Reprieve for international operators as Brexit postponed again



Commentators had all but given up predicting where the Brexit process would take Britain next as TransportOperator’s print edition closed for press in early April.

By the time the newspaper had been distributed, EU leaders had postponed the UK’s exit from the bloc until Halloween, with the option of an earlier exit should a withdrawal deal be approved by Parliament before then.

After the original 29 March deadline was superseded by 12 April and Prime Minister May’s deal was defeated a third time, scenes unprecedented in the UK’s democratic history saw backbenchers wrest the steering wheel of the parliamentary timetable from the government last month, and jumpstart their own legislative process.

But Mrs May’s decision to seek a further Article 50 extension, and ongoing negotiations with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, suggest that a ‘softer’ Brexit is now likely – which will have come as a relief to some in the road transport sector concerned about the operational impact of a ‘cliff-edge’ departure.

Meanwhile, the road ahead for international hauliers is looking slightly less precarious, at least until the end of this year. Even prior to the extension of the deadline, the government had confirmed that, even if the UK were to exit the EU with no deal, UK hauliers would be able to continue to use their existing EU Community Licences until 31 December 2019 to operate within the EU without requiring additional permits, thanks to reciprocal contingency arrangements.

These arrangements, which will now apply after the new 31 October deadline in a no-deal scenario, would allow continued journeys to and from the UK (for example, a journey from the UK to Germany, or a journey from Italy to the UK), and journeys through EU countries to reach another EU country (for example, driving through France to reach Spain).

The rules on cabotage and cross-trade, however, would change from the day of Brexit; and new limits to these activities would apply. According to current agreements, operators would be allowed to carry out two cabotage or cross-trade journeys within seven days of making an international journey until 31 December 2019.

Trucks must return to the UK (either laden or unladen) after completing cabotage or cross-trade, and after 31 December, no cabotage or cross-trade journeys would be allowed. However, it is possible that the no-deal contingency arrangements will themselves be extended as the next deadline approaches.

Under the contingency arrangements: “you will not be allowed to drive through the EU and EEA to a third country, for example, driving through France to get to Switzerland, without an ECMT permit,” added the Department for Transport.

“If you get a new international operator licence or renew your licence from April 2019, you will get a ‘UK Licence for the Community’ instead of an EU Community Licence.

“This will work in the same way as the EU Community Licence. It will let you do the same journeys a Community Licence allows. The same rules will apply to using it. You do not need to exchange EU Community Licences for UK Licences for the Community.”

The DfT further clarified: “If there is no deal, you can use your Community Licence for journeys to and from Ireland, journeys through Ireland to other EU or EEA countries, or journeys through Ireland between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

In addition: “The UK has signed transport agreements with Switzerland and Norway. The agreements ensure that UK hauliers can continue to drive in Switzerland and Norway using a Community Licence after the UK leaves the EU.

“If the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 31 October 2019, you will need an ECMT permit for journeys through EU or EEA countries to Switzerland.”

The reciprocity of the contingency arrangements means that EU hauliers would also continue to be able to move goods in the UK.

“This includes journeys to and from the UK, through the UK and cabotage within the UK,” said the DfT.

“EU hauliers’ Community Licences and CPC documents will be recognised. EU hauliers will not require ECMT permits to operate in the UK.”

However, DfT warned that the EU may not recognise UK-issued Driver CPC qualifications after Brexit.

“If you have a UK Driver CPC, and are currently working or planning to work for an EU company, you may want to exchange your UK Driver CPC for an EU Driver CPC before the UK leaves the EU.

“Apply to the relevant body in an EU or EEA country to exchange a UK Driver CPC.”

RHA policy director England and Wales, Duncan Buchanan, said the confirmation of the reciprocal agreement in the case of a no-deal Brexit was “very helpful”.

“The majority of UK-EU international road haulage can move without the complexity of needing ECMT permits which means many operators will no longer need the permits they’ve been allocated,” he said.

“The other win is that there should be enough ECMT permits to meet demand for third-country transit. We now call on DfT to review its allocation plans for short-term permits, so they are easily accessible for all operators who need them.”

Meanwhile, the government’s trailer registration scheme is now open. It requires commercial trailers weighing over 750kg, and non-commercial trailers weighing over 3,500kg, to be registered before they are towed to our through most EU and EEA countries.

DfT said: “If the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 31 October 2019, some EU and EEA countries may also require a separate Green Card as proof of insurance for trailers.

“If you take an abnormal load trailer outside the UK you must apply for a keeper’s certificate for an abnormal load trailer. You need to keep the keeper’s certificate in your vehicle when you go abroad.”

Truck chaos at Calais and French Eurotunnel

Truck chaos at Calais and French Eurotunnel terminal

Stuart Todd | Thursday, 07 March 2019

Delays of up to six hours to cross-Channel road freight vehicles continuing as customs officers ‘simulate’ the working conditions they expect in the event of a ‘hard Brexit’ later this month

Road freight firms operating from mainland Europe to the UK via the port of Calais and Eurotunnel are likely to face further disruption today due to sporadic, work-to-rule industrial action by French customs officers that started earlier this week and which has led to severe traffic congestion.

This has seen trucks routinely stopped for checks as protesters seek to ‘simulate’ what they claim will be the working conditions they will be subjected to in the event of a hard Brexit taking place at the end of this month.

Yesterday, video footage on French TV showed long queues of HGVs backed up along the A16 motorway leading to the port of Calais and the entrance to the Channel Tunnel. According to one local media report, the regional prefect is advising truck drivers heading to the UK to postpone their journey or go via Belgium.

Contacted by Lloyd’s Loading List earlier today, the Calais port authority said that customs officials supporting the action had “eased up” on the truck checks. “Traffic is very heavy but it is getting through,” the spokesperson for the port added.

Meanwhile, in its latest service update, Eurotunnel is warning customers of waiting times of up to six hours before checking in for the freight shuttle service.

Commenting on the disruption of the past few days, Eurotunnel spokesman John Keefe, said: “The impact has varied through the day, but it means that queues have formed in front of customs controls. We continue to run a full service of up to six departures per hour, but the load factors during the day are affected depending on the rate of flow through the French customs controls.”

He added: “We don’t think this (situation) is representative of post-Brexit flows as there are new facilities being built to provide greater capacity.”

Earlier today in a tweet to customers, P&O Ferries Freight said that sailings on its Calais-Dover route were on time but did highlight that there were  “major queues at check points”.  

Jason Breakwell, commercial director at European road freight specialist Wallenborn Transports, told Lloyd’s Loading List yesterday evening: “We have not changed our operations until now and we have contingency plans to reroute if necessary. The industrial action is adding up to six hours to journey times to the UK, but using other routes will not be quicker because other ferries are less frequent and have longer sailing times. 

“If the situation worsens, we will reassess and initiate contingency plans. We are frequent users of the alternative ferry routes, for example when driving from or to central and northern UK, carrying certain types of dangerous goods, or transporting out-sized cargo.”

Breakwell said he believed the head of French customs “was right when he said this has nothing to do with Brexit, as there will be no additional customs checks on UK bound trucks after Brexit”. 

Warning alert regarding Dangerous Goods in Qingdao China

Dangerous Goods Logos

Due to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit, restrictions are to be placed on dangerous goods at Qingdao.

Applied by the Qingdao Maritime Safety Administration (MSA), restrictions during May and June will be as follows:

All dangerous goods shipments with ETA between 20 May and 20 June 2018 are prohibited from re-handling, re-stowing or re-shifting at Qingdao Port;

All discharge, loading and in-transit of dangerous good shipments will be suspended from 6 June to 11 June 2018 and;

Only dangerous goods classified under the International Maritime Organization (IMO) class 8 and 9 (without any other sub-labels) will be accepted in-transit from 6 to 11 June 2018

MAERSK’s efforts to reduce the impact of volatile freight rates

MAERSK’s efforts to reduce the impact of volatile freight rates on its financial results are making progress as the Danish group expands its range of door-to-door services and digital products.

The goal is to ensure that revenue from stable business activities grows faster than income generated from ocean freight rates that are hugely cyclical, AP Moller-Maersk chief executive Søren Skou said this week.

He also outlined the new financial reporting system, to start with the coming interim results. that will bring greater transparency to the performance of different activities and separate out the impact of freight rates.

“The new format will reflect the fact that we an integrated business focusing on our customers’ value chains,” Mr Skou told the annual general meeting.

The four segments will consist of the ocean shipping activities of Maersk Line, Hamburg Süd and related operations: logistics and services activities of Damco, Maersk Line and APM Terminals on land; terminals and tug operations of APM Terminals and Svitzer in and around ports; and manufacturing activities of Maersk Container Industry and other businesses in the portfolio.

“That new segmentation will make it easier for everyone to follow the development within those services that are not purely ocean freight,” said Mr Skou.

“This is an important aspect of the strategy to create the highest growth and increase earnings in those parts of the business that are not tied to freight rates, and therefore minimise the cyclical part of the business.”

In the past, this ability to hedge one part of the business against another was achieved through the group’s energy activities, which are being sold off as Maersk moves from being a conglomerate to an integrated transport and logistics company.

“We wish for this more stable revenue to grow faster than the traditional ocean freight business, and to come from new services and products, many of which can be offered digitally, and from more door-to door transport and financial products,” said Mr Skou,

Customers must experience a coherent and integrated service with intelligent digital interfaces that make it easier and more straightforward to do business with Maersk Line, he continued

Maersk has already come a long way over the past year, he told shareholders, citing the fact that more than 80% of price inquiries are now received online, compared with zero a year ago.

The Danish group first unveiled plans to transform itself from a shipping and energy group to one focused purely on transportation in 2016, with the aim to reduce its exposure to external factors such as freight rates and oil prices over which it has very little influence.

Digital services are at the core of this massive shake-up, with Mr Skou saying that Maersk already operated one of the largest business-to-business platforms in the world, measured by revenue. This, he said, would form the basis of Maersk’s digital transformation.

Digital technology will not just improve customer services, but also improve productivity of assets such as ships and ports, so enabling Maersk to serve existing and new accounts more cost effectively, said Mr Skou.

US-China Trade Dispute update 04.04.2018

worth around $50 billion a year

further today after China responded to US plans for new tariffs on hundreds of Chinese import product categories worth around $50 billion a year.

Just hours after the Trump administration revealed plans for a 25% tariff on Chinese imports of products within industries such as aerospace, information and communication technology, robotics, and machinery, Beijing threatened to retaliate by imposing tariffs on roughly $50 billion of imports from the US, including on soybeans, cars, and some aircraft, according to reports from international sources including the BBC, FT and Washington Post.

The US claimed it was responding to China’s “unfair trade practices related to the forced transfer of US technology and intellectual property” by publishing “a proposed list of products imported from China that could be subject to additional tariffs”.

Following the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR)’s so-called Section 301 investigation, President Trump announced in March that the United States “will impose tariffs on approximately $50 billion worth of Chinese imports and take other actions in response to China’s policies that coerce American companies into transferring their technology and intellectual property to domestic Chinese enterprises.”

The US said China’s policies “bolster China’s stated intention of seizing economic leadership in advanced technology as set forth in its industrial plans”, such as its ‘Made in China 2025’ plans.

The US continued: “The proposed list of products is based on extensive interagency economic analysis and would target products that benefit from China’s industrial plans while minimizing the impact on the US economy.  Sectors subject to the proposed tariffs include industries such as aerospace, information and communication technology, robotics, and machinery.”

The proposed list covers approximately 1,300 separate tariff lines and will undergo further review in a public notice and comment process, including a hearing. After completion of this process, USTR will issue a final determination on the products subject to the additional duties.

“The total value of imports subject to the tariff increase is commensurate with an economic analysis of the harm caused by China’s unreasonable technology transfer policies to the US economy, as covered by USTR’s Section 301 investigation,” the US said. Its announcement comes just days after the USTR filed a request for consultations with China at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to address China’s “discriminatory technology licensing requirements”.

Such consultations are the first step in the WTO dispute settlement process, the US said.  “If the United States and China are unable to reach a solution through consultations, the United States may request the establishment of a WTO dispute settlement panel to review the matter.”

Responding to the new US tariff announcements but prior to the retaliatory threats from China, US body the National Retail Federation issued the following statement from President and CEO Matthew Shay: “As we’ve said all along, tariffs are taxes on consumers and a drag on the nation’s economy. While we are pleased that many everyday products such as clothing and shoes are not on the list, we remain concerned that other goods such as consumer electronics and home appliances are targets. And we believe that tariffs on certain machinery will make American-made products more expensive.

“This entire process creates uncertainty and makes it difficult for retail companies that must rely on complicated global supply chains. Tariffs threaten to hurt consumers, jeopardize job creation and increase the cost of doing business here in the United States.

“Once again, we urge the administration to work with our trading partners to hold China accountable, advance targeted solutions and recognize the unintended consequences of protectionist trade policies.”

FIATA HQ Meeting and agenda 2018


2018 FIATA HQ Meeting – Registration Link Sent to FIATA Members

Registration for the 2018 FIATA HQ Meeting has opened with a link sent to all FIATA members encouraging their participation. This year, the meeting will take place from March 15-17th. The Headquarters meeting is mainly policy oriented and should not be compared with the World Congress or the Regional Meetings
For more details please visit:



First Global Cross-Border E-Commerce Conference in Beijing

The First Global Cross-Border E-Commerce Conference has been co-hosted by the World Customs Organization (WCO) and China Customs from 9 to 10 February 2018 in Beijing, China. The theme of the Conference was: “An innovative, inclusive, strategic and collaborative approach to sustainable cross-border E-commerce”.

The Conference brought together policy makers and experts from Customs administrations, relevant agencies and ministries, E-commerce operators, international organizations, regional economic communities and other stakeholders. Participants were provided with opportunities to discuss the latest developments of fast-growing cross-border E-commerce.

FIATA was represented by Director General Hans Günther Kersten who participated as a panelist on a panel on Safety and Security of E-commerce.

The aim of the Conference was to enable all parties to, through collaborative thinking, find innovative and widely-applicable solutions for a secure, sustainable and dynamic cross-border E-commerce environment.

The main results of the Conference were summarized in the form of a “Beijing Declaration” to convey the consensus and vision of worldwide Customs and other stakeholders on global cross-border E-commerce. For more details please visit:


UN Environment and WTO Launch Dialogue on Healthier Environments Through Trade

UN Environment Executive Director Erik Solheim and World Trade Organization Director-General Roberto Azevêdo announced that their organizations would join forces to launch a new dialogue on promoting innovative ways of using trade to generate greater opportunities to strengthen our economies and our environments at the same time.

A high-level event in Geneva later in the year will bring together leaders from the public and private sectors to kick-start this work. For more details please visit:


WTO – Azevêdo: MSMEs Are Now at the Heart of the Trade Debate

Speaking at the invitation of the Friends of MSMEs at a meeting on 30 January, Director-General Roberto Azevêdo said that the launch of the Informal Working Group on MSMEs (micro, small and medium-sized enterprises) was one of the highlights of the Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires.

“It is hugely impressive,” he said, “that the group has now reached 88 members – drawn from all regions of the globe and all levels of development.” He urged the group to remain open and inclusive, adding: “This work has come a long way in a very short space of time. Let’s see how far it can go.” For more details please visit:


China donates 1 million USD to support Implementation of WTO TFA

The government of China is contributing USD 1 million (approximately CHF 1 million) to help developing and least-developed countries implement the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement and to support the objective of full implementation of the Agreement by all WTO members.
China’s donation to the Trade Facilitation Agreement Facility (TFAF) will finance the capacity-building support needed by developing countries to implement the Agreement. TFAF assists these countries in assessing their specific needs and in identifying partners to fund capacity-building activities. For more details please visit:


WTO – Argentina Ratifies the Trade Facilitation Agreement

Argentina, host of the 11th Ministerial Conference recently held in Buenos Aires, has completed its ratification process for the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). Argentina’s WTO ambassador Hector Marcelo Cima submitted his country’s instrument of acceptance to WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo on 22 January. Argentina is the 128th WTO member to have done so.

For more details, please visit:


UNCTAD – $89 Billion Lost in Underuse of EU Free Trade Agreements, Report Shows

The full potential of European Union free trade agreements (FTAs) remains untapped to the tune of almost 72 billion euros ($89 billion), UNCTAD and the National Board of Trade Sweden say in a new report.This is the amount that European exporters overpaid because they did not take full advantage of the reduced tariffs offered by the FTAs that the EU as a bloc has signed with a variety of both developed and developing countries.

For more details please visit:;#2207;#Trade Preferences: Data on Utilization Rates


WCO – Classification Decisions taken at the 60th Session Released

The Harmonized System Committee (HSC) held its 60th Session at WCO Headquarters in Brussels from 27 September to 6 October 2017.  The decisions taken by the HSC during this session have now been published on our website. copies of new Classification Opinions and sets of amendments to the Explanatory Notes will be made available in due course, enabling Contracting Parties to update their HS publications (Explanatory Notes and Compendium of Classification Opinions, 2017 Edition).

For more details please visit:


WCO laysdDown Foundation of a Framework of Standards Cross-Border E-Commerce

The WCO E-Commerce Sub-Groups held face-to-face meetings at the WCO headquarters in Brussels from 23 to 25 January 2018. This meeting brought together more than 125 delegates from Customs administrations, other government agencies, the private sector, other international organizations, e-vendors/platforms, express service providers, postal operators, freight forwarders, Customs brokers and academia to discuss and develop a ‘Framework of Standards on Cross-Border E-Commerce’.

The Framework will be supported by an implementation strategy and action plan, as well as a robust capacity building mechanism to ensure its harmonized and expeditious implementation, based on national and regional needs and imperatives.

For more details please visit:


WEF – Trade Agreements Must Be Modernized for a 2018 Economy

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Canada, Mexico and the United States, which created the world’s largest free-trade zone, is now under renegotiation. With the US moving towards a more protectionist approach, and the introduction of new technologies reshaping the economy, policy-makers are reimagining what global trade agreements might look like in a 21st-century context.

While trade agreements can provide many benefits, they must be responsive to changes in the economy. E-commerce, digital trading and new technologies have significantly affected global trade since NAFTA was first implemented in 1994.

For more details please visit:


WEF – Canada Announces New TPP Deal

In a special address at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, announced that Canada and the 10 remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership had reached an agreement in Tokyo earlier in the day on a new “Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership”, or the CPTPP.

Trudeau couched the new agreement in terms of shared determination to address and correct the inequitable distribution of the fruits of global trade in previous decades.

For more details please visit:


WEF – The Belt and Road Initiative Can Foster Global Collaboration

The Belt and Road Initiative is a unique opportunity to connect continents through infrastructure, cultural and technological exchange in order to drive sustained economic progress, agreed participants at a Caixin debate.Although the initiative is spearheaded by China, to succeed it must unite multiple stakeholders. “The Belt and Road is more than just an infrastructure project, it is a crucial engine for building a more socially inclusive tomorrow,” said Ren Hongbin, Chairman, China National Machinery Industry Corp.

For more details please visit:



IATA – Air Freight Demand up 9% in 2017, Strongest Growth Since 2010

IATA released full-year 2017 data for global air freight markets showing that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs) grew by 9.0%. This was more than double the 3.6% annual growth recorded in 2016.  Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometers (AFTKs), rose by 3.0% in 2017. This was the slowest annual capacity growth seen since 2012. Demand growth outpaced capacity growth by a factor of three.

For more details, please visit:

IATA and CAAS to launch Global Safety Predictive Analytics Research Centre

IATA and CAAS announced the signing of a Memorandum of Collaboration (MoC) to establish a Global Safety Predictive Analytics Research Center (SPARC) in Singapore. The MoC was signed by Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO, and Kevin Shum, Director-General of CAAS.
SPARC will utilize predictive analytics to identify potential aviation safety hazards and assess related risks by leveraging the research capabilities in Singapore, and operational flight data and safety information that are available under IATA’s Global Aviation Data Management (GADM) initiative.

For more details, please visit:


IATA welcomes Single African Air Transport Market but effective Implementation is Key

IATA welcomes the launch of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) initiative by the African Union (AU) to open up Africa’s skies and improve intra-African air connectivity. Enhanced connectivity will stimulate demand, improve the competitiveness of the African airline industry, and make air travel more accessible. In turn, this will enable higher volumes of trade, expanded tourism and growing commerce between African nations and with the rest of the world.
For more details, please visit:


ICAO – APAC Ministers endorse Joint Declaration on Regional Aviation Safety

With the Asia and Pacific (APAC) air traffic market poised to become the world’s largest by 2022, ministers in charge of civil aviation representing 36 governments met together in Beijing to endorse a new declaration formalizing their shared commitments on high-priority aviation safety and efficiency objectives.

Gathering at ICAO’s 2018 APAC Ministerial Conference, hosted by the People’s Republic of China, the high-level officials agreed to pursue cooperative progress on objectives relating to aviation safety oversight, State Safety Programme (SSP) implementation, airport certification, the timely implementation of the Asia/Pacific Seamless Air Traffic Management Plan, and the sharing of information and best practices for air navigation and search and rescue services.

For more details, please visit:



UNFCCC – Leading Companies cut Supply Chain Emissions, save Money

A new report by CDP, a global environmental disclosure platform, says major companies worldwide achieved a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in their supply chains in 2017.
Carbon emissions in supply chains are on average four times those of company’s direct operations. The report says as a result of emission reduction activities, the companies saved costs amounting to USD 14 billion last year.
Read more at:


UNFCCC – Why 2018 is the Year for Business to Step Up Climate Action

Business has a critical role to play in achieving the scale of decarbonization needed. In fact, some large companies with global supply chains account for greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of entire countries.

Mars, Incorporated has a carbon footprint similar in scale to Panama’s. With this scale comes responsibility. By being more innovative and efficient, and working with suppliers and local economies, companies are finding ways to cut carbon and costs.

Read more at:


European Road Transport

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US supply chains are braced for a second shock to the system as Hurricane Irma heads for Florida, even as the US Gulf still reels from Hurricane Harvey’s impact on Texas and beyond.

Irma is being described as a potentially catastrophic Category 5 ‘superstorm’ capable of delivering lift-threatening winds of more than 180 mph (290kmh), storm surges and huge amounts of rainfall. The hurricane, the most powerful Atlantic hurricane in recorded history, is expected to reach Florida on Saturday after first passing over or near Barbados, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba in the coming days.

Hundreds of flights to and from Caribbean islands have already been cancelled and most commercial ports in Irma’s path are currently closed.

Although it is not yet clear where in the US Irma will make landfall, Florida has already started evacuating citizens across the state. Air, road and rail disruptions are expected to be lengthy as the state braces itself for Irma’s impact.

Terminal gates at the Port of Miami, which handled 1.03 million TEU in FY 2016, were closed for export cargoes yesterday at 3pm EST.

A customer advisory from SeaLand, Maersk Line’s intra-America’s carrier, said Port Everglades was open yesterday and would remain open today although this could change depending on how Irma developed.

Miami International Airport, a major cargo hub and a key part of American Airline’s network, said it was closely monitoring the storm and warned it would close when sustained winds reach 55 miles per hour, although many airlines were expected to cancel flights well before that point.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport said some of its flights to the Caribbean scheduled today had been cancelled.

As reported in Lloyd’s Loading List, Texas is only just starting to get back on its feet following Hurricane Harvey, a Category 4 storm, which battered the coast for much of last week before heading inland. But even as vessel loading and unloading resumes at the country’s sixth biggest box port, backlogs of cargo are expected to take weeks to clear as the state’s roads and railways take time to return to full capacity after the devastation suffered.


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Our equipment availability includes road-trains, standard 90 cube trailers, Mega Trailer, box trailer, road-tankers,temperature controlled,Garment trailers, Our equipment is usually available at short notice, We have a network or Truck companies from Large organisations to our owner drivers all of whom are vetted before they are able to work with Holland & Stockford Ltd.

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