Active complaints

Showing items 1 to 20 of 64
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
COMESA
EAC
SADC
Reporting country or region
COMESA
EAC
SADC
Status
Actions
NTB-001-020 1.11. Occupational safety and health regulation
Policy/Regulatory
2021-06-14 Democratic Republic of the Congo: Kasumbalesa Zambia New View
Complaint: It has been reported that the DRC Health Department has implemented a mandatory COVID testing fee of US$45 per driver disregarding any other COVID certificates issued by Member States . This has led to Drivers from various countries parking their trucks and not crossing into DRC because they would like the DRC Government to reverse the directive on mandatory COVID19 test at a fee of $45. Currently, there is no traffic movement at Kasumbalesa.

This has disrupted the movement of goods and people between the two countries. We therefore request the relevant officials to resolve this matter.

Reporting on behalf of Truck Drivers
 
NTB-001-019 4. Sanitary & phyto-sanitary (SPS) measures
A1: Prohibitions/restrictions of imports for SPS reasons
2021-03-01 Uganda: Malaba Kenya New View
Complaint: PVOC is currently a requirement for seed shipment into Uganda. This is causing considerable delays in seed shipment. In addition, the enforcement of PVOC requirements in Uganda is based on Uganda standards 821. There is however a disconnect between the Uganda standards and the parent seed regulations in terms of some of the conformity requirements such as label markings where the UG standards is asking for markings that are not in the Seed regulations.  
NTB-001-018 3. Technical barriers to trade (TBT)
B84: Inspection requirement
Policy/Regulatory
2021-05-12 Uganda: Malaba Kenya New View
Complaint: Uganda subjecting to Kenya perfumed petroleum jelly certified with Kenya SMark and manufactured using the EAC harmonized standards to Destination Inspection (DI) and it's costly charges. This violates the EAC SQMT Act 2006 mutual recognition principal and makes the cost of Kenya products to increase. This has been done despite KEBS writing a letter to UNBS, they proceeded with subjecting Kenya petrolium jelly products to DI and delays for over two weeks. These act by Uganda has negatively affected Kenya export of the products as DI fees and it's process including the delays is extremely high and increases the cost of the products.  
NTB-001-017 2.8. Lengthy and costly customs clearance procedures 2021-02-09 SADC SADC New View
Complaint: Differences on the Health Attestation requirements for different countries within the SADC region

1. resulting to the same products having to comply with multiple requirements.
2. Multiple movement certificate has to be issued by the State Vet for the same product in order to meet exporting country’s requirements. This is done for every lot to ensure easy exportation of products by Nestle and our customers.
3. The difference in requirements has resulted in shipment rejections by State Vet since picking of stock for exportation is done at the warehouse after movement certificate has be issued.
4. Above has a huge impact on cost, time delays and meeting customer service level.
This is experienced in Eswatini, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The health authorities are requested to look into it and facilitate trade.
 
NTB-001-016 2.10. Inadequate or unreasonable customs procedures and charges 2021-04-28 Uganda New View
Complaint: Exporters of mattresses are suddenly required to pay 1250 USD dollars per mattress.This is an unclear tax and exorbitant.  
Progress: On 28 May 2021, Focal Point for The Republic of South Sudan reported that they had taken note and are investigating. However, they request that Uganda to provide them with copies of receipts issued by the Tax Authorities to verify and easily take action with evidence.  
Products: 9404.2: - Mattresses :  
NTB-001-014 1.6. Domestic assistance programmes for companies
Policy/Regulatory
2021-03-17 South Africa: Rhodes Quality, Cape Town Botswana New View
Complaint: We are a freight logistics company based in Gaborone, Botswana(100% citizen). During registration on supplies portals in South Africa they require us (Foreign freight logistics companies without branches in South Africa ) to be BBBEE compliant despite we providing them with all company documents verifying that we are foreign based with Head Offices out of South Africa borders. Because of the nature of our business which compels us to conduct cross border transportation, South African supplies would immediately inform us we can't do business with them on the basis of non - compliant on BBBEE requirements. Arrangement in place promotes South African transporters to do cross border and prohibits foreign transporters to haul commodities back to country of operation. Please note we are not issued with any documents as a dispensation on our Head offices out of South African borders.

Kindly assist in the best possible way.
 
NTB-001-010 2.6. Additional taxes and other charges 2020-03-20 Uganda: Busia Kenya In process View
Complaint: INIQUITOUS TAX AND RESTRICTION OF TRADE
In order to export poultry products to Uganda, a Kenyan farmer/producer is charged 18% VAT, 6% withholding tax and 1% road levy. This is 25% cumulative tax payable to Uganda Revenue Authority (URA). It is important to note that in Uganda chicken is not vatable, yet they charge VAT on chicken from Kenya.
 
Progress: On 17 May 2021, Uganda Focal Point reported that the Republic of Uganda held a Bilateral meeting with Kenya and agreed on a time frame of 1st July 2021 to resolve this and other NTBs related to taxation.  
Products: 0207.13: Fresh or chilled cuts and edible offal of fowls of the species Gallus domesticus  
NTB-001-008 2.2. Arbitrary customs classification 2020-05-05 Zambia: Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries In process View
Complaint: Nestle is facing Product classification challenges in the Zambian market involving imitation products that are not dairy who are classified as dairy and face similar penalties that dairy products face. This product in question is Cremora which is classified by the authorities as a dairy product. However, CREMORA is a non-dairy creamer. To this effect, the request is to consider CREMORA for exemption from the dairy category of definition and profile of the product.  
NTB-001-007 2.6. Additional taxes and other charges 2021-02-25 Zambia: Livingstone In process View
Complaint: A member of the South African Brand owners Association is experiencing push back from Zambia’s Ministry of Health in that they do not want to issue the Zambian importers a Health Clearance certificate unless the product has been subjected to re-testing in Zambia.
The association presented the Certificate of Analysis issued by South African Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development which is responsible for analysis of products in South Africa, which was rejected by Zambia authorities.
The importers ended up going to meet the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health to plead their case for clearance of which the Ministry said that they could not advise on which specific metals to test and advised that for future reference and to avoid this occurring again, the importers may use the former certificates to identify the metals that are present to enable the lab to test accurately. The example attached by the Ministry was for the inclusion of the following tests:
Natamycin
Sorbic Acid
Zinc – ZN
Copper – CU
Iron – FE
Lead – PB
For years the South African Health Clearance Certificate was accepted. The duplication of test conducted results in the below additional costs for our importer:
R240 per wine selected. We export 202 skus. If we have to test all of them at least once a year then we will spend R48 480 annually to confirm that our products are in spect.
Following the meeting with Ministry of Health , the Zambian importers reported that some past COA’s have successfully now managed to gain clearance for 2021 Q1 and Q2. We would appreciate if this matter can be resolved.
 
Progress: On 12 may 2021, South Africa Focal Point reported that the NTB remained unresolved and that the products are still stuck at Livingstone the border. The exporter requested that the Focal Points for Zambia and South Africa arrange for an interim arrangements to have them released, or they should advise exporter what to do to have them released until they come up with a permanent solution. This matter has been bought to the attention of Zambia Focal Points .  
NTB-001-006 2.2. Arbitrary customs classification 2021-01-28 Zimbabwe: Chirundu Zimbabwe In process View
Complaint: AGENTS charged as a criminal offense and penalised for not attaching Permit.

Due to COVID 19 Restrictions in place for Zimbabwe small scale cross border traders their goods are now spending more days at border posts due to the long processing requirements' which they never new when they enjoyed using COMESA STR which was suspended because of COVID as they are not allowed to clear there goods at the borders . Trade is only allowed to be done through the clearing of agents, Those few traders who are using the agents are facing numerous challenges which include requirements for permits and licenses for STR qualifying goods which are beyond the reach of many thereby marginalizing the rest of the traders .

On 28 January 2021 an entry for sweets and sherbets was done by the agent at Chirundu . The Agent erroneously omitted to attach permit for bio safety and the agent was fined an astronomical figure of 400,000 RTGs and when he appealed for that decision of the amount it was doubled to 800,000 RTGS which translate to above US$8000 on the day's exchange rate. ZIMRA classified omission to attach a biosafety permit as a criminal offense attracting a fine outlined in SI 25 of 2021 the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) (Standard Scale of Fines) Notice, 2021.This notice is issued by the Minister in terms of section 280 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act [Chapter 9:23]. On reading the Act, it is not clear if omission to attach a document constitute a criminal offense .

The goods now have 12 working days at the border and the consignment was for a small-scale trader who is not a company, and these are the people who live on hand to mouth trade. The level of fines for clearing agents are Punitive rather than Correctional, Agents are now afraid of clearing goods for small scale traders as they are heavily fined for omissions and errors which are a common thing in the world, Permits are cumbersome to obtain for some of them.

1. ZIMRA is urged to reconsider the classification of error from “Criminal Offense” to “Omission to attach a required document” and therefore the reduce level of fine
2. The relevant Government Department is requested to consider allowing clearance of COMESA STR goods by TIDOs during this COVID period when they get to the border under modalities to be agreed upon by the authorities.
 
NTB-001-005 2.2. Arbitrary customs classification 2021-01-05 Zimbabwe: Chirundu Zimbabwe In process View
Complaint: CROSS BORDER TRADE RELATED
Cross border trade was affected by the lockdown put in place under the COMESA COVID-19 Regulations implemented by Member States because of challenges the pandemic brought. While the COVID-19 Measures are welcome, the lockdown did not have other mechanisms which were put in place to cover the informal sector as majority of them are women who are also bread winners whose small savings and profits are meant for schools and general welfare of the family. As much as traders pay heed to COVID 19 regulations this does not substitute food on the table. Government appreciated movement of goods by trucks as a way of decongesting borders thereby small scale traders being marginalized.

COMESA SIMPLIFIED REGIME is a system done by COMESA Members States to simply trade for small trade players, in this Pandemic lockdown , why don't the Government allow small scale traders to organize themselves through CBTAs and COMESA TRADE INFORMATION OFFICERS to clear their wares in a simplified manner. Traders can send their money by wire transfer or MUKURU then goods are sent to the border and all the clearing formalities are done by the TIDO, the same way clearing agents are doing it. The current arrangement where only agents allowed to do clearances for cross border traders has increased their cost of doing business drastically as the the clearing formalities takes more time 3-4 working days from time when an entry is done where as the STR clearance through TIDO takes hours for a small consignment of $1000.00 STR threshold value and goods are released, goods which are on of eligible products
 
Products: 2202: Waters, including mineral waters and aerated waters, containing added sugar or other sweetening matter or flavoured, and other non-alcoholic beverages, not including fruit or vegetable juices of heading 20.09., 3401: Soap; organic surface-active products and preparations for use as soap, in the form of bars, cakes, moulded pieces or shapes, whether or not containing soap; organic surface-active products and preparations for washing the skin, in the form of liquid or c and 3005: Wadding, gauze, bandages and similar articles (for example, dressings, adhesive plasters, poultices), impregnated or coated with pharmaceutical substances or put up in forms or packings for retail sale for medical, surgical, dental or veterinary purposes  
NTB-001-004 2.8. Lengthy and costly customs clearance procedures 2020-12-31 Zambia: Kariba Zimbabwe In process View
Complaint: Introduction of Statutory Instrument 115 of 2020, Ports of Entry and Routes Amendment Order, page 785 of S.I. 115 -2020 Indicates borders and regulating hours of operation, Kariba and Victoria Falls being affected. For goods destined for Kariba, it will be very difficult and costly for traders to go via chirundu and back to Kariba . The chuiiurundu kariba route doubles the distance and therefire craetes additional cost for landing same product in Kariba. Distance to transport goods directly from Siavonga Juction to Kariba border is 78 kms . Whereas ,the Chirundu routes is: Siyavonga to the border chirundu (20kms); Add 62 kms from chirundu border to Makuti then 77 kms from Makuti to Kariba, totalling 159kms.
This Order disturbs the spirit of Regional integration , traders are crying because of COVID 19 and its effects then another 115 Pandemic, . If all exports are centralized to pass through chirundu it means we are putting pressure at one point this in turn increases chances of smuggling and paying bribes, as of more days are spent at the border. This will give pressure to clearing agents who will make errors in making entries leading to pay heavy fines, the agent will simply abandon the goods leading to the bond being cancelled , this will cause traders to have other options of smuggling and paying bribes, WHY DONT THERE BE CORRECTIVE MEASURES THAN PUNITIVE MEASURES.

This S.I. has come at a point where Zimbabwean traders are not allowed to clear goods over the counter because of COVID 19 and other regulations
 
Products: 1905: Bread, pastry, cakes, biscuits and other bakers' wares, whether or not containing cocoa; communion wafers, empty cachets of a kind suitable for pharmaceutical use, sealing wafers, rice paper and similar products., 3401: Soap; organic surface-active products and preparations for use as soap, in the form of bars, cakes, moulded pieces or shapes, whether or not containing soap; organic surface-active products and preparations for washing the skin, in the form of liquid or c and 3401: Soap; organic surface-active products and preparations for use as soap, in the form of bars, cakes, moulded pieces or shapes, whether or not containing soap; organic surface-active products and preparations for washing the skin, in the form of liquid or c  
NTB-001-003 8.1. Government Policy and regulations 2021-01-26 Zambia: Zambia Revenue Authority In process View
Complaint: Government of Zambia issues Statutory Instrument 115 of 2020 , The Customs and Excise Ports of Entry and Routes Amendment Order, 2020, 9A(1) Reads , goods exported through Victoria Falls port in accordance with this paragraph shall be transported by rail, this Order automatically is a ban to export goods to Zimbabwe as the whole process to export using rail is a burdensome to trade by small scale players. Most goods are bought in Kamwala area shops and some being bought in the industrial areas which small players can easily transport using their vehicles or hired vehicles as they combine wares. Introduction for use of Rail is a clear indication by the Government of Zambia to ban export of certain commodities to Zimbabwe as market access will be a challenge to those living within Victoria Falls and the whole part of matebelalend as they are forced to use Chirundu exit .
Trucks can reach Victoria Falls within a day which is different from train, trucks you can accompany your goods different from train, trucks you can be cleared in time whereas using train everything is dumped at one place. this will open other avenues of bush borders or direct smuggling at the borders as officials will not be clearing goods in trucks
 
Progress: On 6 May 2021, Zambia Focal Point reported that :
SI 115 is meant:
1. to control which goods can be imported and exported on the basis of station competences regarding, infrastructure, man power competencies and presence of other regulatory Agencies
2. Victoria falls is a national heritage and tourism site which is meant to be preserved as such by SI 115 by preventing huge truck spending hours there thus affecting the eco system of this site.
 
Products: 34: CHAPTER 34 - SOAP, ORGANIC SURFACE-ACTIVE AGENTS, WASHING PREPARATIONS, LUBRICATING PREPARATIONS, ARTIFICIAL WAXES, PREPARED WAXES, POLISHING OR SCOURING PREPARATIONS, CANDLES AND SIMILAR ARTICLES, MODELLING PASTES, ‘DENTAL WAXES’ AND DENTAL PREPARATIONS , 1905: Bread, pastry, cakes, biscuits and other bakers' wares, whether or not containing cocoa; communion wafers, empty cachets of a kind suitable for pharmaceutical use, sealing wafers, rice paper and similar products. and 0401: Milk and cream, not concentrated nor containing added sugar or other sweetening matter.  
NTB-001-001 1.14. Lack of coordination between government institutions 2021-01-19 Namibia: NRST Head Office / Innovation Hub Cnr, Louis Raymond & Grant Webster Street Private Bag 13253 Windhoek Tel: +264 61 431 7000/99 Fax: + 264 61 216 531/+ 264 61 235 758 Email: info@ncrst.na South Africa New View
Complaint: 1. GMO thresholds - Namibia is 1% and South Africa is 5%

2. The above then has implications on what should be labeled.

3. The prescribed GMO wording is also different

4. Namibia also requests additional information from the rights owner (GMO Tech developers), which users do not have in South Africa.

All of this adds up to South African manufacturers/exporters being unable to meet the application requirements, thereby not obtaining the required import permits.

CGCSA members revised applications 3 times, but were still unable to complete the applications to the specifications expected.
 
NTB-000-997 1.7. Discriminatory or flawed government procurement policies
Policy/Regulatory
2018-07-01 Uganda: Uganda VAT Kenya In process View
Complaint: Uganda charges Kenya manufactured excise books VAT at 18%. The VAT is not levied on Uganda locally manufactured books. The discriminative VAT is in violation of Article III of GATT 1994, Article 75(6) of the Treaty establishing the EAC and Article 15 of the EAC Custom Union Protocol as it subjects Kenyan manufactured products to VAT charges not charged on same domestic products in Uganda.  
Progress: 1. On 14 December 2020, the Focal Point , EAC Secretariat gave observations that most VAT Acts of Partner States provide for Exempt and Zero Rated Supplies under their specific schedules. VAT on locally manufactured items is normally paid at the point of sale while for imported ones is at the time of importation.Uganda Focal Point is therefore requested to assist to establish application of VAT on exercise books.
2.The NMC meeting that took place in March, 2021 noted the VAT is charged on a discriminatory basis and should be eliminated. Ministry of Trade to liaise with the Ministry of Finance and report during the RMC.
3. Uganda Focal Point reported that there is no evidence attached for this NTB however, the Value Added Tax (Zero rated Educational Materials) Regulations, 2018 Statutory Instrument No 22 of 2018 provides for what is considered as educational material and includes Exercise books as one them and this is at 0%.
4. On 13 April 2021, Kenya Focal Point reported that there is still denial of exemption and delays in processing of the exemptions as well. This zero rate educational materials-exercise books is not automatic in the system as clients need to apply.
5.The RMC meeting held in May 2021 noted that the Republic of Uganda held a Bilateral meeting with Kenya and agreed on a time frame of 1st July 2021 to resolve the NTBs related to Exercise books, Exercise books, and Pharmaceuticals
 
NTB-000-992 Inconsistent application of COVID-19 test requirement 2020-12-01 Zimbabwe: Chirundu Zambia New View
Complaint: Zimbabwe is not consistent with the SADC COVID-19 requirement/guidelines of drivers requiring a 14 days validity test as a 48 hours requirement has been imposed. This has resulted in increase in cost of doing business as drivers have to take multiple COVID-19 tests which cost on average $76 per test. Transporters travelling into Zambia on the other hand can use their COVI-19 certificates within a 14 day period. A transporter delivering/transiting in Zimbabwe is required to take at least 2 COVID tests within the 14 day period. In some cases this has caused congestion at the border as truckers rush to beat the 48 hour COVID-19 test validity.  
NTB-000-987 8.7. Costly Road user charges /fees 2020-09-26 Zambia: Kazungula Ferry Botswana New View
Complaint: Zambia Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA)charges Botswana trucks 541 US Dollars per each entry into Zambia, while other SADC Countries are charged per distance. South Africa trucks are charged 110 US Dollars from Kazungula Ferry to Lusaka, Namibia trucks are charged a fixed 209 US Dollars per truck anywhere into Zambia. Zimbabwe and Tanzania pay a the same as South Africa.

Botswana trucks again have to pay RTSA K469 for identity cards per unit which becomes costly for Botswana truckers while other SADC Countries do not pay for identity cards. As Esmail Carriers (PTY) LTD we have 12 trucks that are crossing into Zambia and this has been going on for over 8 years. Per trip we spend more than P6765 per truck and per month the cumulative costs amount to more than P80 000.00 (RTSA charges). For identity cards is about P12 600.00 per month. Furthermore, Zambia has introduced new inland road tolls which we are paying in addition to existing charges.

This has become detrimental to our business as we lose more revenue on a daily basis. We currently request the Zambia government, Botswana government and SADC Secretariat to resolve this issue.
 
Progress: On 8th December 2020, Zambia Focal point reported that they were making follow up with the Road Transport and Safety Agency ( RTSA) and provide feedback as soon as possible.  
NTB-000-985 1.8. Import bans 2020-10-12 South Africa: Grobler's Bridge Zambia New View
Complaint: Certified organic honey that is American Foulbrood Disease (AFB)free, complete with Certificate of Analysis from accredited lab Intertek in Germany (accredited by the German National Accreditation body DAkkS - national accreditation body for the Federal Republic of Germany) they are also ISO/IEC 17025 certified and they do engage in proficiency testing) has been banned from entering SA unless irradiated.
2015 bilateral agreement allowed Zambian honey into SA without irradiating due to there being no AFB in Zambia.
SA claims that their ARC lab has tested samples from Forest Fruits and others and found them to be positive for AFB. The ARC lab has always produced inconsistent results and they cannot replicate the results. Sometimes positive and after a retest it is negative. ARC lab is not even SANAS accredited, has no ISO certification and does not engage in proficiency testing for AFB tests. On 23 October 2020 at a round table meeting of SA honey importers and various DAFF departments - meeting called by DAFF NPPO, it was clearly stated and admitted that ARC has performance "gaps".
DAFF scientists have to make decisions based on faulty science and results. The Intertek results consistently come back as negative for AFB disease. The result is in Non Compliance notices being sent to Zambia for samples that get retested and are negative!
As recent as last year, Zambia Veterinary Services did a national survey and found no AFB disease in Zambia.
SA DAFF NPPO is creating haphazard barriers to Zambian honey.
All Zambian exports are now affected.
Since 2015 a considerable amount of business with South African companies has developed in Zambia exporting honey to them. This ban affects the livelihoods of over 140,000 subsistence villagers.
 
NTB-000-982 1.4. Preference given to domestic bidders/suppliers 2020-08-24 Botswana: Ministry of Trade and Industry Zimbabwe In process View
Complaint: On 24 August 2020, Botswana’s Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry released a statement that the country would be restricting the importation of baked goods. This will affect products such as pastries, cookies, muffins and other products derived from some form of grain.
The statement was supported by S.I 102 of 2020. The Botswana’s Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry highlighted that the move is meant to protect the domestic producers.
 
NTB-000-976 8.8. Issues related to transit 2020-08-10 Botswana: Kazungula Ferry Zambia In process View
Complaint: We have a fleet of trucks and the problem is there is no fixed procedure to calculate the toll that BURS charges. They see the weights on the trailers mentioned on the blue plates which many a times shows 36,000kgs on the small trailer and 36,000 on the big trailer. That means they charge each truck toll for 72000 kgs. Some trailers with the same load and same trailers end up paying 4200Pulas and some trailers with the same cargo and same type of trailers are told to pay 6700 pulas. When the agent goes to ask that if you are charging us for 72000kgs will you allow the truck to carry such weights. They just tell him to leave the office and say there is no negotiation. We fail to understand how 1 truck having the same trailer and same cargo pay 4300 pulas and other truck with same trailer and same cargo is told to pay 6700 pulas. This on our transporters part is unfair. They should come with a fixed charge option that trucks with tri axel trailers will pay this much and trucks with interlinks trailers will pay this much. Please we will be obliged if this issue is raised on top priority.  
Progress: On 18 May 2021, Botswana Focal Point provided the following feedback regarding this NTB;a) Lack of fixed Procedure in calculating road tolls. There is a procedure in place to calculate toll charges. The toll charges are charged basing on the gross vehicle weight of the horse and /or the trailer. And where there are any challenges with gross vehicle mass (GVM) /weight, the Weighbridge office is contacted for guidance and confirming the weight. Alternatively the previous weights may also be used after explaining to the customer. However, there are generally observed challenges with regards to alignment of the GVM weight reflected on the white book and the one physically affixed on the trailer/Horse. In this particular case, there was difference in weights between those indicated in the white book and the data plate affixed to the truck. Assistance was sought from the Weighbridge and due to other circumstances the attempt was unsuccessful. In concluding the query, the truck driver was assisted using the previous permits which he had no objections to. b) Lack of cooperation between truck drivers and officers when it comes to dealing with queries BURS has a query handling procedure in place, where a Customer is not happy with the service rendered, they have the right to escalate the matter to the next level supervisors until their query is resolved. Alternatively, the customer may call the Customer Center at 17649 for assistance if they have any query. c) Way Forward The Botswana Unified Revenue Service will engage with the Ministry of Transport and Communications for technical assistance in finding an everlasting solution especially where GVM on the white book and the one affixed on the truck/trailer differs.  
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