Removal of effects (including baggage entitlements)

(1)     At the first part of its 21st session (April 1960: CO-ORDINATION/R.325, Annex I) CCAQ agreed that General Service staff were eligible for removal of household effects if they were also eligible for home leave.

(2)     At the second part of the 21st session (August 1960: CO-ORDINATION/R.336, paras. 32-34) CCAQ discussed the question of "excess baggage" entitlement for staff assigned for temporary duty in circumstances which gave no entitlement to removal of household effects. Views were divided, and it appeared that practices of organizations differed. UN undertook to compile and circulate a compendium of practices.

(3)     At the 23rd session (March 1962: CO-ORDINATION/R.391, paras. 54-55) the Committee agreed that the question needed review and asked UN to prepare a study.

(4)     Information on organizations' practices on excess baggage entitlements for air travel is contained in CO-ORDINATION/CC.24/7.

(5)     In October 1965 a CCAQ Working Party recommended certain changes in baggage entitlements and removal conditions. The report (CO-ORDINATION/CC/SO/133) was examined at the 27th session of CCAQ (March 1966: CO-ORDINATION/R.532, paras. 56-64), at which:

     (a)     organizations considered that there was no need to change their existing removal limits;

     (b)     CCAQ agreed that, subject to the elaboration of detailed provisions, costs of transporting a car to a duty station should be paid:

  1. in the case of new appointments to a field duty station outside Europe or North America, but only if

    • shipment was necessary in the interests of the organization and of the well-being of the staff member and his dependants, and reasonable in all the circumstances (including port of shipment in relation to nearest source of supply);

  2. in the case of change of duty station if
    • shipment was reasonable in all the circumstances, and

    • the duration of the assignment at the new duty station was to be at least two years.

     Under both (i) and (ii) shipment should be subject to the condition that if the car was sold within three years (or before the end of the appointment if that was less than three years) the staff member should normally be required to reimburse the cost of the freight on the car;

     (c)     CCAQ agreed that, where there was no entitlement to full removal, baggage entitlement should be:

600 kg. gross (including packing) for the staff member 400 kg. gross for a dependent spouse 200 kg. gross for each dependent child subject to an overall maximum of 1,600 kg. Unused entitlement should not be available for shipment of a car;

     (d)     CCAQ agreed that when an official was assigned from a duty station to which he had enjoyed full removal to a duty station with no removal entitlement the organization should reimburse actual storage costs of a reasonable quantity of household effects, provided the official was expected to return to the same duty station. Where this was not the case, alternative arrangements might be made by mutual agreement.

(6)     At its 28th session (March 1967: CO-ORDINATION/R.604, para. 60) CCAQ elaborated detailed administrative conditions to cover shipment of cars under the 1966 agreement.

(7)     At its 33rd session (March 1971: CO-ORDINATION/R.863, paras. 45-46) CCAQ requested the UN and the UNDP to review the list of duty stations to which staff might ship private vehicles at the partial expense of the employing organization. Revisions to the existing list would be cleared by correspondence. CCAQ also confirmed its 1966 agreement that organizations should contribute to costs of shipment of vehicles if the assignment was expected to be for two years or more, regardless of the staff member's existing duration of contract.

(8)     At its 35th session (March 1972: CO-ORDINATION/R.931, paras. 45-47) CCAQ agreed:

     (a)     subject to a reservation by WHO which wished to check with its regional offices, a revised list of duty stations to which cars could be shipped at official expense on initial appointment or change of duty station (see ibid., Annex G,4). It agreed also that changes in the list might be agreed by correspondence on the proposal of UN and UNDP;

     (b)     reimbursement might be made if the staff member could prove that he ordered the car within six months of his arrival at the duty station;

     (c)     where an initial assignment of one year or less was extended so that the total assignment was of two years or more (or, as agreed at the 33rd session (1971), in any case where it was likely that the total service at the duty station would be two years or more), reimbursement might be made provided that the car had been ordered within six months of the arrival of the staff member at the duty station.

(9)     At the same session, CCAQ agreed (CO-ORDINATION/R.931, paras. 42-44) that:

     (a)     with ILO reserving its position, when full removal of household goods was not authorized, a staff member should be entitled to transportation of 750 kg of personal effects for himself, 500 kg for his spouse and 200 kg for each of his children accompanying him, subject to an overall maximum of 1,850 kg;

     (b)     if the staff member desired to ship part or all of this entitlement by air, he should be entitled to do so on the basis of one kg of air freight per two kg of surface freight entitlement. In individual cases, where surface shipment was impracticable or other factors so justified, the organizations might decide to allow a higher proportion by air freight.

(10)     At its 37th session (March 1973: CO-ORDINATION/R.984, para. 74) CCAQ agreed that the 500 kg entitlement for a spouse (see para. (9)(a) above) should be applicable to the first dependant accompanying the official, whether spouse or not, the overall maximum remaining at 1, 850 kg.

(11)     At the same session (CO-ORDINATION/R.984, para. 74) CCAQ agreed that staff in the General Service or a comparable category should, if they met the other requirements set forth in paras. (5) to (8) above, be entitled to shipment of a car if they were non-locally recruited, and their transportation costs on appointment or change of duty station were paid by the organization.

(12)     In view of the substantial increase in shipping costs in the period 1967 to 1975, CCAQ, at its 41st session (March 1975: CO-ORDINATION/R.1087, para. 71), revised the figure of the maximum reimbursement for costs of shipping a car from $ 500 to $ 800, with effect from 1 May 1975. It also confirmed that a staff member entitled to the benefit could claim it in relation to the shipping costs of a new automobile, purchased at the duty station, not exceeding the cost from such point as the organization might determine.

(13)     In its second annual report (1976: UN document A/31/30, paras. 77, 294-300), and on the basis of its review of the UN salary system, ICSC recommended no change in existing provisions for removal expenses for staff in the Professional and higher categories.

(14)     At its resumed 44th session (September 1976: CO-ORDINATION/R.1176, para. 19), CCAQ agreed that in the case of both (a) the entitlement to unaccompanied shipments when removal expenses were not payable, and (b) the entitlement to advance removal expenses, the limit for the first dependant should be half the entitlement for the staff member and the limit for each additional dependant one third.

(15)     At part II of its 46th session (February-March 1977: CO-ORDINATION/R.1208, para. 27(f)), following discussion of issues raised by FAO, CCAQ agreed that the rules on entitlement to the shipment of unaccompanied baggages should be reviewed, but that existing conditions for reimbursing the costs of shipping of a privately-owned automobile did not require any revision at that time.

(16)     At part II of its 50th session (February-March 1979: ACC/1979/R.2 (Part II)) the Committee conducted this review. It decided on revised entitlements to the shipment of unaccompanied baggage with effect from 1 May 1979, as set out in Annex III of ACC/1979/R.2.

(17)     At the same session, CCAQ agreed on new insurance limits for the transport of personal effects: $ 5 per kilo up to the value of the maximum entitlement.

(18)     At its 51st session (August 1979: ACC/1979/R.55, paras. 59-60) CCAQ refined the provisions agreed in paras. (16) and (17) above, in particular in respect of education grant travel.

(19)     At its 58th session (March 1983: ACC/1983/9, paras. 71-72) CCAQ agreed on revised entitlements to the shipment of personal effects, to be effective no later than 1 July 1983. At the same time it agreed to raise the insurance limits for the transport of personal effects to $ 8 per kilo of the maximum entitlement.

(20)     At its 61st session (June-July 1984: ACC/1984/16, para. 100) CCAQ agreed on a series of improvements in the provisions for the shipment of personal effects of internationally recruited staff serving at hardship locations where there was a shortage of basic supplies and materials or a dearth of leisure and cultural activities and opportunities. In a related matter (ibid, para. 108), CCAQ agreed to extend to 90 days the time limits for the payment of storage of household effects incidental to shipment on appointment or reassignment, in those situations where organizations were reimbursing storage costs.

(21)     At its 62nd session (March 1985), CCAQ agreed that the weight entitlements established by CCAQ at its 50th session (paras. (16) and (17) above) be retained, but that they be established in net terms, i.e. net of crating, but including packing, effective 1 May 1985 (ACC/1985/6, para. 129).

(22)     At its 65th session (July 1986), CCAQ agreed that a revised methodology for determining the duty stations to which transportation of privately-owned vehicles might be paid should be prepared by UNDP and submitted to CCAQ in due course (ACC/1986/10, para. 86(ii)). At the 67th session (March 1987), CCAQ approved criteria proposed by UNDP, on the basis of which a global survey would be conducted in 1987. It also agreed that UNDP should be responsible for data collection. The analysis of these data and the preparation of related recommendations would be undertaken jointly by UN and UNDP. The results would be transmitted to organizations by the CCAQ secretariat, which would promulgate the agreed list of eligible duty stations (ACC/1987/4, para. 71). The revised list was issued on 21 October 1991 in ACC/1991/PER/CM/19.

(23)     At its 66th session, CCAQ agreed to liberalize conditions of eligibility for the additional baggage entitlement at hardship locations, referred to in paragraph (20) above (ACC/1987/4, para. 58). It also agreed that, at those duty stations, an unaccompanied baggage entitlement of 50 kg should be granted in connection with the birth of a child or the adoption of an infant to be used solely for baby-related items (ibid, para. 68).

(24)     For discussions in CCAQ(FB) on improved productivity in transport arrangements, see section 15.1.

(25)      At its 74th session (March 1991: ACC/1991/5, paras. 160-162) CCAQ took up an ICAO proposal to increase the current limits on insurance for the transportation of personal effects. The Committee agreed to revert at a later session to this matter, in the context of the broader issue of whether some entitlements should continue to be denominated in United States dollars, and along with the whole area of shipping entitlements.

(26)     At its 76th session (March 1992: ACC/1992/6, paras. 120-123) CCAQ considered a request by FAO to increase the maximum insurance entitlement for the transport of personal effects from US$8, the level at which it had been since 1983, to US$16. Most organizations agreed to implement the change with effect from 1 May 1992, others reserving their positions pending internal consultations.

(27)     At its 77th session (July 1992: ACC/1992/23, paras. 75-85) CCAQ considered the adequacy of the current shipping/removal entitlements on appointment, change of duty station and separation and decided that the principles governing whether full removal was granted or personal effects shipped did not require common system legislation. It also agreed that, where container transport was available, the dependency rate should be one 40 foot container or up to 64 cubic metres and half those amounts for the single rate and exchanged views on dual shipments, the transport of automobiles, boats, etc., heavy appliances, commutation of removal costs to storage and conversion of surface to air shipments.


(28)     At its 84th session (April 1996: CCAQ(PER)/84/CRP.1/Rev.1, paras. 8-11) CCAQ reviewed the administration of removal and shipping entitlements in the context of its consideration of the mobility and hardship allowance. The Committee welcomed proposals to introduce fresh cost-effective approaches reflecting modern shipping practices. It decided to retain the removal entitlement and to express it in terms of containers and cubic metres (land shipments) and chargeable weight (air shipments) and supported the introduction of an advance air shipment, which would not be deducted from the removal entitlement, and cash advances for new recruits and staff to make their own arrangements for the shipment. CCAQ set up a group of the organizations' shipping experts, working with its secretariat, to make appropriate proposals on container size, cubic metre entitlements, conversion rates between them and suggestions for what could or could not be included in the shipments.

(29)     At its 85th session (July 1996: ACC/1996/14, paras. 15 & 55-57) CCAQ decided to to express the removal entitlement in terms of container sizes, to base computations related to the removal entitlement (i.e. split shipments) on the equivalent of the costs of transportation of the container, to equate the container size to cubic metres for removals by road and chargeable weight for removals by air (on the basis of the conversion rate 0.006 cu.m. = 1 kilo chargeable weight), to provide - in conjunction with a removal - for an advance shipment by air freight established in kgs chargeable weight and to allow for the transportation of motorised vehicles under certain conditions within the removal. For non-removals, CCAQ decided to express the non-removal entitlement in terms of volume, i.e. 12 cubic metres for the staff member and 3 cubic metres for each eligible family member. A staff member who had received the non-removal element in the mobility and hardship matrix would not be eligible for a removal entitlement at the same duty station. CCAQ reported to ICSC that it had completed its review of shipping entitlements, resulting in streamlining and rationalization, and confirmed its support for time-limiting the non-removal element in the general matrix for the mobility and hardship allowance. ICSC decided that, with effect from 1 January 1997, the non-removal element should be time-limited for a period of five years at one duty station, to be extended up to seven years on an exceptional basis(A/51/30, paras. 294-295).

(30)     At its July 2004 meeting (CEB/2004/HLCM/25, para. 20) the HR Network considered a report by UNDP on piloting of lump sum relocation payments. This is recorded in Section 15.4, para. (39).

(31)     At its 8th session (October 2004: CEB/2004/6, paras. 39-41) HLCM received a presentation summarizing the experience gained by organizations during the pilot phase of the relocation grant. The results of the Committee’s consideration is recorded in Section 15.4, para. (40).

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