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Title 49 Part 378

Title 49 → Subtitle B → Chapter III → Subchapter B → Part 378

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 49 Part 378

e-CFR data is current as of November 15, 2019

Title 49Subtitle BChapter IIISubchapter B → Part 378


Title 49: Transportation


PART 378—PROCEDURES GOVERNING THE PROCESSING, INVESTIGATION, AND DISPOSITION OF OVERCHARGE, DUPLICATE PAYMENT, OR OVERCOLLECTION CLAIMS


Contents
§378.1   Applicability.
§378.2   Definitions.
§378.3   Filing and processing claims.
§378.4   Documentation of claims.
§378.5   Investigation of claims.
§378.6   Claim records.
§378.7   Acknowledgment of claims.
§378.8   Disposition of claims.
§378.9   Disposition of unidentified payments, overcharges, duplicate payments, and overcollections not supported by claims.

Authority: 49 U.S.C. 13321, 14101, 14704 and 14705; and 49 CFR 1.87.

Source: 43 FR 41040, Sept. 14, 1978, unless otherwise noted. Redesignated at 61 FR 54707, Oct. 21, 1996.

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§378.1   Applicability.

The regulations set forth in this part govern the processing of claims for overcharge, duplicate payment, or overcollection for the transportation of property in interstate or foreign commerce by motor carriers and household goods freight forwarders subject to 49 U.S.C. subtitle IV, part B.

[43 FR 41040, Sept. 14, 1978, as amended at 51 FR 44297, Dec. 9, 1986; 62 FR 15424, Apr. 1, 1997; 81 FR 68346, Oct. 4, 2016]

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§378.2   Definitions.

(a) Carrier means a motor carrier or household goods freight forwarder subject to 49 U.S.C. subtitle IV, part B.

(b) Overcharge means an overcharge as defined in 49 U.S.C. 14704(b). It also includes duplicate payments as defined in paragraph (c) of this section and overcollections as defined in paragraph (d) of this section when a dispute exists between the parties concerning such charges.

(c) Duplicate payment means two or more payments for transporting the same shipment. Where one or more payment is not in the exact amount of the applicable tariff rates and charges, refunds shall be made on the basis of the excess amount over the applicable tariff rates and charges.

(d) Overcollection means the receipt by a household goods carrier of a payment in excess of the transportation and/or accessorial charges applicable to a particular shipment of household goods, as defined in part 375 of this chapter, under tariffs lawfully on file with the United States Department of Transportation's Surface Transportation Board.

(e) Unidentified payment means a payment which a carrier has received but which the carrier is unable to match with its open accounts receivable or otherwise identify as being due for the performance of transportation services.

(f) Claimant means any shipper or receiver, or its authorized agent, filing a request with a carrier for the refund of an overcharge, duplicate payment, or overcollection.

[43 FR 41040, Sept. 14, 1978, as amended at 44 FR 66832, Nov. 21, 1979; 51 FR 34989, Oct. 1, 1986; 51 FR 44297, Dec. 9, 1986; 62 FR 15424, Apr. 1, 1997; 81 FR 68346, Oct. 4, 2016]

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§378.3   Filing and processing claims.

(a) A claim for overcharge, duplicate payment, or overcollection shall not be paid unless filed in writing with the carrier that collected the transportation charges. The collecting carrier shall be the carrier to process all such claims. When a claim is filed with another carrier that participated in the transportation, that carrier shall transmit the claim to the collecting carrier within 15 days after receipt of the claim. If the collecting carrier is unable to dispose of the claim for any reason, the claim may be filed with or transferred to any participating carrier for final disposition.

(b) A single claim may include more than one shipment provided the claim on each shipment involves:

(1) The same tariff issue or authority or circumstances,

(2) Single line service by the same carrier, or

(3) Service by the same interline carriers.

[43 FR 41040, Sept. 14, 1978, as amended at 47 FR 12804, Mar. 25, 1982; 83 FR 16225, Apr. 16, 2018]

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§378.4   Documentation of claims.

(a) Claims for overcharge, duplicate payment, or overcollection shall be accompanied by sufficient information to allow the carriers to conduct an investigation and pay or decline the claim within the time limitations set forth in §378.8. Claims shall include the name of the claimant, its file number, if any, and the amount of the refund sought to be recovered, if known.

(b) Claims for overcharge shall be accompanied by the freight bill. Additional information may include, but is not limited to, the following:

(1) The rate, classification, or commodity description or weight claimed to have been applicable.

(2) Complete tariff authority for the rate, classification, or commodity description claimed.

(3) Freight bill payment information.

(4) Other documents or data which is believed by claimant to substantiate the basis for its claim.

(c) Claims for duplicate payment and overcollection shall be accompanied by the freight bill(s) for which charges were paid and by freight bill payment information.

(d) Regardless of the provisions of paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) of this section, the failure to provide sufficient information and documentation to allow a carrier to conduct an investigation and pay or decline the claim within the allowable time limitation shall not constitute grounds for disallowance of the claim. Rather, the carrier shall comply with §378.5(c) to obtain the additional information required.

(e) A carrier shall accept copies instead of the original documents required to be submitted in this section where the carrier is furnished with an agreement entered into by the claimant which indemnifies the carrier for subsequent duplicate claims which might be filed and supported by the original documents.

[43 FR 41040, Sept. 14, 1978, as amended at 44 FR 4679, Jan. 23, 1979; 47 FR 12804, Mar. 25, 1982; 62 FR 15424, Apr. 1, 1997; 83 FR 16225, Apr. 16, 2018]

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§378.5   Investigation of claims.

(a) Upon receipt of a claim, whether written or otherwise, the processing carrier shall promptly initiate an investigation and establish a file, as required by §378.6.

(b) If a carrier discovers an overcharge, duplicate payment, or overcollection which has not been the subject of a claim, it shall promptly initiate an investigation and comply with the provisions in §378.9.

(c) In the event the carrier processing the claim requires information or documents in addition to that submitted with the claim, the carrier shall promptly notify the claimant and request the information required. This includes notifying the claimant that a written claim must be filed before the carrier becomes subject to the time limits for settling such a claim under §378.8.

[43 FR 41040, Sept. 14, 1978, as amended at 47 FR 12804, Mar. 25, 1982; 62 FR 15424, 15425, Apr. 1, 1997; 83 FR 16225, Apr. 16, 2018]

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§378.6   Claim records.

At the time a claim is received the carrier shall create a separate file and assign it a successive claim file number and note that number on all documents filed in support of the claim and all records and correspondence with respect to the claim, including the written acknowledgment of receipt required under §378.7. If pertinent to the disposition of the claim, the carrier shall also note that number on the shipping order and delivery receipt, if any, covering the shipment involved.

[47 FR 12804, Mar. 25, 1982, as amended at 62 FR 15425, Apr. 1, 1997; 83 FR 16225, Apr. 16, 2018]

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§378.7   Acknowledgment of claims.

Upon receipt of a written claim, the carrier shall acknowledge its receipt in writing to the claimant within 30 days after the date of receipt except when the carrier shall have paid or declined in writing within that period. The carrier shall include the date of receipt in its written claim, which shall be placed in the file for that claim.

[83 FR 16225, Apr. 16, 2018]

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§378.8   Disposition of claims.

The processing carrier shall pay, decline to pay, or settle each written claim within 60 days after its receipt by that carrier, except where the claimant and the carrier agree in writing to a specific extension based upon extenuating circumstances. If the carrier declines to pay a claim or makes settlement in an amount different from that sought, the carrier shall notify the claimant in writing of the reason(s) for its action, citing tariff authority or other pertinent information developed as a result of its investigation.

[83 FR 16225, Apr. 16, 2018]

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§378.9   Disposition of unidentified payments, overcharges, duplicate payments, and overcollections not supported by claims.

(a)(1) Carriers shall establish procedures for identifying and properly applying all unidentified payments. If a carrier does not have sufficient information with which properly to apply such a payment, the carrier shall notify the payor of the unidentified payment within 60 days of receipt of the payment and request information which will enable it to identify the payment. If the carrier does not receive the information requested within 90 days from the date of the notice, the carrier may treat the unidentified payment as a payment in fact of freight charges owing to it. Following the 90-day period, the regular claims procedure under this part shall be applicable.

(2) Notice shall be in writing and clearly indicate that it is a final notice and not a bill. Notice shall include: The check number, amount, and date; the payor's name; and any additional basic information the carrier is able to provide. The final notice also must inform payor that: (i) Applicable regulations allow the carrier to conditionally retain the payment as revenue in the absence of a timely response by the payor; and (ii) following the 90-day period the regular claims procedure shall be applicable.

(3) Upon a carrier's receipt of information from the payor, the carrier shall, within 14 days: (i) Make a complete refund of such funds to the payor; or (ii) notify the payor that the information supplied is not sufficient to identify the unapplied payment and request additional information; or (iii) notify the payor of the carrier's determination that such payment was applicable to particular freight charges lawfully due the carrier. Where no refund is made by the carrier, the carrier shall advise the payor of its right to file a formal claim for refund with the carrier in accordance with the regular claims procedure under this part.

(b) When a carrier which participates in a transportation movement, but did not collect the transporation charges, finds that an overpayment has been made, that carrier shall immediately notify the collecting carrier. When the collecting carrier (when single or joint line haul) discovers or is notified by such a participating carrier that an overcharge, duplicate payment, or overcollection exists for any tranportation charge which has not been the subject of a claim, the carrier shall create a file as if a claim had been submitted and shall record in the file the date it discovered or was notified of the overpayment. The carrier that collected the charges shall then refund the amount of the overpayment to the person who paid the transportation charges or to the person that made duplicate payment within 30 days from the date of such discovery or notification.

[43 FR 41040, Sept. 14, 1978, as amended at 44 FR 66832, Nov. 21, 1979]

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