Guide to Sending Parcels to Uganda

Uganda is a small, land-locked country in East Africa though water is one of its many touristic features. Amongst its fabled waterways are:

  • Lakes Victoria, Albert, Edward, and George
  • Murchison Falls
  • Victoria Nile River

This East African country also boasts some notable mountain ranges - Rwenzori Mountains also known as the white-capped Mountains of the Moon - and an abundance of big-game wildlife, including its famed mountain gorillas.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Uganda's economy has traditionally been cash-driven resulting in only 5.5 million bank accounts for 42 million citizens. However, due to modern technology, Ugandans have 25 million mobile money accounts, and enjoy an ever increasing rate of internet penetration. Combined with the side-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ugandan e-commerce activity has sprouted.

As British English the official language of Uganda, it should be jolly good to do business from Canada

Information for this page was taken from the Uganda Revenue Authority and the East African Community.

Shipping Rates

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

find the cheapest way to ship to Uganda from Canada
Secureship provides safe and affordable shipping from Canada to Uganda. 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.
Get an Estimate

Easy Tracking Information

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

Full tracking information for parcels to Uganda is available with Secureship
Tracking #:780123123123
Tel: 1-800-463-3339
Signed By: Pikwalia @ Residence
Jun 28, 2021
8:49 am
Tororo, TO, UG
Delivered
Jun 27, 2021
7:18 am
Arua, AR, UG
In transit
Jun 26, 2021
9:03 pm
Mbale, MB, UG
International Clearance
Jun 26, 2021
8:14 am
Kampala, KA, UG
In transit
Jun 26, 2021
12:17 am
Toronto, ON, CA
In transit
Jun 25, 2021
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 Uganda 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 Uganda

Documents Only

Uganda allows the following items as document shipments from Canada:

  • Annual reports
  • Bids
  • Blueprints and drawings
  • Cheques
  • Computer print-outs
  • Driver's licence
  • Examination papers
  • Graphs
  • Greeting cards and invitations
  • Intercompany mail
  • Negotiable bonds and drafts
  • Visa applications

The following may be sent as a documents-only shipment if it abides by the restriction shown.

Item Restriction
Airline Tickets Must be validated; cannot be blank
Diplomas Only if they are unframed
Event tickets for football (soccer) matches, stage performances, and concerts Cannot from a printing company to an event organiser or ticket sales office
Forms Only if blank

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

Shipping Gifts to Uganda

Shipping Gifts

All gift shipments to Uganda from Canada will incur tax regardless of value. There are no exemptions.

Shipments from Individual-to-Individual

A gift shipment from an individual in Canada to an individual in Uganda will be charged tax no matter the value of the gift.

Shipments from Business-to-Business

A gift shipment from a business in Canada to a business in Uganda will incur tax regardless of its value. There are no exemptions.

Shipments from Business-to-Individual

A shipment of gifts from a business in Canada to an individual in Uganda is taxable and dutiable no matter its value. There is no tax exemption on gifts entering Uganda.


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
John Akii-Bua
c/o Celebrity Fitness
Namboole Stadium
Kampala
Uganda

Phone: +256 751 409841
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Personal Shipment / Gift Shipment

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 25 Jun 2021
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 shipment has more than one gift, be sure to tag and wrap each one separately.

Sample Commercial Invoice for Gifts

Ship To Invoice
John Akii-Bua
c/o Celebrity Fitness
Namboole Stadium
Kampala
Uganda

Phone: +256 751 409841
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Unsolicited Gift: Consolidated Gift Package

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 25 Jun 2021
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.ura.go.ug/openFile.do?path=//webupload//upload//download//staticContent//RGTMENU//307//886_FAQs.pdf
https://www.ura.go.ug/Resources/webuploads/INLB/Customs%20Clearance.pdf


Shipping personal effects/belongings to Uganda

Shipping Personal Effects

Personal effects may be shipped to Uganda from Canada exempt from duty when an individual is changing residence.

Personal effects include:

  • Clothing and footwear
  • Furniture and appliances from his or her household in Canada
  • Used personal items

Moving Temporarily

Students

There is no information at this time regarding students moving temporarily to Uganda to study.


Non-Students

People shipping personal effects for a temporary stay in Uganda should be able to do so without paying tax. However, an unusually large shipment may cause questioning and inspection by customs officials.


Moving Permanently

Ugandans returning to live permanently in Uganda from Canada may ship their personal effects duty-free.

Personal effects include:

  • Used personal items
  • Appliances and furniture
  • Footwear and clothing
NOTE:

A deceased person's personal effects may also enter Uganda exempt from duty.


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://www.gtUganda.co.ug/globalassets/_markets_/uga/media/doing_business_in_Uganda_taxation.pdf

Sample Commercial Invoice for Personal Effects

Ship To Invoice
John Akii-Bua
c/o Celebrity Fitness
Namboole Stadium
Kampala
Uganda

Phone: +256 751 409841
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Personal effects being delivered to my new address.

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 25 Jun 2021
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 Uganda

Food, Chocolate, Candies

There is limited information at this time regarding the shipment of foodstuff to Uganda from Canada.

If you are considering shipping animal products to Uganda, we recommend that you consult the Commissioner Animal Health before doing so.

You May Ship

There is no information at this time as to allowable shipments of foodstuffs to Uganda from Canada.

Do Not Ship

There is no information at this time regarding prohibited shipments of foodstuffs to Uganda from Canada.

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.agriculture.go.ug/guidelines-for-import-export-and-transit-of-animals-and-animal-products-in-uganda/

Sample Commercial Invoice for Food, Chocolate, Candies

Ship To Invoice
John Akii-Bua
c/o Celebrity Fitness
Namboole Stadium
Kampala
Uganda

Phone: +256 751 409841
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Food Shipment - Assorted chocolate bars in their original manufacturer's packaging

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 25 Jun 2021
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 Uganda

Samples

Samples of goods are shipped to promote products and elicit sales.

Commercial samples may enter Uganda from Canada exempt from duty providing they have no commercial value and are clearly not imported as merchandise for sale


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://Ugandatrades.go.ug/media/East-African-Community-Customs-Management-Act-revised-30th-June-2017.pdf

Sample Commercial Invoice for Commercial Sample

Ship To Invoice
John Akii-Bua
c/o Celebrity Fitness
Namboole Stadium
Kampala
Uganda

Phone: +256 751 409841
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Commercial Sample - Not for Resale

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 25 Jun 2021
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 Uganda

Advertising Material

There is no information at this time regarding shipping advertising material to Uganda from Canada.

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

Sample Commercial Invoice for Promotional Material

Ship To Invoice
John Akii-Bua
c/o Celebrity Fitness
Namboole Stadium
Kampala
Uganda

Phone: +256 751 409841
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Promotional Material - Not for Resale

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 25 Jun 2021
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 Uganda

Repairs

Equipment repaired in Canada may re-enter Uganda exempt from duty providing they do so within 1 year of their exportation from Uganda.

Items Under Warranty

Equipment and items under warranty that are repaired in Uganda and returned to Canada will be exempt from GST.

Items No Longer Under Warranty

An item no longer under warranty that is shipped to Uganda for repair will incur GST on the value of the repair and on any parts required for the repair.

Sending Product for Repair to Uganda

Items sent to Uganda from Canada for repair will be exempt from Ugandan importation duty.

Returning Repaired Product to Uganda

Products repaired in Canada and returned to Uganda will be duty-free upon re-entry to Uganda if it returns in less than a year from its Ugandan departure to Canada.


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 Uganda or exported to Canada (depending on which case applies)
  • A commercial invoice must be included with your shipment

Sources:
https://Ugandatrades.go.ug/media/East-African-Community-Customs-Management-Act-revised-30th-June-2017.pdf
https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/sor-91-31/page-1.html#h-934277

Sample Commercial Invoice for Warranty Repair

Ship To Invoice
John Akii-Bua
c/o Celebrity Fitness
Namboole Stadium
Kampala
Uganda

Phone: +256 751 409841
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Repair and Return - Watch being sent for repair

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 25 Jun 2021
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 Uganda

Temporary Imports

Goods shipped temporarily to Uganda may enter the country exempt from duty providing they stay only 12 months in Uganda and are then returned to Canada.

Typical goods shipped as a temporary import may be:

  • Machinery and items for repair
  • Commercial samples for display at a trade fair or exhibition
  • Items for a sports event or artistic production

ATA Carnets

At this time, Uganda does not recognise ATA Carnets for temporary importation of goods.


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://Ugandatrades.go.ug/media/East-African-Community-Customs-Management-Act-revised-30th-June-2017.pdf

 

Sample Commercial Invoice for Temporary Imports

Ship To Invoice
John Akii-Bua
c/o Celebrity Fitness
Namboole Stadium
Kampala
Uganda

Phone: +256 751 409841
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Temporary Imports - Trade show booth and display equipment returning Jan 2020

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 25 Jun 2021
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 Uganda

Permanent/Sold Goods

Parcels containing sold goods with a value of $50 USD or less (about $65 CAD) may enter Uganda duty and VAT free.

Occasional Shipper

If you only occasionally ship sold goods to Uganda, and the shipment's value is $50 USD or less (about $65 CAD), it will be exempt from VAT and duty.

Regular shipper

If you are a regular shipper of sold goods to Uganda, we suggest that you consult a licenced Uganda customs broker.

The importer will be required to complete form C17 (Import Declaration Form) and, depending on the goods, may also need to submit an import permit or licence.

Sources:
https://www.ura.go.ug/openFile.do?path=//webupload//upload//download//staticContent//RGTMENU//307//886_FAQs.pdf

Sample Commercial Invoice for Permanent/Sold Goods

Ship To Invoice
John Akii-Bua
c/o Celebrity Fitness
Namboole Stadium
Kampala
Uganda

Phone: +256 751 409841
Carrier tracking number: 736534736
General Description:
Permanent/Sold: Parts and accessories for Canon B78n camera

Invoice number: 123456MGEP4916926
Customs Broker: UPS
Date: 25 Jun 2021
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

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 Uganda. A COO proves that an item has been produced, manufactured or processed in Canada.

When an item with a COO is imported into Uganda, 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
Packaging List Infrequently required Required if value exceeds $2,000 per shipment or is a controlled good.
Packing list Infrequently required

No specific form is 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 Uganda whereas restricted imports are allowed entry to the country but must obey a quantity limit or other rules.

Prohibited Items

  • Cosmetics and soaps with mercury
  • Counterfeit or pirated items
  • Narcotic drugs and chemicals harmful to human health
  • Toy guns and knives
  • Obscene, indecent, or pornographic material in any form

Restricted Goods

  • Ivory and its products
  • Products made from endangered species (both plants and animals)
  • Bows and arrows, including toys

Sources:
https://www.ura.go.ug/openFile.do?path=//webupload//upload//download//staticContent//RGTMENU//307//886_FAQs.pdf
https://Ugandatrades.go.ug/media/East-African-Community-Customs-Management-Act-revised-30th-June-2017.pdf
https://docs.wto.org/dol2fe/Pages/SS/directdoc.aspx?filename=q:/WT/TPR/S384R1-01.pdf&Open=True
https://www.canadapost.ca/tools/pg/manual/PGIntDestDetails-e.asp?table=tblCountry&txtLetter=UG

Duty & Taxes

Uganda employs the CIF value of a shipment to calculate the duty and taxes owing. CIF is the sum of the customs value plus insurance charge plus freight costs.

CIF Value = Customs Value + Insurance Amount + Freight Costs

By knowing the CIF value of your parcel, you will be able to estimate the VAT and duty owed by the recipient.


Thresholds

The threshold for duty and VAT payment is USD $50 (about $65 CAD). This is also known as the de minimis value and means that for shipments below this amount, no VAT or duty will be incurred.


Currency Ugandan Shilling UGX
Duty Exemption (De minimis Value) USD$50 (about $65 CAD)
Duty Calculation Method CIF
TAX (VAT) 18%
Tax Exemption
(De minimis Value)
USD$50 (about $65 CAD)
Tax Calculation Method CIF

Duties on Imports


Excise Taxes

Uganda imposes excise duties on the import of:

  • Tobacco products
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Juices made from fruits or vegetables
  • Perfumes and cosmetics

Specific details for these goods may be found here.


  • Candy35%
  • Chocolate60%
  • Spirits and WinesVariable
  • TobaccoVariable
  • Books0%
  • Documents0%
  • Video Games & Consoles25%
  • Computers & Laptops0%
  • Tablets0%
  • Mobiles0%
  • Cameras25%
  • Accessories for Electronics0%
  • Coats25%
  • Beauty Products & Cosmetics25%
  • Jewellery25%
  • Shirts & Pants25%
  • Home Appliances25%
  • Toys25%
  • Sports Equipment25%

Sources:
https://unctad.org/system/files/official-document/dtlstict2018d9_en.pdf
https://docs.wto.org/dol2fe/Pages/SS/directdoc.aspx?filename=q:/WT/TPR/S384R1-06.pdf&Open=True
https://www.macmap.org/
https://taxsummaries.pwc.com/Uganda/corporate/other-taxes

Uganda 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)
  • Television
  • 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 Uganda



Can I ship to Uganda?

Shipping to Uganda 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 Uganda by getting a quote now.


Does UPS ship to Uganda?

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How long does it take to ship from Canada to Uganda?

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How much is it to send a parcel to Uganda?

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

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How do I send a package to Uganda?

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How can I ship my luggage?

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How do I get a FedEx shipping estimate / FedEx quote to Uganda?

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How do I ship gifts to Uganda?

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