Guide to Sending Parcels to Benin

Benin sits on the infamous Slave Coast of West Africa. From its long and complex history, Benin is today known for:

  • Being the birthplace of voodoo
  • The world's only Temple of Pythons - 60 revered snakes let loose once a week to feed in the neighbourhood
  • The best safari park in West Africa - Pendjari - with lions, cheetahs, leopards, and elephants

Like many countries in its region, Benin is still a cash-based society. However, an increasing percentage of Beninoise are internet savvy, which will inevitably lead to more e-commerce activity. This emerging economic sector has government support, and with French as Benin's official language, this country should be on Canada's shipping radar.

Information for this page was taken from the Customs Code of Benin, Benin's Tax Code, and the World Trade Organization.

Shipping Rates

Easily compare the best and cheapest shipping options to Benin through a variety of carriers using Secureship

find the cheapest way to ship to Benin from Canada
Secureship provides safe and affordable shipping from Canada to Benin. In case you are an everyday shopper or a business, you can easily save up to 50% on your international shipping costs by way of accessing our group buying power.
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Easy Tracking Information

Shipments through Secureship come with full, easy to read tracking information to Benin

Full tracking information for parcels to Benin is available with Secureship
Tracking #:780123123123
Tel: 1-800-463-3339
Signed By: Pikwalia @ Residence
Oct 8, 2022
8:49 am
OUéMé,OU, BJ
Delivered
Oct 7, 2022
7:18 am
COLLINES, CO, BJ
In transit
Oct 6, 2022
9:03 pm
ATLANTIQUE, AT, BJ
International Clearance
Oct 6, 2022
8:14 am
ALIBORI, AL, BJ
In transit
Oct 6, 2022
12:17 am
Toronto, ON, CA
In transit
Oct 5, 2022
4:30 pm
Ottawa, ON, CA
Pickup Scan

Disclaimer!

While we have made every effort to ensure that the information on this page is accurate, Customs laws and procedures change regularly so it is important to consult a licensed broker in Benin before shipping any goods.

Types of Shipments

Not all types of shipments are created equal. Shipping a television will require different paperwork, duties, and taxes than shipping an accounting statement, for example.
Shipping Documents Only Image to Benin

Documents Only

Customs authorities of Benin allow the following items into the country as a document shipment:

  • Airline tickets
  • Annual reports
  • Bids and proposals
  • Books, manuscripts, and publications
  • Cash letters, negotiable bonds, and drafts
  • Charts and maps
  • Cheques
  • Computer print-outs
  • Drawings
  • Driver's licence
  • Graphs
  • Intercompany mail
  • Magazines and newspapers
  • Mylars
  • Price lists
  • Seismic data
  • Specifications sheets
  • Transparencies
  • Visa applications

The following items will be allowed into Benin as a document shipment if they comply with the restriction shown below:

Document Type Restriction
Blueprints Provided they are copies
Brochures Maximum shipment weight of 1 kg
Business cards Maximum parcel weight of 2 kg
Calendars Parcel can weigh no more than 1 kg
Catalogues Maximum parcel weight of 1 kg
Credit cards No more than 2 cards per shipment; and the parcel must be shipped to an individual person
Event tickets (stage performances, concerts, football matches, etc.) Shipments cannot be sent to the event organiser or ticket sales office from the printing company
Examination papers Parcel can weigh no more than 15 kg
Forms Provided they are blank
Invitations and greeting cards Only if shipment weighs no more than 2 kg
Manuals Material is of a technical nature and the shipment must weigh no more than 1 kg
Newsletters Must be for intercompany use
Traveller's cheques Only if personalised

Sources:
https://www.ups.com/ga/CountryRegs?loc=en_US

Shipping Gifts to Benin

Shipping Gifts

A gift shipment entering Benin will be duty-free if its value is $25 USD or less (about $30 CAD).

Shipments from Individual-to-Individual

Gift shipments of $25 USD or less (about $30 CAD) from an individual in Canada to an individual in Benin will be exempt from duty.

Shipments from Business-to-Business

A gift shipment from a business in Canada to a business in Benin should be limited to $25 USD (about $30 CAD) to avoid duty liabilities.

Shipments from Business-to-Individual

If a business in Canada ships a gift to an individual in Benin, duties should be exempt if the gift's value is less than $25 USD (about $30 CAD).


Gift Checklist
  • A commercial invoice must be included with your shipment
  • The words 'Gift Shipment' or 'Unsolicited Gift' are included on the commercial invoice, even if the shipment is sent at Christmas time (see sample)
  • List the items in the parcel and write the value of each
  • Sending more than one gift in the parcel? Wrap and tag each one individually.

Sample Commercial Invoice for Gifts

Ship To Invoice
Gnonnas Pedro
Boulevard Saint Michel
Cotonou
Benin

Phone: +229 21 30 3528
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Personal Shipment / Gift Shipment

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 5 Oct 2022
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Each Gift Shipment: LEGO Star Wars Rebel UWing Fighter, 659 piece set

CA $79.99
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Gifts
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $79.99
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge


Multiple Gifts in One Shipment

If your parcel has 2 or more gifts, be sure to tag and wrap each one separately.

Sample Commercial Invoice for Gifts

Ship To Invoice
Gnonnas Pedro
Boulevard Saint Michel
Cotonou
Benin

Phone: +229 21 30 3528
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Unsolicited Gift: Consolidated Gift Package

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 5 Oct 2022
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Each Gift - Roger: LEGO Star Wars Rebel UWing Fighter, 659 piece set

CA $39.99
1 Each Gift - Erica: Handwoven French Canadian Catalogne Blanket

CA $49.99
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Gifts
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $89.98
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge

Sources:
https://www.fedex.com/en-us/ancillary-clearance-service.html

Shipping personal effects/belongings to Benin

Shipping Personal Effects

A person moving to Benin may import their personal effects exempt from duties and taxes if:

  • The shipment is for the use of the individual or his or her family; and
  • The shipment has no commercial character, i.e. the goods are not for sale or trade

Moving Temporarily

Students

There is no information at this time concerning students moving temporarily to Benin with their personal effects for the purposes of studying.

Non-students

Non-students who move temporarily to Benin from Canada may do so with their personal effects exempt from duties and taxes. An exemption is dependent upon:

  • The goods are returned to Canada within 1 year of their entry into Benin
  • A security deposit is provided on the duties and taxes owed

Moving Permanently

A person or family moving permanently to Benin may enter with their personal effects duty and tax free provided:

  • They are in a quantity that is clearly only for personal use (not for commercial purposes)
  • The items are the property of the claimant or his or her family

Personal Effects Checklist
  • A commercial invoice must be included with your shipment
  • Commercial invoice must clearly indicate 'Personal Effects' (see sample)
  • A detailed description of each item is provided

Sources:
https://douanes.gouv.bj/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Code-douanier-modifie020-der-1.pdf

Sample Commercial Invoice for Personal Effects

Ship To Invoice
Gnonnas Pedro
Boulevard Saint Michel
Cotonou
Benin

Phone: +229 21 30 3528
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Personal effects being delivered to my new address.

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 5 Oct 2022
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
5 Pairs Personal Effects: 5 pairs of various types of shoes

IN $40.00
1 Each Personal Effects: Arc'terix Winter Jacket

CA $478.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Personal Effects
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $678.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge
Shipping Food, Chocolate, Candies to Benin

Food, Chocolate, Candies

Food shipments to Benin require a commercial invoice. Provided the value of the shipment is less than $5,000 USD (about $6,300 CAD), no pre-shipment examination of the goods will be required.


Required for shipping food products to Benin:

  • Air waybill
  • Commercial invoice
  • Reliable contact information (name, phone, email) for both shipper and consignee.
  • FDA Prior Notice must be filed by the shipper.
  • A pre-shipment inspection (SGS formalities) is required for all shipments with a declared value over $5000 USD.
  • Duties and taxes can only be billed to the consignee.
    • Bill shipper is not available for duties and taxes.
    • If duties and taxes are assessed, they must be paid by the recipient.
Source: FedEx Regulatory

You May Ship

  • Chocolate
  • Candy

Do Not Ship

  • Perishables, i.e. fruits and vegetables, dairy, and meat

Food, Chocolate, Candies Checklist
  • Clearly indicate 'Food' on the commercial invoice in the General Description or Remarks section (see sample)
  • Ensure that your food, chocolate, or candies may be imported into the country
  • You are not shipping commercial quantities (for any duty & tax exemption)
  • Check with your carrier that they will accept food shipments

Sources:
https://www.fedex.com/en-us/ancillary-clearance-service.html

Sample Commercial Invoice for Food, Chocolate, Candies

Ship To Invoice
Gnonnas Pedro
Boulevard Saint Michel
Cotonou
Benin

Phone: +229 21 30 3528
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Food Shipment - Assorted chocolate bars in their original manufacturer's packaging

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 5 Oct 2022
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Box Nestle Chocolate Bars in original packaging expiring May 2021 (shelf life of 6 months or longer)

CA $20.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Permanent / Sold
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $20.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge
Shipping Promotional Material to Benin

Samples

Commercial samples may enter Benin exempt from taxes and duties if:

  • They are marked as 'Samples'
  • They are of little value

Samples eligible for duty and tax exemption include those to be presented at events such as:

  • Trade fairs
  • Meetings and symposia
  • Exhibitions

Commercial Sample Checklist
  • A Commercial Invoice must be included with your shipment
  • Clearly indicate 'Commercial Samples' on the commercial invoice in the General Description & Detailed Description of Goods (see sample)
  • The item shipped has tearing, perforation, slashing, defacing, or has permanent marking clearing indicating the item as commercial sample

Sources:
https://douanes.gouv.bj/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Code-douanier-modifie020-der-1.pdf

Sample Commercial Invoice for Commercial Sample

Ship To Invoice
Gnonnas Pedro
Boulevard Saint Michel
Cotonou
Benin

Phone: +229 21 30 3528
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Commercial Sample - Not for Resale

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 5 Oct 2022
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Box Commercial Sample - Advanced reading copy of Dan Brown's novel.

CA $20.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Commercial Sample
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $20.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge
Sending Promotional material to Benin

Advertising Material

Advertising material destined for presentation at exhibitions, fairs, or meetings may be shipped to Benin exempt from duties and taxes.


Advertising Material Checklist
  • Commercial invoice must clearly indicate 'Promotional Material - Not for Resale' (see sample)
  • A detailed description of each item is provided

Sources:
https://douanes.gouv.bj/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Code-douanier-modifie020-der-1.pdf

Sample Commercial Invoice for Promotional Material

Ship To Invoice
Gnonnas Pedro
Boulevard Saint Michel
Cotonou
Benin

Phone: +229 21 30 3528
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Promotional Material - Not for Resale

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 5 Oct 2022
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Each Promotional Material: Not for Resale. Product pamphlets to hand out at trade show.

CA $163.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Promotional Material
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $163.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge
Have your goods warranty repaired in Benin

Repairs

Equipment and machinery shipped to Canada from Benin for warranty repairs will be allowed re-entry into Benin without being liable to duty and tax charges.

Items Under Warranty

Items under warranty that are repaired in Canada may be returned to Benin without incurring duties or taxes.

Items No Longer Under Warranty

Items repaired in Canada that are no longer under warranty will have duties and taxes applied to them upon re-entry into Benin. Repaired goods will also incur GST from Canadian customs.

Sending Product for Repair to Benin

Equipment from Canada repaired in Benin will incur GST on the parts and labour charges resulting from the repair.

Returning Repaired Product to Benin

Products such as machinery and equipment repaired in Canada under a warranty will be allowed a duty- and tax-free re-entry into Benin.


Repair Checklist
  • Commercial invoice must clearly indicate 'REPAIR & RETURN' under the General Description or Remarks, and include the estimated time of return (see sample)
  • Include repair contract with shipment
  • Serial or product number and the cost of repairs should be indicated under the Detailed Description of Goods section
  • Include the original shipping documents or tracking number from when the item was first exported to Benin or exported to Canada (depending on which case applies)
  • A commercial invoice must be included with your shipment

Sources:
https://douanes.gouv.bj/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Code-douanier-modifie020-der-1.pdf

Sample Commercial Invoice for Warranty Repair

Ship To Invoice
Gnonnas Pedro
Boulevard Saint Michel
Cotonou
Benin

Phone: +229 21 30 3528
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Repair and Return - Watch being sent for repair

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 5 Oct 2022
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 Each Fossil Watch being sent for repair - Model E5, serial # 789456FG7E2 - Repair Cost $76.00

US $163.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Warranty Repair
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $163.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge
Temporary Imports / Exports for shipments to Benin

Temporary Imports

Goods imported for a temporary purpose may enter Benin without payment of duties and taxes if they leave the country within 1 year. (If accepted by customs authorities, an extension to this time period may be granted.)

Goods of a temporary nature include items such as:

  • Equipment and machinery for repairs
  • Items to be used in tests or experiments
  • Goods for display at trade fairs, meetings, or other similar events

ATA Carnets

The state of Benin does not recognise the use of ATA Carnets for temporary imports into the country.


Temporary Imports Checklist
  • Commercial Invoice clearly stating 'Temporary Import'. This must be written in the General Description section and the Detailed Description of Goods. (see sample)
  • The goods arrive and leave in the same condition, i.e. they undergo no repairs nor are they used in manufacturing
  • Stay no longer than the period listed above
  • Include your ATA Carnet with your shipment (if applicable)
  • Include the expected return date or the date that it was originally received within the country (whichever applies)
  • Any above listed items not listed in this checklist

Sources:
https://douanes.gouv.bj/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Code-douanier-modifie020-der-1.pdf

 

Sample Commercial Invoice for Temporary Imports

Ship To Invoice
Gnonnas Pedro
Boulevard Saint Michel
Cotonou
Benin

Phone: +229 21 30 3528
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Temporary Imports - Trade show booth and display equipment returning Jan 2020

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 5 Oct 2022
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
1 box Temporary Imports - Trade show booth and display equipment

CA $1032.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Temporary Imports
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $1032.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge
Permanent Goods / Sold To an individual or business within Benin

Permanent/Sold Goods

There are no thresholds or de minimis values on sold goods entering Benin. This means that all imports will incur duty and taxes regardless of their value.

Occasional Shipper

Though you may only be an occasional shipper of sold goods, be advised that all shipments with a commercial transaction will be liable to duty and taxes. This will even apply to shipments with a small monetary value.

Regular shipper

Regular shippers of sold goods are recommended to utilise the services of a licenced Beninese customs broker. This will ensure that all local customs rules are followed and required paperwork is completed.


Sources:
https://douanes.gouv.bj/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Code-douanier-modifie020-der-1.pdf
https://docs.wto.org/dol2fe/Pages/SS/directdoc.aspx?filename=q:/WT/TPR/S362R1-02.pdf&Open=True

Sample Commercial Invoice for Permanent/Sold Goods

Ship To Invoice
Gnonnas Pedro
Boulevard Saint Michel
Cotonou
Benin

Phone: +229 21 30 3528
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Permanent/Sold: Parts and accessories for Canon B78n camera

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 5 Oct 2022
QTY Description of Goods C/O SubTotal
15 Each Camera Lenses: Canon EF 50mm, Canon EF 85mm & wide-angle lenses.

CA $132.00
Terms of Sale: None
Total number of packages: 1
Reason for export: Permanent/Sold
Contact Name: James Smith
Total Invoice Amount: $1980.00
Total Weight: 10.0 lbs
Declaration Statement: I hereby certify that information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge

Required Documents


Shipping packages internationally requires a lot of documentation. This process alone can be confusing and time-consuming. So we’ve narrowed down what documents you might need and ranked them based on likeliness of being needed.

Document Type When? Details
Shipping Label / Bill of Lading Always required This is a label provided by the carrier (UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc.). Always required because the carrier needs to know the parcel's destination.
Commercial Invoice Required for all non-document shipments
For all non-document shipments, you will require 3 copies of the commercial invoice (to be included with your shipping labels). These are for customs purposes and need to be included inside a document pouch outside of the box.

When creating a shipment through the Secureship website, the system will help you create this document automatically.

B13a Required if value exceeds $2,000 per shipment or is a controlled good
A B13a is required if your shipment exceeds $2000 CAD or is a controlled good
and is destined to a country other than the US, Puerto Rico, or the US Virgin Islands

Learn more about the B13a form here.
Certificate of Origin (COO) Infrequently required

Allows a reduced or zero-rated import duty.
Canada has a preferential trade agreement with Benin. A COO proves that an item has been produced, manufactured or processed in Canada.

When an item with a COO is imported into Benin, it will incur a reduced or zero-rated import duty.
Certificate of Insurance (COI) Infrequently required

Shows that the shipment has been insured.
Banks may request a certificate of insurance when providing letters of credit for the goods. Otherwise, it is generally your choice whether to purchase insurance for the shipment.
ATA Carnet Infrequently required

Used to avoid duties and taxes on shipments of temporary nature.
If you ship goods of temporary nature to and from a country, you can obtain an ATA Carnet to expedite the customs clearance process and ensure that anything of temporary nature is not charged duties and taxes.

See Temporary import section
Packing list Infrequently required

No specific form required, but generally includes information regarding:

  • The exporter, importer and transport company
  • Date of issue
  • Number of freight invoice
  • Type and number of packages
  • Contents of each package
  • Marks and numbers
  • Net weight, gross weight and measurements of each package

Prohibited & Restricted Imports


Goods declared prohibited may not enter Benin whereas those deemed restricted may enter, but will either be limited in quantity or must have approval by a regulatory agency before being released for general circulation.

Prohibited Items

  • Any material considered pornographic or counter to
    public decency
  • Pirated or counterfeit goods
  • Drugs, narcotics, and psychotropic substances
  • Fireworks, firecrackers, and rockets
  • Explosive devices and
    materials (powders, chemicals)
  • Weapons and guns, including their parts, and ammunition

Restricted Items

  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Medical equipment
  • Laboratory chemicals and reagents
  • Foodstuffs

Duty & Taxes

The amount of duty and taxes incurred by a shipment entering Benin is calculated by using the CIF value of the parcel. The CIF value is the sum of the customs value plus insurance costs plus freight fees.

CIF Value = Customs Value + Insurance Amount + Freight Costs

By calculating the CIF value of your shipment, you will have an estimate of the duties and taxes owed by the recipient of the parcel.


Thresholds

There are no thresholds or de minimis values on goods entering Benin; therefore, all imports, regardless of value, will incur duties and taxes.

However, shipments of an occasional nature valued at no more than $100 USD (about $125 CAD) may be allowed entry into Benin without duties or taxes being applied.


Currency West African Franc CFA
Duty Exemption (De minimis Value) N/A
Duty Calculation Method CIF
TAX (VAT) 18%
Tax Exemption
(De minimis Value)
N/A
Tax Calculation Method CIF

Duties on Imports


Excise Taxes

Excise taxes are applied to certain imports as follows:

  • Tobacco (40%)
  • Alcoholic beverages (20% - 45%)
  • Non-alcoholic drinks (7% - 10%)
  • Perfumes and cosmetics (7%)
  • Coffee and tea (5%)
  • Plastic bags (5%)

  • Candy35%
  • Chocolate35%
  • Spirits and winesVariable*
  • TobaccoVariable*
  • Books0%
  • Documents0%
  • Video games & consoles20%
  • Computers & laptops5%
  • Tablets5%
  • Mobiles10%
  • Cameras20%
  • Accessories for Electronics5%
  • Coats20%
  • Beauty products & cosmetics20%
  • Jewellery20%
  • Shirts & pants20%
  • Home appliances5% - 20%
  • Toys20%
  • Sports equipment20%

Sources:
https://finances.bj/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/code_des_impots-2018-version-finale.pdf
https://benindoingbusiness.bj/media/Benin%20-%20Code_des_douanes.pdf
https://www.macmap.org/
https://finances.bj/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/code_des_impots-2018-version-finale.pdf

Benin Shipping Insurance


You can purchase insurance through Secureship and it is provided by the carrier that will be transporting your shipment.

Each carrier will charge a different amount per $100 of declared insurance. If you indicate that you need insurance for your shipment our system will automatically include the insurance costs for your shipment.

Insurance is great to have in case your package is accidentally lost or damaged by the carrier. But be careful, not everything you ship is insurable. Worse - even if your package contains items that are insurable, if it doesn’t meet the ISTA 3A packaging standard, the insurance purchased through the carrier would not be available to you.

Here are some items that cannot be insured by the carrier:

  • Personal belongings
  • Antiques
  • Artwork
  • Liquids (including alcohol)
  • Televisions
  • Jewellery in excess of $500
  • Perishable goods
  • Glass or Ceramic
  • And many more items

For more information, please see the carrier's terms and conditions.

Questions about Shipping to Benin



Can I ship to Benin?

Shipping to Benin from Canada can take between 3-5 business days through the fastest carriers available on the Secureship platform. More economical services, such as Canada Post, can take up to 1-2 months to complete the delivery.

Find out how fast the Secureship trusted carriers can get your shipment delivered to Benin by getting a quote now.


Does UPS ship to Benin?

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How much is it to send a parcel to Benin?

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What is the cheapest way to ship from Canada to Benin?

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