Shipments
                                                                           Weight Allowance for Shipment of
                                                                            Household Effects
Chapter 11                                                                 Ways to Ship Household Effects

                                                                           Shipping Documents
                                                                           Personal Inventory
                                                                           Assignment of Packers
Packing and unpacking are a constant part of Foreign Service life.
                                                                           Pre-pack Survey
Preparation can help make the process much easier. Begin by reading
the Transportation publication It’s Your Move, available online on the     Before the Packers Arrive
INTERNET at (password: “logistics”). On the     When the Packers Arrive
INTRANET, the publication is available through the State I-NET home        Storage in the United States
page. In the upper right-hand corner, type in “It’s Your Move.” Finally,
                                                                           Unpacking at Your Destination
the publication is available from the Division of Transportation (TEL:
202) 663-0891/0892). You may also choose to initiate your pack-out
requests online via “Transportation Lite“ but only if you, as an estab-    SUGGESTED DOS AND DON’TS
lished employee, already have an ILMS (Integrated Logistics Manage-        DOs
ment System) logon. Otherwise, you should schedule a session with a        DON’Ts
Transportation Counselor (TC) in the Division of Transportation (TEL:
202 663 0891/0892) to set up your shipments. The Counselors are
located in Suite 5100 of SA/3 at 2121 Virginia Avenue, Washington          SUGGESTED ITEMS FOR
                                                                           HOUSEHOLD SHIPMENT
DC 20037.

HoUSeHoLD eFFeCTS                                                          Accompanied Air Baggage
                                                                           Unaccompanied Air Freight
Types of Shipments
You will be packing two kinds of                                           CONSUMABLES ALLOWANCE
                                                                           TRACKING SHIPMENTS
1) Your household effects (HHE),
                                                                           FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION
   which will be handled by a
   moving and storage company                                              ITEMS NOT COVERED IN U.S.
   and sent overseas or put into                                           GOVERNMENT ALLOWANCES
   storage; and
2) Your unaccompanied air bag-
   gage (UAB), also referred to                                            NOTE TO NEW EMPLOYEES
   as “air freight,” which will also be packed by a packing company
   but will go by air.                                                     RESOURCES

The Department of State regulations define baggage as “official and        JOINT PROPERTY STATEMENT
personal property needed for use en route or immediately upon arrival
at destination.” It includes accompanying air baggage (the suitcases
you take to the airport) and UAB.

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Chapter 11 Packing to Go

The household effects shipment includes everything           mental shipments or multiple requests are made for
you need for your tour of duty that has not been             pick-ups of HHE from locations other than the em-
included in your accompanying air baggage or UAB.            ployee’s residence.
Your vehicle will be shipped separately. HHE are
belongings that will be sent in a lift van by sea freight,   An overweight shipment will not be shipped until the
surface, or even air.                                        employee has paid the excess freight charges (which
                                                             may be deductible as moving expenses from income
Foreign Service posts vary. A few so-called “unfur-          tax). Schedule a few days between packing out and
nished” posts require you to bring your own furniture        departure to deal with any unanticipated needs and
and large appliances. Most posts are “furnished” and         make arrangements if your shipment is overweight.
supply both furniture and large appliances. They al-
low you to ship house-wares, linens, and those items         A separate weight allowance is authorized for UAB—
that will make you feel at home. Post reports indicate       250 pounds for the first traveler, 200 pounds for the
what type of housing the U.S. Government provides            second, 150 pounds for the third, and 100 pounds
and which household items might be available on the          for the fourth or any subsequent traveler. Any unused
local market. Some posts not only allow for the ship-        UAB weight allowance may be applied to increase
ping of HHE, but also additional consumables such            the surface shipment or storage of household ef-
as food, paper products, toiletries, and other items         fects. UAB should be packed and weighed before the
not available at post. For country-specific informa-         surface shipment so that adjustments can be made
tion on household effects and consumables, check             easily. The weight of all packing materials, crates,
with the Overseas Briefing Center and contact the            and banding is charged against the UAB allowance
post Community Liaison Office (CLO) Coordinator or           as gross weight. Often the final wrapping takes place
Management Office.                                           after the cartons have been taken from your home,
                                                             so check with the packing company to allow for the
                                                             additional weight.
Weight Allowance for Shipment of
Household Effects
The full weight allowance for shipment of household          Ways to Ship
effects is 18,000 pounds net weight. The full ship-          Household
ment applies when post offers unfurnished quarters. If
post provides furnished quarters, a limited shipment         Effects
of 7,200 pounds net weight is authorized. Ambassa-           In moving HHE from
dors may send a limited shipment of 12,000 pounds            the United States
of HHE, of which 1,000 may be sent by air, in addi-          to Foreign Ser-
tion to the standard UAB allowance.                          vice posts, the
                                                             Department uses
The weight of cartons, crates, and other packing             the following methods:
materials is charged against the weight allowance;
the weight of lift vans is not. Storage at government            1) The conventional pack-and-crate method and
expense is authorized for household effects that are             2) International Through Government Bill of
not shipped (within the overall weight allowance). The              Lading (ITGBL) method
total shipment weight plus the weight of effects stored
may not exceed the 18,000 pound HHE allowance.               Under the conventional pack-and-crate method, a
                                                             company that is under contract with the Department
The shipment authorization remains valid for one             packs your effects at your house, picks them up, and
year from the date of the employee’s arrival at post,        prepares them for export shipment. When packing
so it is possible to request a supplemental shipment.        is completed, your HHE is brought to the packer’s
The Chief of the Transportation Division is authorized       warehouse and from there to the nearest port. There
to deny use of U.S. Government services and facilities       the shipment is loaded on the first available U.S. flag-
when requests are made for more than two supple-
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                                                                                      Chapter 11 Packing to Go

ship scheduled to call at the overseas port used by          you have selected dates and confirmed the dates of
your new post for its inbound shipments. The post ar-        your move with the Transportation Operations Office.
ranges for customs clearance, delivery, and unpack-
ing. This method is used for many posts.                     Please remember that you may make all your pack-
                                                             ing, storing, and shipping arrangements without
In November 1992, the Department began to ship               having your orders in hand. However, actual packing
employee household effects via the International             of items cannot start unless you have received your
Through Government Bill of Lading (ITGBL) method             orders.
to some posts. Under this mechanism, an internation-
al freight forwarder handles shipments to given posts
from origin to destination through agreements it has         Personal Inventory
with packing, port handling, and steamship compa-
nies. With the ITGBL method, the employee will work          Begin the packing process by making a personal
with one ITGBL contractor to handle air freight and          inventory of all your possessions. There are a number
HHE, and another to pack and remove storage. The             of tools you can use to do this.
international forwarder arranges to have the shipment
trucked to port, booked and loaded aboard ship,              1) Video recorder
cleared through customs at destination, and delivered           One of the simplest ways to complete an inven-
and unpacked at your new home.                                  tory is to use a video camera. Go through each
                                                                room of your house recording the contents,
                                                                opening closets, cupboards, and drawers (you
Shipping Documents                                              may need help). Describe everything, giving
                                                                brand names, the approximate age or purchase
A Government Bill of Lading (GBL) is a contract be-             date, and other details.
tween the government and a transportation company
for the performance of certain transportation services.         Once you have finished, make a list of any se-
It is a receipt for effects turned over to the company          rial numbers you need, collect warranties, sales
at origin and a receipt for their delivery. It is used for      receipts, appraisals, and other paperwork, and
rail, highway, air, and occasionally for sea shipments.         make a copy of both the recording and the ac-
It also serves as the following:                                companying papers to store in a safe deposit box
                                                                or with a friend or relative.
    •	 shipping	order,
    •	 carrier’s	waybill,                                    2) Camera
    •	 notice	of	loss	or	damage.                                Again, go through your house taking photo-
                                                                graphs that clearly show all of your possessions.
Packer’s Authorizations are approvals by the Depart-            This will require many shots of each room, show-
ment for a packing and storage company to perform               ing the contents of all closets, cupboards, draw-
the duties listed below:                                        ers, and so on.

    •	 pick	up	your	household	effects	and	prepare	              Once the photos are printed (double prints,
       them for shipment                                        of course), write additional notes on the back
    •	 place	goods	you	will	not	need	in	storage                 regarding brand, approximate age or purchase
    •	 withdraw	goods	from	storage	and	deliver	                 date, and any special considerations.
       them to your house
    •	 give	you	limited	access	to	your	stored	goods	            Alternately, place the digital files into a document
       so that you can remove certain items                     where you add notes as above. Copy the photo
                                                                files and notes onto external storage devices (CDs
The Transportation Operations Office issues Packer’s            or jump drives).
Authorizations after a packing company has been
selected and the Department has assigned you a                  With either method, collect receipts, warranties,
packer. Packer’s Authorizations will not be issued until        appraisals, etc., and make at least two packages,

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Chapter 11 Packing to Go

     one to carry with you and one to store someplace   Assignment of Packers
                                                        Transportation Counselors will answer your questions
3) Computer software                                    and help you make the necessary arrangements.
   You can find household inventory programs            Travelers should visit or contact the Department’s
   online, often for free. Some popular financial       Transportation Office (see “Resources,” below) as
   software programs include an inventory option.       soon as moving dates are known. At that time, the
   Once you have completed your inventory, back         employee will inform the Transportation Counselor of
   up your work, put your paperwork together, and       his/her moving and storage requirements, the ap-
   store as above.                                      proximate amount of the effects to be shipped and/or
                                                        stored (your inventory should help with this), and the
4) Paper and pencil                                     preferred pack-out dates. Provide at least two avail-
   Write your name(s) and the date on a cover           able dates to give the counselor flexibility in schedul-
   page. (The Overseas Briefing Center offers a         ing your move. The Counselor will then select a pack-
   sample inventory form online in Word format          ing company, assign a packer to handle the move,
   at          and schedule the move with the selected contractor.
   tion/43095.doc.) Go through your house, room         When the move is scheduled, the packer will contact
   by room, and write down everything you see.          the employee to reconfirm the pack-out dates. If,
   Group and record items by category unless they       at a later date, the employee needs to change the
   have special features or exceptional value. Attach   pack-out dates, the employee must contact the Travel
   receipts, appraisals, and so forth, and copy the     Counselor early, in order to reschedule the move.
   whole package.                                       The best dates for you and your family should be
                                                        established early, before the packing company is as-
Regardless of which inventory method you use, keep      signed. Cancellation may result in no date at all if the
pictures of household effects, especially valuables,    movers are already booked.
and make sure you have all receipts, appraisals, or
estimates of the value of items, in case of loss or     If you live outside the Washington, DC, area, Trans-
damage. Fax or mail a complete inventory to the         portation Operations will furnish you with specific
Claims Office (see below), indicating which items on    information on the packing procedure to be followed.
the list are of high value ($1,000 or more), or hand    Department of State and AID employees may call
in a limited list of the high-value items only. Doing   toll- free for assistance at (800) 424-2947.
this establishes the ownership and value of these
items in case you ever need to file a claim. You may
want to attach this to the DS-1620 (Claim for Private   Pre-pack Survey
Personal Property Against the U.S. Government) so
                                                        The next task is to make an appointment with the
you will be sure to provide the personal information
                                                        representative of the packing and storage company
requested, such as agency, grade, Social Security
                                                        to get an estimate of your shipment’s weight. The
number, and so on. This form is available on Info-
                                                        estimate is generally within +/- 10% of the actual
forms, from the Claims Office, or at post. Please
                                                        weight. The signed pre-pack estimate will enable you
note that the packing company never sees your list
                                                        to eliminate items necessary to keep within your ship-
of high-value items; it goes only to Claims. Once
                                                        ment or storage allowance or, if underweight, to give
your inventory is complete, you can plan how you will
                                                        you a chance to include additional items.
separate items:
                                                        It is your responsibility to schedule the pre-pack sur-
Once your inventory is complete, you can plan how
                                                        vey with the assigned company. Be certain the esti-
you will separate items:
                                                        mator knows of and includes all items stored in your
                                                        garage or attic, as well as items to be purchased.
     1)   packed in your suitcase
                                                        The pre-pack estimate is not binding, and all charges
     2)   sent by air freight (UAB)
                                                        will be based on actual weights, not on the estimated
     3)   sent by surface (HHE)
                                                        weight. At the time of the survey, discuss any items
     4)   put in storage
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                                                                                     Chapter 11 Packing to Go

that might need special handling. Authorization for           space to pack, such as the dining room table.
controlled storage must be included in the travel             Fragile items can be collected on the table and,
orders. Such authorization is obtainable from the             as they are packed, new items can be brought
employee’s Human Resources’ Technician in SA-3,               until all art objects, china, crystal, and so forth
Room 4240 (Tel: (202) 663-0405) upon presenta-                have been wrapped. (Each lampshade should be
tion of a certified appraisal confirming that the item        packed in its own carton).
(or set of items) to be stored is worth at least $2,100
and provided that there is funding to cover the extra     •	 Place	kitchen	utensils	on	the	counters	or	on	the	
expense (see Appendix, It’s Your Move).                      kitchen table.

To protect yourself against an overweight shipment,       Some people prefer to pack unbreakable items such
advise the packing company that it may not ship or        as clothing, linens, and personal papers themselves
store any weight in excess of your allowances without     to get them out of the way before the packers arrive.
your written consent.                                     Please note that since 9/11, many moving companies
                                                          will not accept any carton which is “PBO”—packed
                                                          by owner. In some cases, the moving company will
Before the Packers Arrive                                 permit the employee to pack the cartons, but to leave
                                                          them unsealed. When the packers arrive, they will
Prior to moving day, consider doing the following:        inspect the unsealed cartons and then seal them up,
                                                          thus taking responsibility for the cartons themselves. If
•	 Sort	out	items	for	shipping	and	storage.	Do	not	       the moving company agrees to limited self-packing,
   ship anything you could not bear to lose, should       they would also provide you with cartons, tape, and
   you have to leave post in an evacuation. Also          labels in advance. Basically, there is no longer a
   consider that household effects are sometimes          “PBO” designation.
   subjected to climatic extremes and rough han-
   dling.                                                 Personally pack small, high-value items such as cam-
                                                          eras, watches, and jewelry and include them in your
•	 Dismantle	outdoor	play	equipment	and	stereo	           accompanying baggage.
   and television sets. Repack in original cartons, if
   you saved them.                                        Packers are supposed to bring a scale for weighing
                                                          air freight as it is packed. In case they fail to bring
•	 Remove	pictures	and	mirrors	from	walls	and	            a scale, try to have a bathroom scale handy. Allow
   group together. Put a hammer, nails, and hangers       an extra 10-12 pounds per box for wrapping and
   in your UAB so they will be readily available when     banding, which will be done later. Because of the
   you start to hang pictures at your new post.           impossibility of keeping mobile scales calibrated,
                                                          their weights can only be considered an estimate. The
•	 Consider	having	your	area	rugs	cleaned	before	         employee should arrange to telephone the packer
   placing them in long term storage or shipping          the day after pack-out to check the final weight. On
   them overseas.                                         the day of packing, ask whether waterproof cartons
                                                          will be used. The lift vans themselves should also be
•	 Separate,	tag	with	different	colored	stickers,	or	     waterproofed.
   otherwise identify surface shipment, air freight
   shipment, and storage items. Indicate the desti-
   nation of drawer contents on the outside of the        When the Packers Arrive
   drawer. (Note that stickers should not be left on
   storage items, as damage may occur over the            For best results, it is essential for you to plan on be-
   years the items are stored).                           ing present during the entire pack-out. The person
                                                          who has organized the pack-out is always best able
•	 To	the	extent	possible,	divide	items	to	be	packed	     to answer the packers’ questions. When the pack-
   into “Fragile” and “Heavy” groups. Packers usu-        ers arrive, take them around your entire dwelling to
   ally start with fragile items and need to have a       indicate what needs to be packed. Marking all items

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Chapter 11 Packing to Go

with color-coded labels (e.g., green for HHE, red for       tory. You should make sure that a proper description
storage, or blue for air freight, etc.) and somewhat        of the condition of your goods is entered. Note any
grouping items according to destination helps im-           exceptions you may have to the condition descriptions
measurably to reduce packing mistakes. Once ev-             on the inventory next to the item number.
erything else has gone, don’t forget to remove these
labels from storage items, as they may damage your          Usually lift vans (huge crates of wood used for sea
furniture over time.                                        shipment) are loaded at your doorstep. Watch how
                                                            they are packed. Make certain that those cartons
It is preferable to pack air freight first; that way you    designated for storage are separated from those to
can add or subtract items according to weight. This is      be shipped. Specially mark cartons containing things
impossible if everything else is already packed. Next,      you may wish to locate easily. Be sure items are pro-
pack surface freight (HHE) and finally the storage          tected from each other with the heaviest ones at the
items. Schedules permitting, it may be possible to          bottom. Generally, packers do a meticulous job, but
pack the various categories on separate days.               should you have to give instructions, remember that
                                                            everything should be packed so solidly that nothing
In order to better supervise the packers, try to en-        can move even a fraction of an inch. Do not hesitate
list the help of friends or family. Especially if several   to telephone the Transportation Inspector (202-663-
packers come at once, it is very difficult for one per-     0961 or 202-663-0891/0892) if questions or prob-
son to supervise them all.                                  lems arise during pack-out in the United States.

The packers will place a number on each item or             On occasion, moving companies prefer to take your
carton and list it on their inventory sheets; for exam-     cartons and crates to their warehouse for packing
ple: #1 linens, #2 china, and #3 kitchen supplies.          into lift vans. Under no circumstances should this
You may also wish to use your own marking system            happen unless it has been previously cleared with a
to number each carton as it is filled and sealed. In a      Transportation Counselor before the company leaves
notebook, record a brief description of the contents,       your home. Taking loose cartons and items to the
which makes it easier to locate specific items upon         warehouse for packing increases the chances for loss
arrival at post. If any cartons are lost, it is then pos-   and confusion.
sible to determine quickly what is missing.
                                                            If the movers have to take anything apart, either ask
Be certain that every container or loose item has the       them to tape screws and the like in small plastic bags
packer’s inventory tag or tape on it and that each          or ask them to give you the screws to have readily
item is listed legibly on all inventory copies. (The        available when you start to unpack.
packer’s inventory will not be as detailed as the
ones you made earlier). The contents of cases, such         When the packers have finished, you will sign their in-
as a -violin case, should be listed separately on the       ventories for goods in shipment and in storage. These
inventory. As an extra precaution, write your name          are the only receipts you have for your goods. Take
and destination on the outside of each carton with a        part in seeing that they are accurate. The inventory
heavy black magic marker.                                   includes notation of the condition of separate pieces,
                                                            but contents of cartons are not listed in detail. Espe-
The packers should specially crate mirrors, paintings,      cially for items of high value, be sure the description
and similar items that are easily damaged or broken.        is adequate and the value noted. Hand carry copies
Made-to-measure wooden crates have to be agreed             of the inventories with you to post, and leave copies
upon at the time of the pre-pack survey. Dishes and         in a safe accessible place in the United States. You
glassware should be packed vertically with horizon-         will need the inventory when your shipment is deliv-
tal layers of cardboard between layers of china and         ered, when you receive your stored effects, and if you
glassware to minimize breakage risks.                       need to make a claim. You must refer to the inven-
                                                            tory of stored goods when you request an additional
Notations on the condition of your furniture—mars,          shipment to post of items from storage. If you should
scratches, worn places—will be entered on the inven-        need to retrieve items from storage before access

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                                                                                       Chapter 11 Packing to Go

or delivery at government expense is authorized, the        6-month extension (final maximum of 12 months). The
inventory can save you time and money. Any personal         Travel and Transportation Office has more informa-
inventory cannot serve as a substitute for the invento-     tion.
ries you receive from the packers.
                                                            In the event of an employee’s death overseas, goods
                                                            will continue to be stored at government expense for
Storage in the United States                                3 months. After that, the family must accept the goods
                                                            or assume storage expenses. HHE are shipped to any
When cartons are stored in the United States, the           point in the U.S. designated by the next of kin within
storage company will number each box. It is impor-          one year of the employee’s death.
tant for you to know exactly what each carton con-
tains since you might want to request some of the
cartons for a later shipment. The request for cartons       Unpacking at Your Destination
must be made by number. Individual items will not be
retrieved from boxes.                                       When your HHE are unloaded, check off each carton
                                                            or loose item’s number listed on your inventory. Any
It is also essential that this information be recorded      missing or damaged items should be noted on the
if, for some reason, you may wish to go into storage        movers’ inventory prior to signing it. You are entitled to
for items at your own expense. All arrangements for         have the movers unpack all your effects. However, you
gaining access to goods in storage must be made in          may wish to do some of your own unpacking later in
cooperation with the Transportation Operations Of-          order to know where things are stored. If you unpack
fice and the warehouse. The storage company cannot          yourself, note in writing at the bottom of the inven-
grant access without authorization by the Depart-           tory sheet that “the condition at the time of delivery is
ment. In order to gain access to goods in storage, it       unknown.”
is important for couples to draft a joint property state-
ment, in a similar format to the one appearing at the       Consider saving the original boxes for electronic
end of this chapter. The statement needs to be signed       equipment and other fragile items to have ready for
by both parties. An emailed or faxed permission sent        your next move.
to Transportation Operations to grant access may be
used in lieu of the formal property statement.
                                                            SUGGeSTeD DoS AnD Don’TS
Government-paid access to stored goods is allowed
for new employees preparing for a first tour or during      DOs
a transfer between overseas posts. Free access is also
                                                            •	 Read	It’s Your Move. (See “Resources,” page 100).
granted to employees awarded a Separate Mainte-
nance Allowance. At all other times (including evacu-
                                                            •	 Go	over	the	information	on	allowances	provided	
ation, home leave with return to post, and vacation
                                                               by the Transportation Operations Office and the
travel), access is at the employee’s expense ($150
                                                               post report.
for document preparation and a minimum charge
of $88 for one hour of labor). Retrieval and ship-
                                                            •	 Be	flexible	with	your	departure	time.	Allow	for	pos-
ment of goods from storage in divorce situations are
                                                               sible failure with packers to meet your deadline.
especially complex. Contact the Management Office
                                                               Do not plan on going directly to the airport from
at post or the Family Liaison Office (;
                                                               your final pack-out.
TEL: 202 647 1076).
                                                            •	 Visit	the	Transportation	Office	as	soon	as	you	
A retiring overseas employee has one year from the
                                                               know your preferred moving date so that a Trans-
last date in pay status to arrange delivery of goods
                                                               portation Counselor can select a packing compa-
from storage or shipment from post. This period may-
                                                               ny and schedule your move. Consider packing air
be extended to a final maximum of 18 months. An
                                                               freight, surface shipment, and storage on separate
employee retiring from the U.S. has 6 months from
                                                               days, if that wish can be accommodated.
the last day in pay status, but may be able to obtain a

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Chapter 11 Packing to Go

•	 Order	any	new	furniture	and/or	appliances	far	        DON’Ts
   enough in advance to be delivered to your home
   for pick-up with your other HHE.                      •	 Do	not	put	valuable	items,	such	as	silverware,	
                                                            heirlooms, furs, jewelry, and important docu-
•	 Be	sure	the	packer	provides	you	with	a	complete	         ments and papers, in storage with the rest of your
   and descriptive inventory showing the correct            effects. Employees should make copies of docu-
   number of items stored and shipped.                      ments to leave with family or friends.

•	 Be	sure	that	agreements	between	you	and	the	              Controlled storage may be authorized for cloth-
   packing company are in writing. Confirm all               ing, rugs, tapestries, paintings, other works of
   transactions with the Transportation Office.              art, silver and other non-furniture items of high
                                                             value. Furniture is not authorized controlled
•	 Advise	Transportation	Operations	of	your	travel	          storage. High-value items include non-furniture
   plans and a telephone number and/or address               items which: have value exceeding $2,100; are
   where you can be reached prior to or en route to          part of a set whose combined pieces exceed a
   your destination. You are responsible for staying         value of $2,100; are one-of-a-kind articles that
   in touch with Transportation.                             are irreplaceable and have a substantial, albeit
                                                             hard-to-determine monetary or insurable value;
•	 Check	with	Transportation	Operations	regarding	           and have special storage requirements. Notwith-
   controlled storage for valuable or irreplaceable          standing the $2,100 limit, controlled storage may
   items (with a certified appraisal value of at least       be authorized for usable (in working condition)
   $2,100) such as furs, tapestries, art, and rugs.          firearms. For more information on the availability
   Controlled storage must be written in your Travel         of controlled storage, talk with the Transportation
   Authorization by the employee’s Human Resourc-            Office.
   es’ Technician in SA-3, Room 4240; Tel: (202)
   663-0405/0442. (Please see Appendix of “It’s          •	 Do	not	leave	money	or	other	valuables	unpro-
   Your Move.”)                                             tected during the packing process.

•	 Make	certain	you	have	adequate	private	insur-         •	 Do	not	offer	alcoholic	drinks	to	packing	company	
   ance on your shipment and stored items for dam-          employees. You may want to have nonalcoholic
   age, loss, and replacement value. Also consider          refreshments available, hoping that special at-
   evacuation insurance (based on your destination).        tention paid to the movers will result in a positive
                                                            attitude and more productivity.
•	 When	you	receive	your	effects	at	your	post,	note	
   on the inventory or delivery receipt provided by
   the mover all exceptions as to loss or damage. If     SUGGeSTeD ITeMS FoR HoUSeHoLD
   you do not have time to open all cartons, sign the    SHIPMenT
   receipt by adding the proviso: “subject to further
                                                         Items that you will need vary from post to post. The
                                                         most important step in successfully packing just the
                                                         right things is research. Contact the Overseas Briefing
•	 Promptly	file	a	written	claim	with	the	moving	com-
                                                         Center and CLO Coordinator or Management Of-
   pany for any losses or damaged items. Under or-
                                                         ficer to find out as much as you can about your future
   dinary circumstances, if it turns you down—which
   it often does—you then apply to your own private
   insurance. If you do not have insurance, you can
                                                         Ask more than one person at post about what to
   then file a claim against the U.S. Government
                                                         bring. Do not assume that the first person you hear
   (see Chapter 6, “Insurance”) through the Claims
                                                         from has actually paid close attention to the size of
                                                         the beds or whether vacuum cleaners are provided.
                                                         Opinions will vary, so be sure to ask for the reasons
                                                         behind people’s suggestions.

92                                                           FSI Transition Center Overseas Briefing Center
                                                                                     Chapter 11 Packing to Go

Following are some general points to consider, based      7) Climate control: Ask what kind of heating and
on the experiences of other Foreign Service Officers         cooling exists at post, when it is turned on, and
and Families.                                                how it functions if the power supply is erratic. You
                                                             may appreciate an extra space heater or fan(s).
1) Furniture: Request a list of furnishings that will
   be provided, if any. Check whether items such          8) Electrical items: Verify with post whether you
   as computer desks, entertainment centers, child-          need to buy different electrical appliances, a mul-
   sized furniture, or sufficient bookshelves will be        tisystem television, an unlocked mobile phone, or
   available. Be sure to investigate before deciding         other items. (See Chapter 10, “Electricity, Televi-
   which larger items to take, since limited ware-           sion, DVDs, and Phones.”)
   house space may mean that you have to keep all
   of the government furnishings even if you bring        9) Clothing: Make sure that actual temperatures at
   some of your own.                                         post match your expectations (for instance, Mexi-
                                                             co City can be very cold, but some people do not
2) Mattresses: Mattresses in government housing              bring warm clothing because they imagine that
   vary in quality and comfort. Some people recom-           they will not need it). Check whether local shops
   mend shipping a memory foam pad, an air mat-              supply shoes and clothing in your size. It is hard
   tress, or even a complete mattress and box spring         to buy children’s clothing in advance, because
   set. Confirm the bed size and make sure that post         you never know how much they will grow. Try to
   can store items you prefer not to use.                    make other arrangements (see point 6 above). It
                                                             is also difficult to know what to bring in the way
3) Decorations: Bring anything that makes a new              of women’s clothing since fashions vary greatly
   place home. However, remember that you will               from post to post. Find out as much as you can
   probably pick up all kinds of wonderful new               in advance or wait to see and buy later. Some
   items. If you are not flexible about colors and           people suggest packing winter clothing, even if
   décor, bring sofa covers or textiles to place over        you are going to a tropical post, since you may
   embassy furniture.                                        end up traveling during the winter.

4) Priceless items: Do not bring anything that you        10) Computers: Hand carry a laptop if it is impor-
   absolutely cannot bear to lose; however, remem-            tant for you to have a computer immediately. Find
   ber that things can get lost or damaged in stor-           out if electronics are cheaper or more expensive
   age, too.                                                  at post before purchasing anything new. Bring
                                                              printer, scanner, paper, supplies, and anything
5) Books: Books are wonderful, but heavy. Find                else not available at post.
   out if there is a good English-language library or
   book exchange at post. Make sure that special          11) Cosmetics: Do not stock up too much. Large
   books are packed carefully.                                supplies can end up going out of fashion or out
                                                              of date. Take just enough to last until your next
6) Shopping plans: If you can receive packages via            trip or the arrival of your next visitor. Do find out
   APO or pouch, you will be able to shop online or           which items are not available locally (cotton balls,
   by mail, making it less essential to try to pack ev-       unscented soap, hypoallergenic products, and so
   erything you will need. Remember that, if you will         forth.)
   be in the Southern Hemisphere, U.S. companies
   may have difficulty filling out-of-season orders       12) Gifts and seasonal decor: Ask when (and what
   such as bathing suits in December or sweaters in           kind of) hostess gifts are expected and if there
   July.                                                      are special items you should bring (expensive or
                                                              hard to find at post). You may want a supply of
    Think about when you will be visiting the United          presents for children’s parties and special occa-
    States or when you will have visitors. You may be         sions, but remember that tastes change quickly.
    able to shop then or ask friends to bring a few           It is hard to gauge the exact need for these kinds
    extra items.
FSI Transition Center Overseas Briefing Center                                                                 93
Chapter 11 Packing to Go

     of things. You may also wish to include holiday         Other suggested items (adapt according to your pref-
     items.                                                  erences and what is available at post):

13) Kitchen: Find out which foods are available at           •	 automobile	parts	and	supplies	
    post and bring whatever cooking supplies you             •	 bicycles
                                                             •	 camping	and	picnic	gear	(cooler,	grill—especially		
    need. Ask if there are special items that are
                                                                if you like a certain kind of grill)
    particularly useful (large pot for boiling water, flat
                                                             •	 candles	(birthday	cake	and	decorative)
    rubber sink stoppers, ice cube trays, etc.)
                                                             •	 card	table	and	chairs	(may	be	available	from	the	
                                                                embassy if only needed occasionally)
     If anyone in your family has special dietary needs
                                                             •	 china/dishes/glassware/silverware
     or preferences, plan ahead. Items such as un-
                                                             •	 holiday	decorations	(perhaps	even	an	artificial	
     bleached flour, canned soups without MSG, or
                                                                tree. Find out what will be available locally.)
     specialty products may not be available. It may
                                                             •	 flashlights,	batteries,	rechargeable	lamps
     be worth using a little of your shipment weight
                                                             •	 Flower	vases	and	any	flower-arranging	supplies	
     on certain foods, even if you are not going to a
                                                                you use
     consumables post.
                                                             •	 freezer	wrap	and	bags	(an	upright	freezer	is	often	
                                                                provided at post, and you may want to stock up
14) Hobbies: If you quilt, sew, or do crafts, be sure
                                                                on and freeze items unavailable year-round.)
    to ask what supplies are available locally. You
                                                             •	 household	tools	that	you	regularly	use,	nails,	
    may want to stock up on fabrics, notions, or pat-
                                                                screws, picture-hanging supplies, extension cords,
                                                                any electrical supplies
                                                             •	 paper	products—again,	ask	what	is	available	
15) Vacuum cleaners: Some posts offer these, some
                                                                locally. You may want decorative paper napkins
    do not. In some cases, if the post vacuum breaks,
                                                                or paper plates, gift wrap, cards, transparent tape
    it will not be fixed or replaced. Is a vacuum even
                                                                if you want U.S. quality, envelopes if you need
    needed? A “stick” vacuum is lightweight and easy
                                                                a certain size, such as #10 business envelopes,
    to pack, but it may not do as good a job, while a
                                                                post-it notes, or other office supplies. If you are
    floor steamer can be useful for large areas of tile.
                                                                heading to the tropics, stick strips of waxed paper
                                                                in the envelope flaps so they will not stick together.
16) Pet supplies: Check on the availability and cost
                                                                If you do not have time for this, some people swear
    of these, especially if you have a “picky” pet.
                                                                by putting them in the freezer after unpacking.
                                                             •	 photo	albums.	You	may	want	to	copy	irreplace-
17) Miscellaneous: Some people suggest bringing
                                                                able pictures, such as historic family photos, and
    wastebaskets, on the theory that you can never
                                                                leave the originals someplace safe.
    have too many. On the other hand, there is prob-
                                                             •	 sports	equipment	and	supplies	(tennis	balls,	golf	
    ably something at post that would do. Find out if
    you should bring: extra telephones (and, if so, if
    you will need special adapters to plug them in);
    shower curtains and hooks (plus rods if needed);         BAGGAGe
    bathroom hooks or organizers; extra lamps; or
    occasional tables. Also bring lots of clothes hang-      Your personal (as
    ers and whatever linens you normally use—hav-            opposed to house-
    ing verified, of course, the size of your new beds.      hold) effects travel
                                                             as either accompa-
18) Cleaning products: If you think you might hire           nied or unaccom-
    household help, you may want to stick with local         panied air baggage
    products, since your staff will know how to use
                                                             (UAB). Security concerns may affect what you are
    them. Bring anything needed for special items
    such as non-stick pans.                                  allowed to pack. Please check with your airline before
                                                             preparing your bags.

94                                                               FSI Transition Center Overseas Briefing Center
                                                                                       Chapter 11 Packing to Go

Accompanied Air Baggage                                     •	 Pack	everything	snugly,	being	sure	that	break-
                                                               able items are fully cushioned by soft items. Leave
Weight Allowance (14 FAM 568)                                  no empty spaces and use underwear, socks,
The amount of baggage allowed to passengers                    and so forth for cushioning. Consider using “defla-
without charge varies by airline according to class of         tors,” which compact garments to take much less
service, ownership (American/foreign), and depar-              space.
ture location. Pets are not included in your baggage
allowance. Confirm baggage allowances with your             •	 Include	a	family	medical	kit.		(See	Chapter	5,	
airline.                                                       “Medical Information and Issues.”)

A traveler leaving the United States on an American         •	 Check with the airline to determine acceptable
flag carrier (AFC) is usually entitled to take two pieces      carry-on and checked suitcase size and weight.
of luggage each weighing 50 pounds for a maximum               The maximum size for luggage is determined
of 100 pounds. This brings the maximum in line with            in “linear inches,” which means length, width,
domestic flights.                                              and girth added together. This number may vary
                                                               depending on which airline you use.
If the traveler flies all the way to his/her destina-
tion on the AFC, there is no problem. If the traveler       •	 Weigh	your	suitcases	on	bathroom	scales	to	
changes to a foreign flag carrier (FFC) en route,              estimate whether they will fall within the airline’s
and the luggage is “interlined” (i.e., not weighed             weight requirement. Stop when you are just short
before being put on the FFC), there is likewise no             of the maximum weight limit and consider whether
problem. However, if the luggage is weighed before             you need to allow for purchases en route.
being placed on the FFC, then the traveler may have
to pay overweight charges since the economy class           •	 Pack	your	accompanying	air	baggage	so	that	
weight allowance on most FFCs is 44 pounds. So if              you do not have to open every bag at every stop.
you board with 100 pounds, you will be 56 pounds               If possible, pack in such a way that one bag will
overweight.                                                    suffice for the whole family during stopovers.

Travelers who submit receipts for excess baggage            •	 Remember	that	every	member	of	your	family	may	
charges may be reimbursed for the difference be-               carry certain items as cabin luggage. Be sure
tween the AFC and FFC baggage allowances.                      that everything needed for the flight is in the flight
However, the State Department will not reimburse               bag. Depending on security measures, this may
individual bags that are overweight (more than 50              be a good place for perfumes, cosmetics, or and
pounds) or which are oversized.                                other liquids that might be damaged by freezing
                                                               or low air pressure. You should also carry your
When travel begins on a foreign flag carrier overseas,         important papers in a briefcase or even a small
the traveler may take the local checked baggage                suitcase as a “traveling desk.”
weight for first class passengers even when travel-
ing on an economy class ticket. On most FFCs, the           •	 Your	flight	bag	is	sometimes	weighed	with	your	
first class baggage weight allowance is 66 pounds.             luggage and always passes through security
If a U.S. Government excess baggage authorization              inspection prior to takeoff.
ticket (GEBAT) cannot be issued to pay for the excess
weight charges, the traveler may pay for them directly      •	 If	you	use	old	luggage,	be	sure	that	it	will	stand	
and claim them as a miscellaneous expense docu-                the trip. If fastenings are weak, put some kind of
mented (with a receipt) on his or her travel voucher.          extra belt around the bag, such as the web belts
                                                               found at luggage and surplus stores. If you buy
Content of Accompanied Air Baggage                             new luggage, buy lightweight, durable pieces.
(Your Personal Luggage)
Items in your suitcases may be the only possessions         •	 Tag	each	piece	on	the	outside	and	tape	a	paper	
you will have for several weeks or more.                       with your name and destination inside. It is help-

FSI Transition Center Overseas Briefing Center                                                                   95
Chapter 11 Packing to Go

     ful to mark luggage for easy identification with       •	    calculator
     some distinctive color or symbol, such as a large      •	    playing	cards	or	other	small	games
     square of plastic tape or colorful heavy yarn tied     •	    CD	player	and	CDs	or	MP3	player
     at the handle beside the luggage tags. Use lug-        •	    stamps	(ask	if	needed—you	may	be	able	to	get	
     gage tags to indicate your flight itinerary and to           these at APO)
     provide telephone contact numbers in the case of       •	    stationery
     loss or delay.                                         •	    adapter	plugs,	if	needed	right	away	
                                                            •	    any	essential	kitchen	items	not	provided	in	wel-
•	 Because	of	security	considerations,	travelers	are	             come kit
   often not permitted to lock their luggage, or they       •	    clothes	hangers	(check	how	many	will	be	in	the	
   can only lock luggage after it has been inspected.             welcome kit)
   Thus, the traveler might want to have luggage            •	    flashlight	with	new	batteries
   locks and keys available in case there is an op-         •	    needles,	thread,	few	buttons,	snaps,	hooks	and	
   portunity to lock luggage. It is also possible to              eyes, safety pins
   purchase locks that are acceptable to the TSA            •	    laundry	bags,	if	you	use	them
   and that only they can open with a special key.          •	    rain	gear,	umbrella	(if	likely	to	be	needed)
   Finally, it is possible to purchase plastic security     •	    travel	alarm	clock	with	new	batteries
   seals which can be broken easily but that also in-       •	    anything	else	that	will	make	you	feel	more	com-
   dicate clearly that the luggage has been opened.               fortable and at home in an empty, unfamiliar
                                                                  place including “fun” or decorative items, family
Suggested Items for Accompanied Air Baggage                       photos, etc.
Ask your sponsor what will be in your housing when          •	    (lightweight)	projects	for	accompanying	family	
you arrive. Someone may be purchasing basic food                  members if you will spend time “in limbo,” e.g.,
supplies. You may request specific items if there is              photos albums to organize, books you would like
something essential to you (such as coffee). Offer to             to read, language learning aids, or other things
reimburse others for purchases made on your behalf.               that will give you a feeling of accomplishment
                                                                  while waiting for your shipments to arrive.
Verify the contents and availability of post welcome
kits. Ask for an honest opinion of the quality (Some
people complain about cheap sheets and towels).             Unaccompanied Air Freight
When will you need to return the kit? If you have to
return it when your air freight arrives, make sure that     The purpose of sending a portion of your household
you send basic household items in your UAB.                 effects by air freight is to enable you to set up light
                                                            housekeeping at once. Again, verify details regarding
Suggested items to pack:                                    welcome kits; find out what will be provided and how
                                                            long you can keep it.
•				clothes:	Make	sure	you	have	one	or	two	outfits	
     for dressy functions, work clothes, comfy clothes           Unaccompanied Air Freight Allowance Chart
     for relaxing or sports activities, maybe even a few
     items for the next season if it is possible that you    Family                   Gross Weight (includes all
     may need them. (Your UAB may be delayed)                                         packing material, contain-
•				photos                                                                           ers, boxes)
•	 pet	food	(if	animal	needs	particular	brand)
                                                             1st person               250 pounds
•	 Swiss	army	knife	or	all-in-one	tool	(not	allowed	in	
     carry-on luggage)                                       2nd person               200 pounds
•	 small	toolbox	for	doing	minor	repairs	if	you	are	a	
     fix-it type                                             3rd person               150 pounds
•	 basic	home	office	or	school	supplies	such	as	
     tape, mini stapler, pens, pencils, notebook, scis-      Each additional          100 pounds
     sors, mini pencil sharpener                             person

96                                                                FSI Transition Center Overseas Briefing Center
                                                                                      Chapter 11 Packing to Go

Also check with post for a realistic estimate on how       •	   more	hangers
long air freight should take; it usually arrives within    •	   books,	games
three to four weeks of pack-out. Since your house-         •	   more	photos
hold effects may not arrive for two to five months         •	   cosmetics	and	toiletries
(in very exceptional cases), take stock of your family     •	   basic	kitchen	items,	including	small	electric	appli-
needs and interests and pack the air freight accord-            ances, spices and condiments, and a cookbook
ingly. Find out if you will spend time in temporary             or two
quarters: you may not want to unpack your air freight      •	   seasonal	decorations,	gifts,	etc.,	if	likely	to	be	
just to pack it up again.                                       needed before HHE arrives
                                                           •	   electrical	supplies	
Remember that even your air shipment may be                •	   office	supplies
delayed, so do not absolutely count on its prompt          •	   more	basic	tools
arrival. If you really need something, take it with you.   •	   anything	from	the	“Accompanied	Air	Baggage”	
Ask if there are items that people at post typically            list that didn’t fit
lend to one another during the arrival process (e.g.,
toys, DVDs, kitchen utensils).
                                                           ConSUMABLeS ALLoWAnCe
Have air freight packed before household effects so
                                                           Some Foreign Service posts provide the employee an
excess weight can be removed and sent with your
                                                           additional weight allowance for consumables. This
household effects. Keep in mind the high risk of
                                                           allowance is meant to offset difficulties caused by the
breakage of china and glassware sent by air. Con-
                                                           shortage or unavailability of certain foodstuffs, paper
sider purchasing attractive plastic dishes and glasses
                                                           products, and other personal or household main-
that can be used for picnics later. Ship small appli-
                                                           tenance items. Consumables are used up. They do
ances in their original cartons, if available.
                                                           not wear out. Thus, articles such as tires may not be
                                                           shipped as consumables (they belong in HHE). Up to
Do not pack anything in your air baggage or air
                                                           2,500 pounds of consumables may be shipped for
freight that could be damaged by freezing or any
                                                           a two-year tour of duty, although this amount does
liquids that are not absolutely escape proof. Unpres-
                                                           not have to be shipped all at once. Because of cost,
surized and unheated compartments at high altitudes
                                                           availability and shelf-life considerations, it is often
can cause things to freeze or the contents of bottles
                                                           best to order consumables in several installments. If
and tubes to be sucked outward by low air pressure.
                                                           the tour is extended by a year, another 1,250 pounds
Screw type plastic bottles packed inside leak-proof
                                                           may be added.
plastic bags are best for transporting liquids.
                                                           Contact Transportation for more information (Trans-
Do not pack flammable or explosive items, such as
lighter fluid, matches, aerosol cans, nail polish, or
polish remover in air cargo.
                                                           Check with post and the Overseas Briefing Center for
                                                           suggested items to purchase; these differ from post
Suggested Items for Air Freight
                                                           to post. The OBC also provides a list of suggested
(See Chapter 15, “Children in the Foreign Service,”
                                                           sources for making purchases. Bear in mind that
for additional suggestions on packing for children):
                                                           availability at post may change rapidly.
•	 linens,	if	you	prefer	not	to	use	those	from	the	
                                                     Some suggestions when planning consumables pur-
   welcome kit or if a welcome kit is not available
•	 pillows
•	 CD	player	or	stereo	and	CDs	or	tapes
                                                     •	 Get	specific	information	from	more	than	one	
•	 TV/VCR/DVD	player	(if	not	available	to	borrow	or	
                                                        person, if possible, about what is available and
   rent at post)
                                                        affordable at your particular post. To aid you, ask
•	 microwave	(if	not	provided)
                                                        the Overseas Briefing Center for Personal Post
•	 clothing—including	for	the	next	season,	in	case	
                                                        Insights. There will be a cost of living allowance
   HHE is delayed
FSI Transition Center Overseas Briefing Center                                                                  97
Chapter 11 Packing to Go

     (COLA) to offset the cost if items are available at   FIReARMS AnD AMMUnITIon
     post but very expensive.
                                                           If you plan to ship firearms, read the post report
•	 Before	planning	purchases,	keep	track	of	the	           to determine any restrictions or limitations in effect
   items your household uses in a week (or, better         at your post. Arrange to have firearms registered
   yet, a month). Use this to determine amounts.           with U.S. Customs before they are shipped from the
                                                           United States (Customs Form 4457) as proof that
•	 Check	expiration	dates.	It	is	possible	to	lay	in	a	     you took the firearms from the United States. This will
   two-year supply of some things (shampoo), but           simplify reentry. Note: the U.S. Government will not
   impossible for other things (crackers). Make sure       ship ammunition under any circumstance.
   food is not packed together with laundry deter-
   gent or it will end up smelling and tasting like
   soap!                                                   ITeMS noT CoVeReD In U.S.
                                                           GoVeRnMenT ALLoWAnCeS
•	 Find	out	the	rules	on	follow-up	consumables	            Boats, outboard motors, aircraft, construction ma-
   orders. For a two-year posting, items can be            terials, animals, and plants are not officially consid-
   ordered during the first year. For a three-year         ered personal or household effects and may not be
   posting, items can be ordered through the second        shipped or stored at U.S. Government expense. If you
   year with an amendment to the travel order which        want to ship any of these items at your own expense,
   usually is valid for only one year. Keep track of       check the post report or contact the embassy to which
   the shipment weight so you can use your remain-         you are assigned to see if the item(s) may be im-
   ing pounds if you need them. Keep track of what         ported.
   you originally paid for goods so that if you sell
   them at the end of a tour, you can charge exactly
   the same amount.                                        InSURAnCe
                                                           Throughout the moving process, your belongings are
TRACKInG SHIPMenTS                                         subjected to multiple handlings, stresses, and strains.
                                                           Damage or loss can occur despite care taken in both
If your shipment is being sent “ITGBL” (International      packing and shipping. Therefore, purchasing ad-
Through Government Bill of Lading), you would              equate private insurance is an absolute necessity.
contact the ITGBL company to track the progress of
your goods. In this case, the company is responsible       The Military Personnel and Civilian Employees’
for your goods from start to finish. In fact, the ITGBL    Claims Act of 1964 (14 FAM 640) does not provide
company is supposed to contact you to report on            full insurance. Rather, it functions only as a minimal
progress.                                                  safety net in those instances where an employee has
                                                           no private insurance or where private insurance is
On the other hand, if your goods are being sent            disallowed. (See Chapter 6, “Insurance,” for more
“DPM,” (Direct Procurement Method), and if you             information.)
have access to the INTRANET, you can track the
progress of your goods on ILMS (the Integrated Logis-      The Act authorizes payment for personal property
tics Management System).                                   only. It does not provide a remedy for consequential
                                                           damages or other types of expenses such as loss
Finally, it is always possible to contact State Trans-     of use, interest, carrying charges, cost of lodging
portation to inquire about shipments sent out by the       or food while awaiting arrival of shipment, attorney
Transportation Office (Tel: 800-424-2947; 202 663          fees, telephone calls, cost of transporting claimant or
0891.) Questions may also be asked via e-mail:             family members (car rentals), inconvenience and time                             spent in preparation of claim, or cost of insurance

98                                                             FSI Transition Center Overseas Briefing Center
                                                                                       Chapter 11 Packing to Go

A list of high-value items (more than $1,000) should         noTe To neW eMPLoYeeS
be filed with the Claims Office in the State Depart-
ment. Thus, value and ownership will already have            As you prepare to come to Washington, you will
been established if there is need to file a claim            probably not know your overseas destination. You
against the U.S. Government. (See “Personal Inven-           can facilitate your subsequent move abroad if you
tory,” above).                                               carefully follow the packing suggestions in this sec-
                                                             tion, taking special care to:
A “Personal Articles Floater Policy” (or “Valuable Per-
sonal Property Policy”) can provide additional cover-        •	 Prepare	a	complete	inventory	of	your	household	
age for individual high-value items that have been              and personal goods
professionally appraised (i.e., jewelry, silverware, art).
                                                             •	 Plan	what	you	might	take	abroad	if	authorized	
To file a claim against the U.S. Government, the em-            a limited shipment of effects (the shipment you
ployee needs to keep several points in mind. Within             get if traveling to a furnished post) and see that
75 days of receipt of the goods, the Claims Office in           these items are packed separately from those that
the Division of Travel and Transportation must receive          would remain in storage
indication of intent to file a claim. The claim should
be filed within one year of receipt of goods. The            As the packers fill out their inventory sheets, be
amount the employee receives may be reduced if he/           certain that you can identify cartons and items by the
she waits longer than one year (and a maximum of             number placed on each piece. It might be useful to
two years).                                                  keep a small notebook and enter the packer’s num-
                                                             ber with a brief notation of carton contents or de-
Forms needed to file the claim should be available           scription of individual items. When you receive your
from the General Services Officer (GSO) at post or           assignment you can easily notify the storage company
on Info forms (DS - 1620 - Claim for Personal Prop-          or the department warehouse regarding the effects
erty; 1620A - Claims Investigating Officer’s Report;         you wish shipped abroad.
1620B - Demand on Carrier; 1620C - Schedule of
Property; 1620E - Notice of Intent to File Claim for
Loss and/or Damage). The Transportation Division
has also finalized EZ-Claims, which permits the elec-
tronic filing of claims against the U.S. Government.
“Fast Track” already exists for claims of less than
$1,000 (Form DS - 1620F). Transportation also has
a claims site on the intranet, which provides much
useful information (

FSI Transition Center Overseas Briefing Center                                                                   99
Chapter 11 Packing to Go

ReSoURCeS                                                Transition Center Overseas Briefing Center
It’s Your Move—                                          Room E2126
comprehensive Transportation publication                 Tel: (703) 302-7277
Internet:                     Fax: (703) 302-7452
(password: “logistics”)                                  E-mail:
Intranet: Go to State I-Net Home page. In upper right    Intranet Post Info To Go:
hand corner, type in: “It’s Your Move.”        

Transportation Operations Branch                         Related training videos can be viewed on site or
(A/LM/OPS/TTM)                                           checked out for two days from the OBC Information
5th Floor, 2121 Virginia Ave.                            Center.
Department of State
Washington, DC 20037                                     Transition Center Training Division (M/FSI/TC/T)
Tel: (202) 647-4140                                      Foreign Service Life Skills Training
Toll-free: (800) 424-2947                                Tel: (703) 302-7268
“Transportation Lite” has replaced WebMove. It
is availabe only for employees who have an ILMS          Related Transition Center Training
logon. Please see the Appendix of “It’s My Move” for     Regulations, Allowances and Finances in the Foreign
additional information.                                  Service Context (MQ 104)
                                                         Going Overseas for Singles and Couples without
Foreign Service Institute Transition Center              Children (MQ 200)
(M/FSI/TC)                                               Going Overseas for Families and Couples with Chil-
George P Shultz National Foreign Affairs Training        dren (MQ 210)
Center (SA-42)                                           Going Overseas – Logistics for Adults (MQ 220)
Department of State                                      Going Overseas – Logistics for Children (MQ 230)
Washington, DC 20522-4202                      
Physical location: 4000 Arlington Blvd., Arlington, VA
(do not send mail to this address)

Directions, maps, parking and other information htm

100                                                          FSI Transition Center Overseas Briefing Center
                                                                         Chapter 11 Packing to Go


                                 JoInT PRoPeRTY STATeMenT

              We declare that the property being stored at government expense is the joint
       property of _______________________________________________________ and
       ____________________________________________________ and either party may
       have access to these effects.

                      1.     Date: __________________

                             Signature: ___________________________________

                      2.     Date: __________________

                             Signature: ___________________________________

       Name of storage company:

       Address: ___________________________________________________


       Date entered into storage: _____________________________________

       Invoice No. ________________________________________________

       Notarized by: _______________________________________________

       Date: _______________________________

FSI Transition Center Overseas Briefing Center                                               101

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