Resolved complaints

Showing items 1 to 20 of 555
Complaint number NTB Type
Category 1. Government participation in trade & restrictive practices tolerated by governments
Category 2. Customs and administrative entry procedures
Category 5. Specific limitations
Category 6. Charges on imports
Category 7. Other procedural problems
Category 8. Transport, Clearing and Forwarding
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Date of incident Location
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Status Actions
NTB-000-806 8.7. Costly Road user charges /fees 2015-04-01 Tanzania: Ministry of Transport Resolved
2018-02-09
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Complaint: Tanzania requirement that trucks passing three weigh bridges are required to buy stickers at US$40 per sticker despite the fact that trucks are clearly marked transit in the central corridor.  
Resolution status note: Today, 10:10
During the Extra Ordinary SCTIFI taht sat in February, 2018, the USD 40 sticker fee was waived with immediate Effect. Hence the NTB was resolved.
 
NTB-000-798 8.5. Infrastructure (Air, Port, Rail, Road, Border Posts,) 2018-01-25 Zimbabwe: Forbes Zambia Resolved
2018-02-09
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Complaint: Due to the topographic nature of the Forbes Border Post, trucks cannot be parked and cleared at the Border as it would create congestion. The trucks are allowed to proceed out of the Valley where the border is situated and must park in Customs Approved Yards in Mutare. Dry Cargo (Flat Decks) have a Dry Port Yard whilst Petroleum Tankers must park at the RMS Yard (Railway Maintenance Yard Customs created the yards to enable them to clear the loads.

1. Transporters are charged a fee to park in these RMS yards. This is an unnecessary charge and there is no evidence that the funds are used for the upkeep of the yard.

2. Despite the fact that this yard houses Dangerous Goods there is limited access control at a rickety gate. The perimeter is not suitably fenced. The view of the tankers is blocked from the main road by strategically placed defunct railway wagons. There is no access control and the yard is surrounded by a maze of tunnels and hedges where trade in stolen fuel is conducted. Third Party vehicles are allowed access to the yard and unfortunately siphoning from side tanks is evident. Given the lack of security staff, fencing and lighting, the situation worsens at nightfall. Recently truckers have been plagued by theft of items from trucks eg batteries from the trucks.

3. There are no facilities for the drivers. The congestion at Forbes is already well documented due to the failing Ascudya system and inefficiencies in the Customs Sealing process and drivers are stuck a minimum of 48 hours in this yard. There are no ablutions and limited access to running water. It is an inappropriate holding yard where a driver cannot rest before leaving on the next leg of his journey. When it rains, the area becomes a muddy morass
There are several truck yards in the area that are well equipped and offer the drivers clean facilities. Customs are requested to not charge for the RMS yard, clean it up and offer the appropriate security and facilities, or allow vehicles to park in other yards.

Transporters have brought this situation to the authorities before but to no avail. Its seems there are vested interests in keeping valuable cargo parked in this insecure area. Drivers are spending too long in filthy and dangerous conditions while being charged for a service that forms part of Customs responsibilities.
 
Resolution status note: On 9 Beruary 2018, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority advised that Vehicles with uncleared goods are sent to park at a Depot licenced and bonded to keep goods before Customs clearance. This is a privately owned premises which does not belong to Customs and therefore the owner charges for accommodating the trucks.
2. The concerns raised for RMS have since been addressed. Tankers are as from 7.2.18 being parked at a new premises (truck yard) while awaiting finalization of clearance process. The new premises has a perimeter fence, ablution facilities, showers and CCTVs
 
NTB-000-791 8.6. Vehicle standards
Policy/Regulatory
2017-11-10 Botswana: Kazungula Road Resolved
2018-04-10
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Complaint: Botswana requires that transporters get exemption permits issued either in Francistown or Gaborone, the same original permits must then be couriered to Kazungula where the permit then must be presented to the Kazungula PTC for authorisation and stamping, then to the Botswana Power Corporation for authorisation and stamping, only then can the truck proceed to Kazungula weighbridge and present the permit and be inspected and weighed.These permits are only valid for 7 days so the window in which to use the same permit is very narrow, especially since there are sometimes issues where Zambia Revenue Authority Asycuda system experiences failures and down time.

Further, Transporters are required to put up abnormal signs and red flags on the trucks before they can be released by the Kazungula weighbridge staff. The weighbridge does not permit trucks with over 4.3 Metres high is not permit and yet most of the trailers which the transporters run are just under 4.4 Meters high with a High Cube container on board.

There are no bridges or low power lines, to which a High cube container with a height of 4.6 Metres , would pose a threat to on the entire route from Zambia through Botswana and South Africa .

This is another one of many hurdles being put in the road which is increasing the costs of regional trade and is yet another barrier to trade on our corridor to South Africa.
 
Resolution status note: On 10th April 2018 , Botswana Focal Point reported that Botswana is in compliance with the Regional Standard Dimensions of Vehicles in all its aspects; and specifically the 4.3m overall height.

Exemption permits for over height vehicles is issued from two (2) central locations i.e. Gaborone and Francistown. However Botswana has eased the problem on transporters by issuing Annual exemptions which means the transporter need only to apply once in a year for his Fleet crossing into Botswana. The exemption has no limitations on the number of trips the transporter undertakes nor when the trips are made. The frequent users of the corridor are at liberty to apply for a one year permit.

Transporters are expected to apply for the permit either through their representatives or agents well in advance to enable Department of Roads to process the permit on time. Copies are sent to all the weighbridges along the route that the truck will follow.For safety purposes abnormal signs and red flags are supposed to be mounted on the vehicles before they are allowed onto the public road.
 
NTB-000-789 2.10. Inadequate or unreasonable customs procedures and charges 2017-10-31 Zimbabwe: Chirundu Zimbabwe Resolved
2018-01-22
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Complaint: There is a problem on processing of Temporary Import Permits since Zimbabwe Revenue Authority came up with a system of doing more Temporary Import Permits for one vehicle. Transporters are now made to write 3 Temporary Import Permits on one truck. 1 Temporary Import Permit for the horse and 2 for the 2 trailers. Processing the Temporary Import Permits is taking too long , for example, Temporary Import Permits for 93 & 98 which we submitted at 01:20hrs ( 31st October 2017) were not ready by mid morning 1st November 2017. Another Temporary Import Permit submitted at 1900hrs last in the night of 31st was only done at 03:15 hrs in the morning of 1st November 2017 .

ZIMRA is now making the clearing agent do a TIP for every unit of the truck. The truck itself then the trailer as well. In the case of an interlink, that is 3 TIPS.
 
Resolution status note: On 5 December 2017, Zimbabwe Focal Point confirmed the feedback by Revenue Authority that the client should approach the Station Manager for the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority at Chirundu One Stop Border Post to be guided on the proper forms to use. With this explanation issue should be taken as resolved.  
Products: 8709.19: Works trucks, self-propelled, not fitted with lifting or handling equipment, of the type used in factories, warehouses, dock areas or airports for short distance transport of goods; tractors of the type used on railway station platforms (excl. electrical  
NTB-000-789 2.10. Inadequate or unreasonable customs procedures and charges 2017-10-31 Zimbabwe: Chirundu Zimbabwe Resolved
2018-01-22
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Complaint: There is a problem on processing of Temporary Import Permits since Zimbabwe Revenue Authority came up with a system of doing more Temporary Import Permits for one vehicle. Transporters are now made to write 3 Temporary Import Permits on one truck. 1 Temporary Import Permit for the horse and 2 for the 2 trailers. Processing the Temporary Import Permits is taking too long , for example, Temporary Import Permits for 93 & 98 which we submitted at 01:20hrs ( 31st October 2017) were not ready by mid morning 1st November 2017. Another Temporary Import Permit submitted at 1900hrs last in the night of 31st was only done at 03:15 hrs in the morning of 1st November 2017 .

ZIMRA is now making the clearing agent do a TIP for every unit of the truck. The truck itself then the trailer as well. In the case of an interlink, that is 3 TIPS.
 
Resolution status note: On 22 January 2018, FESARTA sent email to Focal Point, Zimbabwe advisng that the NTBs had been resolved as per advice from ZIMRA. ZIMRA advised complainant to approach the ZIMRA office at Chirundu for assistance since this was an issue concerning lack of information on how to go about the procedure. The complainant was guided on the proper forms to use.  
Products: 8709.19: Works trucks, self-propelled, not fitted with lifting or handling equipment, of the type used in factories, warehouses, dock areas or airports for short distance transport of goods; tractors of the type used on railway station platforms (excl. electrical  
NTB-000-779 2.3. Issues related to the rules of origin
Policy/Regulatory
2017-05-05 Kenya: Kenya Revenue Authority Tanzania Resolved
2017-10-02
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Complaint: Kenya does not give preferential treatment for wheat flour from Tanzania.  
Resolution status note: During the Bilateral meeting held in September between Kenya and Tanzania, Kenya reported that AZAM company was gazzeted for the duty remission to produce specific products. According to the evidence produced by Tanzania the Tanzania exporter was gazzeted on 14th July, 2017 but the denial of market access to their client in Kenya is said to have happened on 10th February, 2017 before the gazettement. This NTB was therefore resolved.  
NTB-000-778 5.12. Export restraint arrangements 2017-05-05 Tanzania: Ministry of Industry, Trade and Marketing , Uganda Resolved
2017-10-24
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Complaint: Tanzania banned exportation of food items to Uganda hence affecting Intra Regional Trade and endangers food security in the region.  
Resolution status note: In the recent meeting on NTBs held in Kampala on 24th October, 2017, Tanzania reported that this was a food security issue in Tanzania and the meeting agreed that it has been resolved.  
NTB-000-772 1.14. Lack of coordination between government institutions
Policy/Regulatory
2017-05-05 Tanzania: Ministry of Works, Transport & Communication Kenya Resolved
2018-01-17
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Complaint: Tanzania are charging railway development levy (RDL) to Kenya products. Tanzania is not adhering to the EAC law where it states clearly that products within the EAC should not be subjected to RDL
 
Resolution status note: During the Bilateral meeting that took place in January 2018, the Permanent/ principal Secretaries took note that Tanzania does not levy RDL on products originating in the EAC region. And hence the NTB was Resolved.  
NTB-000-764 5.13. Other quantity control measures
Policy/Regulatory
2017-05-05 Tanzania: Tanzania Bureau of Standards Kenya Resolved
2018-02-09
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Complaint:
Tanzania does not recognize quality marks issued by Kenya authorities despite the fact that Partner States are implementing harmonized regional standards. Tanzania expects all products imported into that country to meet Tanzania standards.
 
Resolution status note: During the Extra Orinally SCTIFI that sat in February, 2018, Tanzania reported that they recognise quality marks on products from other EAC Partner States. Hence this NTB is resolved.  
NTB-000-750 8.8. Issues related to transit 2017-03-01 Zambia: On the road Zambia Resolved
2018-01-25
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Complaint: There are approximately 600 hundreds trucks ferrying "mukula" logs legally from DRCongo. The loads had genuine documents from Congo and the trucks were checked at kasumbalesa border upon entry to Zambian soil.
We understand that Zambia banned mukula harvesting within its territories but the activity is not banned in Congo. it is unfortunate that the trucks from Tanzania underwent the legal custom check at the border only to be impounded through an impromptu statutory instrument. The drivers and their drivers have been living under deplorable condition with their employing companies not only going through loss by way of their trucks staying idle but also through regular upkeep of their employees.

It also unfortunate that after impounding the said trucks, the relevant authorities in Zambian kept quiet. No meaningful willingness to resolve the issue has been portrayed by the relevant authorities in question. Going by SADC protocol on transit/transportation protocol there is evidence of breach/contravention of the same.

We wish to see a quick resolution of the matter to mitigate the pangs of the losses companies are making and hence the respective governments from which the same operates under.

We do need each other and we'll always need each other owing the same to globalization.
 
Resolution status note: On 25 January 2018, Zambia Focal Point reported that all 600 trucks had been released. The last 15 were released in September 2017. Attached is the statutory instrument prohibiting the exportation of certain forestry products. Therefore, this NTB should was resolved.  
NTB-000-748 2.10. Inadequate or unreasonable customs procedures and charges 2017-05-03 Zambia: Chirundu Zambia Resolved
2018-01-25
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Complaint: There is congestion at Chirundu border as a result of the attached notice which was issued by Zambia Revenue Authority The notice advised Zambian Agents that starting 1 May 2017 no truck shall enter the Zambian scanner without the Zambian bill of entry (stamped or not stamped). Fast lane trucks must not exit the border without having the entry registered.

Below is a report from our team on the ground-

Challenges we have noticed today 09 May 2017 are that,
• It has led to chaos on the Zambian side where some trucks have arrived not registered and have clogged trucks on the queue to the scanner. Some trucks are forced to park until these trucks have been registered because there is nowhere they can move to.
• ZIMRA is not aware and were not prepared for this, although I met the bonds office and had a conversation about this before 1 May they were waiting for an official document from their colleagues which never came until yesterday when ZRA informed ZIMRA that this is the development on the Zambian side.
• Zambian importers/agents who have outstanding issues with customs or waiting for clearance instructions (agent & importer) have affected trucks which arrives while these issues are still pending, therefore trucks for these importers/agents will not be cleared and will block other trucks which were precleared leading to delays.
• Some transporters not preclearing the loads hence leading to chaos at the scanner.
• No parking space before trucks reach the scanner, only 20 trucks are accommodated there thereby leading to a queue/congestion on the Zimbabwean side.
• Transit trucks getting late while on the queue leading to late acquittal issues.

I checked on the queue (Zim side) and noticed that,
• There are 67 trucks queuing from the ZIMRA gate to Shashe area
• The queue is 1.7km long
• At the Zambian scanner trucks which are there are less than 25.
• 95% of trucks on the queue are high risk (those that pass through the scanner).
 
Resolution status note: On 25 January 2018, Zambia Focal Point reported that The requirement was now being well managed and the congestion it could have caused had been eliminated. The NTb is therefore resolved.  
NTB-000-732 5.15. Other 2017-01-01 Zambia: Zambia Resolved
2018-01-25
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Complaint: Carbon Tax Increase over 37% for commercial vehicles  
Resolution status note: On 25th January 2018, Zambia Focal Point advised that the measure was for all motor vehicles and the highest percentage of 40% was on motor cycles and small vehicles. 37% on commercial vehicle was among the lowest percentage increases. This measure was intended to adjust the carbon emission surtax for inflation. It had not been adjusted since its introduction in 2006. This is in line with the Customs and Excise Act 47 of 2016. We propose that this be considered resolved  
NTB-000-731 6.6. Border taxes 2017-01-01 Zambia: All Zambian Border Posts Resolved
2018-01-25
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Complaint: Introduction of fees on all motor vehicles exiting and entering Zambia

This measure will effectively increase transportation costs for both businesses and individuals.

As a landlocked country which is primarily reliant on road transport, this will have major cost repercussions for all industry sectors and increase the cost of doing business, making Zambia less competitive.

The Minister proposes to increase various user fees and charges to recover costs. This would include statutory fees and charges for services provided by government institutions.

Unless the fee increases are matched by an increase in efficiency, this measure will have an overall detrimental effect.

Effective date

All of the above measures will take effect from 1 January 2017.
 
Resolution status note: On 25 January 2018, Zambia Focal Point reported that this measure had not been implemented therefore this NTB is resolved  
NTB-000-729 6.6. Border taxes 2017-01-01 Zambia: All Zambian Border Posts Resolved
2018-01-25
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Complaint: Introduction of fees on all motor vehicles exiting and entering Zambia

This measure will effectively increase transportation costs for both businesses and individuals.

As a landlocked country which is primarily reliant on road transport, this will have major cost repercussions for all industry sectors and increase the cost of doing business, making Zambia less competitive.

The Minister proposes to increase various user fees and charges to recover costs. This would include statutory fees and charges for services provided by government institutions.

Unless the fee increases are matched by an increase in efficiency, this measure will have an overall detrimental effect.

Effective date

All of the above measures will take effect from 1 January 2017.
 
Resolution status note: On 25 January 2018, Zambia Focal Point reported that this measure had not been implemented therefore this NTB is resolved  
NTB-000-728 2.6. Additional taxes and other charges 2016-11-01 Zambia: Kazungula Ferry Botswana Resolved
2018-01-25
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Complaint: Importers of beans, ground nuts and sweet potatoes from Zambia into Botswana have complained that they have of late, been charged amount in excess on BWP 1 000 by some Zambian border authority for which receipts are never issued. A number of those complaints have revealed that no receipts were issued to denote what the BWP 1 000 was being paid for. No explanation was also given. These importers have, while in Zambia paid all the charges relating to phytosanitary and other charges for their goods-receipts for such are duly produced.

The additional charge is suspected to be charged without any legal basis from Zambia Government. This additional charge is placing a burden on small traders whose livelihood depends on selling the products in Botswana.
 
Resolution status note: On 25th January 2018, Zambia reported that no Zambian Border Authority Charges this Fee and without receipt for that matter. Border Agencies suspect this could be a case of false representation of a Government agency. The matter will be passed on to security wings for further interrogation. If additional information could be availed to assist in identifying those involved. This NTB is considered resolved.  
Products: 1202.41: Groundnuts, in shell (excl. seed for sowing, roasted or otherwise cooked)  
NTB-000-727 4. Sanitary & phyto-sanitary (SPS) measures
A53: Fumigation
2016-12-01 Botswana: Kazungula Ferry Zambia Resolved
2017-05-18
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Complaint: Botswana border officials demand fumigation certificate for molasses. To my knowledge, foodstuffs like molasses cannot be fumigated and on the Botswana import permits (plant protection), this is not among the requirements. This leads to delays, additional costs (e.g demurrage), possible loss of business and risk of product going bad.  
Resolution status note: During the the 15th meeting of the SADC Sub Committee on Trade Facilitation held on 17- 18 May 2017, Botswana reported that Sanitary import permit is required only for molasses meal. No Sanitary or Phytosanitary import permit is required for liquid molasses and molasses powder and therefore no fumigation certificate is needed for molasses. According to the conditions set as per the Sanitary import permit, imported molasses has to be free of protein of animal origin and not contain any prohibited substances such as growth hormones. Officials from Botswana and Zambia have had a bilateral meeting and the issue has been addressed.  
NTB-000-723 7.4. Costly procedures 2016-09-06 Zambia: All ports of entry South Africa Resolved
2018-01-25
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Complaint: Drivers are experiencing long delays in processing of the maize export permits in Zambia. It takes more than 90 days for permits to be processed by the authorities causing drivers to exceed their 90 day limit in Zambia.Once drivers reach this limit, they are required to buy work permits at a very high cost of $225. This impacts heavily on already small margins.  
Resolution status note: Zambia reported that the Ministry of Agriculture through the Department of Agribusiness and Marketing is responsible for facilitating trade through the issuance of Control of Goods Import and Export Permits for Agriculture Commodities. The process of issuance of permits starts and is completed within a period of 24 hours. Maize Grain is an agricultural commodity whose export is subject to the Control of Goods Act. Export Permits, Control of Goods, for maize are processed within 24 hours. Delays previously reported were an isolated incident that may have been caused by externalities at play then. The current status is that Export Permits, Control of Goods, for maize are processed within 24 hours. We propose that this be considered resolved.  
NTB-000-722 2.8. Lengthy and costly customs clearance procedures 2016-08-29 South Africa: OR Tambo International Airport Lesotho Resolved
2016-11-25
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Complaint: The South African Revenue Services at OR Tambo have detained consignment destined for Maseru since 29 August 2016 without explanation. This is yet another time when our goods are detained for more than a week and yet they are destined for Lesotho and not South Africa. The airway bill clearly has the address of the importer being in Lesotho but South African Customs detains the goods nonetheless. South African Customs is requested to explain the rationale for detaining goods destined for other countries , in this case Lesotho and whether it is lawful that goods which arrived on 29 August are still detained?  
Resolution status note: Dear Focal Points South Africa and Lesotho,

This issue was resolved long time ago. However, the SADC secretariat recommended that a long term solution be secured that responds to such questions as asked by Lesotho on above comment. You are kindly requested to recommend a way forward on the long term solutions. Otherwise we need to resolve this NTB as per current status . South Africa Focal point is of the view that we resolve it and I agree. This NTB is therefore resolved on the understanding that the Focal Points of Lesotho and South Africa will make necessary arrangements to ensure that the problem does not repeat itself in future now that it has been identified.

System administrator
 
NTB-000-717 8.6. Vehicle standards 2016-07-13 Zambia: military base South Africa Resolved
2016-11-17
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Complaint: Trucks from various countries including Zimbabwe, South Africa and Malawi origin transporting Maize bran legally with valid documentation and export permits issued by Zambian Dept of Agriculture were held at Kafue Weigh Bridge for almost a week, others longer than 3 weeks allegedly waiting for validation of export permits.

On 13 July permanent Secretary of Lusaka province arrived and Kafue bridge and after a short talk on maize smuggling to drivers ordered 31 of the trucks to be convoyed back to Lusaka to a military base under escort of military police to be impounded.

The drivers were told that upon arrival at the destination they were to take nothing from the trucks and leave. They were also told that where they were to sleep/reside was not the concern of the military personnel or authorities, it was their own problem.

At the military base the drivers manage to negotiate the removal of their clothing, blankets and personal effect , and were forced to hand over the keys to the vehicles and sign forms of impoundment.

This all for vehicles tranporting goods legally, all carrying clearing documentation legally processed by zambian clearing agents and valid legal permits issued by the Zambian Dept of Agriculture in Lusaka.

Subsequent to this another approximate 20 vehicles has experienced the same process.

Daily representations, discussions and meetings since then between various persons and organizations representing transporters and the office of the permanent Secretary of Lusaka yield no results or explanation for the impoundment of vehicles carrying legal documents, nor a date when the vehicles will be released.

Drivers are out on the streets, many with no suitable place to sleep. Some, out of desperation resorted to hitch-hiking back to their home countries.

Transporters are incurring heavy losses.

We urgently request that these trucks be released by the military and Zambian Authorities as this is costing the Transporters a lot of money in lost revenue and it is illegal for the Zambian Authorities and army to hold legally operated trucks.

The incident is also going to be escalated via the relevant countries' embassies/high commissions and Trade Authorities .
 
Resolution status note: On 17th November 2016, South Focal Point confirmed that the NTB had been resolved .  
NTB-000-716 8.7. Costly Road user charges /fees 2016-06-30 Kenya: Mombasa County Burundi Resolved
2017-10-24
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Complaint: Mombasa Country charges transit trucks waiting to load cargo in the parking yard an amount of Ksh 500 per day.  
Resolution status note: The NTBs focal Point at the Secretariat reported that this NTB had been resolved by the Dedicated Session of Senior Officials /Permanent Secretaries meeting held in Kampala on how to resolve long standing outstanding NTBs  
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