E N F O R C E M E N T   AND   C O M P L I A N C E

Colombia Peace, Amity, Navigation, and Commerce Treaty

General treaty, with additional article, signed at Bogota December 12, 1846

Ratified by New Granada1 June 15, 1847

Senate advice and consent to ratification June 3, 1848

Ratified by the President of the United States June 10, 1848

Ratifications exchanged at Washington June 10, 1848

Entered into force June 10, 1848

Proclaimed by the President of the United States June 12, 1848

Article 33 abrogated by the United States July 1, 1916, in accordance with Seamen's Act of March 4, 19152

Provisions inconsistent with those of agreement of September 13, 19353 superseded by 1935 provisions while later agreement remained in force

9 Stat. 881; Treaty Series 544


The United States of North America and the Republic of New Granada 1 in South America, desiring to make lasting and firm the friendship and good understanding which happily exists between both nations have resolved to fix in a manner clear, distinct and positive, the rules which shall in future be religiously observed between each other by means of a treaty, or general convention of peace and friendship, commerce and navigation.

For this desirable object the President of the United States of America has conferred full powers on Benjamin A. Bidlack a citizen of the said States and their Chargé d'Affaires in Bogota, and the President of the Republic of New Granada has conferred similar and equal powers upon Manuel Maria Mallarino Secretary of State and foreign relations, who, after having exchanged their said full powers in due form, have agreed to the following articles.

1 See footnote 1, ante, p. 865

2 38 Stat. 1164

3 EAS 89, post, p. 913.

4 For a detailed study of this treaty, see 5 Miller 115.


There shall be a perfect, firm and inviolable peace and sincere friendship between the United States of America and the Republic of New Granada, in all the extent of their possessions and territories, and between their citizens respectively, without distinction of persons or places.


The United States of America and the Republic of New Granada, desiring to live in peace and harmony with all the nations of the earth, by means of a policy frank and equally friendly with all, engage mutually not to grant any particular favor to other nations, in respect of commerce and navigation, which shall not immediately become common to the other party, who shall enjoy the same freely, if the concession was freely made, or on allowing the same compensation, if the concession was conditional.


The two high contracting parties, being likewise desirous of placing the commerce and navigation of their respective countries on the liberal basis of perfect equality and reciprocity, mutually agree that the citizens of each may frequent all the coasts of countries of the other, and reside and trade there, in all kinds of produce, manufactures and merchandize; and that they shall enjoy, all the rights, privileges and exemptions, in navigation and commerce, which native citizens do or shall enjoy, submitting themselves to the laws, decrees and usages there established, to which native citizens are subjected. But it is understood that this article does not include the coasting trade of either country, the regulation of which is reserved by the parties respectively according to their own separate laws.


They likewise agree that whatever kind of produce, manufacture or merchandize of any foreign country can be, from time to time, lawfully imported into the United States in their own vessels, may be also imported in vessels of the Republic of New Granada; and that no higher or other duties upon the tonnage of the vessel and her cargo, shall be levied and collected, whether the importation be made in vessels of the one country or of the other. And in like manner, that whatever kind of produce, manufactures or merchandize of any foreign country, can be from time to time lawfully imported into the Republic of New Granada in its own vessels, may be also imported in vessels of the United States; and that no higher or other duties, upon the tonnage of the vessel and her cargo, shall be levied or collected, whether the importation be made in vessels of the one country or the other.

And they further agree, that whatever may be lawfully exported or reexported, from the one country, in its own vessels to any foreign country, may in like manner be exported or reexported, in the vessels of the other country. And the same bounties, duties and drawbacks, shall be allowed and collected, whether such exportation or reexportataion, be made in vessels of the United States or of the Republic of New Granada.


No higher or other duties shall be imposed on the importation into the United States of any articles the produce or manufacture of the Republic of New Granada, and no higher or other duties shall be imposed on the importation into the Republic of New Granada of any articles the produce or manufactures of the United States, than are or shall be payable on the like articles being the produce or manufacture of any other foreign country; nor shall any higher or other duties or charges be imposed in either of the two countries on the exportation of any articles to the United States or to the Republic of New Granada respectively, than such as are payable on the exportation of the like articles to any other foreign country, nor shall any prohibition be imposed on the exportation or importation of any articles, the produce or manufactures of the United States or of the Republic of New Granada to or from the territories of the United States or to or from the territories of the Republic of New Granada which shall not equally extend to all other nations.


In order to prevent the possibility of any misunderstanding, it is hereby declared that the stipulations contained in the three preceding articles are to their full extent applicable to the vessels of the United States and their cargoes arriving in the ports of New Granada, and reciprocally to the vessels of the said Republic of New Granada and their cargoes arriving in the ports of the United States; whether they proceed from ports of the country to which they respectively belong, or from the ports of any other foreign country; and in either case no discriminating duty shall be imposed or collected in the ports of either country on said vessels or their cargoes, whether the same shall be of native or foreign produce or manufacture.


It is likewise agreed, that it shall be wholly free for all merchants, commanders of ships, and other citizens of both countries to manage by themselves or agents their own business in all the ports and place subject to the jurisdiction of each other, as well with respect to the consignments and sale of their goods and merchandize by whole sale or retail, as with respect to: the loading, unloading and sending off their ships; they being; in all these cases, to be treated as citizens of the country in which they reside, or at least to be placed on an equality with the subjects or citizens of the most favored nation.


The citizens of neither of the contracting parties shall be liable to any embargo, nor be detained with their vessels, cargoes, merchandize or effects for any military expedition, nor for any public or private purpose whatever, without allowing to those interested an equitable and sufficient indemnification.


Whenever the citizens of either of the contracting parties shall be forced to seek refuge or asylum, in the rivers, bays, ports or dominions of the other with their vessels, whether merchant or of war, public or private, through stress of weather, pursuit of pirates or enemies, or want of provisions or water, they shall be received and treated with humanity, giving to them all favor and protection for repairing their ships, procuring provisions, and placing themselves in a situation to continue their voyage, without obstacle or hindrance of any kind or the payment of port fees or any charges other than pilotage, except such vessels continue in port longer than forty eight hours counting from the time they cast anchor in port.


All the ships, merchandize and effects belonging to the citizens of one of the contracting parties, which may be captured by pirates, whether within the limits of its jurisdiction or on the high seas, and may be carried or found in the rivers, roads, bays, ports or dominions of the other, shall be delivered up to the owners, they providing the due and proper form their rights, before the competent tribunals: it being well understood that the claim shall be made within the term of one year by the parties themselves, their attorneys, or agents of their respective governments.


When any vessels belonging to the citizens of either of the contracting parties shall be wrecked or foundered or shall suffer any damage on the coasts, or within the dominions of the other, there shall be given to them all assistance and protection, in the same manner which is usual and customary with the vessels of the nation where the damage happens: permitting them to unload said vessel, if necessary, of its merchandize and effects, without exacting it any duty, impost or contribution whatever, unless they may be destined consumption or sale in the country of the port where they may have been disembarked.


The citizens of each of the contracting parties shall have power to dispose of their personal goods or real estate within the jurisdiction of the other, by sale, donation, testament, or otherwise, and their representatives being citizens of the other party, shall succeed to their said personal goods or real estate, whether by testament or ab intestato, and they may take possession thereof, either by themselves or others acting for them, and dispose of the same at their will, paying such dues only as the inhabitants of the country, wherein said goods are, shall be subject to pay in like cases.


Both contracting parties promise and engage formally to give their special protection to the persons and property of the citizens of each other, of all occupations, who may be in the territories subject to the jurisdiction of one or the other, transient or dwelling therein, leaving open and free to them the tribunals of justice for their judicial recourse, on the same terms which are usual and customary with the natives or citizens of the country; for which purpose they may either appear in proper person or employ in the prosecution or defense of their rights such advocates, solicitors, notaries, agents and factors as they may judge proper in all their trials at law; and such citizens or agents shall have free opportunity to be present at the decisions or sentences of the tribunals, in all cases which may concern them, and likewise at the taking of all examinations and evidence which may be exhibited in the said trials.


The citizens of the United States residing in the territories of the Republic of New Granada, shall enjoy the most perfect and entire security of conscience without being annoyed, prevented, or disturbed on account of their religious belief. Neither shall they be annoyed, molested or disturbed in the proper exercise of their religion in private houses or in the Chapels or places of worship appointed for that purpose, provided that in so doing they observe the decorum due to divine worship, and the respect due to the laws, usages and customs of the country. Liberty shall also be granted to bury the citizens of the United States who may die in the territories of the Republic of New Granada in convenient and adequate places to be appointed and established by themselves for that purpose, with the knowledge of the local authorities, or in such other places of sepulture as may be chosen by the friends of the deceased; nor shall the funerals or sepulchres of the dead be disturbed in any wise nor upon any account.

In like manner the citizens of New Granada shall enjoy, within the Government and territories of the United States, a perfect and unrestrained liberty of conscience and of exercising their religion, publicly or privately, within their own dwelling houses, or in the chapels and places of worship appointed for that purpose, agreeably to the laws, usages & customs of the United States.


It shall be lawful for the citizens of the United States of America and of the Republic of New Granada to sail with their ships, with all manner of liberty and security, no distinction being made who are the proprietors of the merchandize laden thereon, from any port to the places of those who now are or hereafter shall be at enmity with either of the contracting parties. It shall likewise be lawful for the citizens aforesaid to sail with the ships and merchandize before mentioned and to trade with the same liberty and security from the places, ports and havens of those who are enemies of both or either party, without any opposition or disturbance whatsoever, not only directly from the places of the enemy before mentioned to neutral places, but also from one place belonging to an enemy to another place belonging to an enemy, whether they be under the jurisdiction of one power or under several. And it is hereby stipulated that free ships shall also give freedom to goods, and that every thing which shall be found on board the ships belonging to the citizens of either of the contracting parties, shall be deemed to be free and exempt, although the whole lading or any part thereof should appertainto the enemies of either (contraband goods being always excepted.) It is also agreed in like manner, that the same liberty shall be extended to persons who are on board a free ship, with this effect, that although they be enemies to both or either party, they are not to be taken out of that free ship, unless they are officers and soldiers, and in the actual service of the enemies: provided however, and it is hereby agreed, that the stipulations in this article contained, declaring that the flag shall cover the property, shall be understood as applying to those powers only, who recognize this principle, but if either of the two contracting parties shall be at war with a third, and the other remains neutral, the flag of the neutral shall cover the property of enemies whose Governments acknowledge this principle and not of others.


It is likewise agreed, that in the case where the neutral flag of one of the contracting parties shall protect the property of the enemies of the other, by virtue of the above stipulation, it shall always be understood that the neutral property found on board such enemy's vessels, shall be held and considered as enemy's property, and as such shall be liable to detention and confiscation, except such property as was put on board such vessel before the declaration of war, or even afterwards, if it were done without the knowledge of it; but the contracting parties agree that two months having elapsed after the declaration of war, their citizens shall not plead ignorance thereof. On the contrary, if the flag of the neutral does not protect the enemy's property, in that case, the goods and merchandize of the neutral embarked on such enemy's ship shall be free.


This liberty of navigation and commerce shall extend to all kinds of merchandize, excepting those only which are distinguished by the name of contraband; and under this name of contraband, or prohibited goods, shall be comprehended.

1st Cannons, mortars, howitzers, swivels, blunderbusses, muskets, rifles, carbines, pistols, pikes, swords, sabres, lances, spears, halberts; and grenades, bombs, powder, matches, balls, and all other things belonging to the use of these arms.

2nd Bucklers, helmets, breast plates, coats of mail, infantry belts, and clothes made up in the form and for the military use.

3rd Cavalry belts, and horses with their furniture.

4th And generally all kind of arms and instruments of iron, steel, brass, and copper, or of any other materials manufactured, prepared and formed, expressly to make war by sea or land.

5th Provisions that are imported into a besieged or blockaded place.


All other merchandize and things not comprehended in the articles of contraband, explicitly enumerated and classified as above, shall be held and considered as free, and subjects of free and lawful commerce, so that they may be carried and transported in the freest manner by the citizens of both the contracting parties, even to places belonging to an enemy, excepting those places only which are at that time besieged or blockaded; and to avoid all doubt in this particular, it is declared, that those places only are besieged, or blockaded, which are actually attacked by a belligerent force capable of preventing the entry of the neutral.


The articles of contraband, before enumerated and classified, which may be found in a vessel bound for an enemy's port, shall be subject to detention and confiscation, leaving free the rest of the cargo and the ship, that the owners may dispose of them as they see proper. No vessel of either of the two nations shall be detained on the high seas on account of having on board articles of contraband, whenever the master, captain or supercargo of said vessels will deliver up the articles of contraband to the captor, unless the quantity of such articles be so great and of so large a bulk, that they cannot be received on board the capturing ship without great inconvenience; but in this and all other cases of just detention, the vessel detained shall be sent to the nearest convenient and safe port, for trial and judgment according to law.


And whereas it frequently happens, that vessels sail for a port or place belonging to an enemy, without knowing that the same is besieged of blockaded or invested, it is agreed that every vessel so circumstanced may be turned away from such port or place, but shall not be detained, nor shall any part of her cargo, if not contraband, be confiscated, unless, after warning of such blockade or investment, from the commanding office of the blockading forces, she shall again attempt to enter; but she shall be permitted to go to any other port or place she shall think proper. Nor shall any vessel that may have entered into such port before the same was actually besieged, blockaded or invested by the other, be restrained from quitting that place with her cargo, nor if found therein, after the reduction and surrender, shall such vessel or her cargo be liable to confiscation, but they shall be restored to the owners thereof.


In order to prevent all kind of disorder in the visiting and examination of the ships and cargoes of both the contracting parties on the high seas, they have agreed mutually, that whenever a national vessel of war, public or private, shall meet with a neutral of the other contracting party, the first shall remain out of cannon shot, unless in stress of weather, and may send its boat with two or three men only, in order to execute the said examination of the papers concerning the ownership and cargo of the vessel, without causing the least extortion, violence or ill treatment, for which the commanders of said armed ships shall be responsible with their persons and property; for which purpose the commanders of private armed vessels shall, before receiving their commissions, give sufficient security to answer for all the damages they may commit. And it is expressly agreed, that the neutral party shall in no case be required to go on board the examining vessel, for the purpose of exhibiting her papers, or for other purpose whatever.


To avoid all kind of vexation and abuse in the examination of the papers relating to the ownership of the vessels belonging to the citizens of the two contracting parties, they have agreed, and do hereby agree, that in case one of them should be engaged in war, the ships and vessels belonging to the citizens of the other must be furnished with sea letters or passports, expressing the name, property and bulk of the ship, as also the name and place of habitation of the master and commander of the said vessel, in order that it may thereby appear, that the ship really and truly belongs to the citizens of one of the parties; they have likewise agreed, that when such ships have a cargo, they shall also be provided, besides the said sea letters or passports, with certificates containing the several particulars of the cargo, and the place whence the ship sailed, so that it may be known, whether any forbidden or contraband goods are on board the same, which certificates shall be made out by the officers of the place whence the ship sailed, in the accustomed form, without which requisites, said vessel may be detained, to be adjudged by the competent tribunal, and may be declared lawful prize, unless the said defect shall be proved to be owing to accident and shall be satisfied or supplied by testimony entirely equivalent.


It is further agreed, that the stipulations above expressed, relative to the visiting and examination of vessels, shall apply only to those which sail without convoy, and when said vessels shall be under convoy, the verbal declaration of the commander of the convoy, on his word of honor, that the vessels under his protection belong to the nation whose flag he carries, and when they may be bound to an enemy's port, that they have no contraband goods on board, shall be sufficient.


It is further agreed, that, in all cases, the established courts for prize causes, in the country to which the prizes may be conducted, shall alone take cognizance of them. And whenever such tribunals of either party shall pronounce judgment against any vessel or goods or property claimed by the citizens of the other party, the sentence or decree shall mention the reasons or motives upon which the same shall have been founded, and an authenticated copy of the sentence or decree and of all the proceedings in the case, shall, if demanded, be delivered to the commander or agent of said vessel, without any delay, he paying the legal fees for the same.


For the purpose of lessening the evils of war, the two high contracting parties, farther agree that, in case a war should unfortunately take place between them, hostilities shall only be carried on by persons duly commissioned by the Government, and by those under their orders, except in repelling an attack or invasion, and in the defense of property.


Whenever one of the contracting parties shall be engaged in war with another State, no citizen of the other contracting party shall accept a commission or letter of marque, for the purpose of assisting or cooperating hostilely with the said enemy against the said parties so at war, under the pain of being treated as a pirate.


If by any fatality which cannot be expected, and God forbid, the two contracting parties should be engaged in a war with each other, they have agreed and do agree now for then, that there shall be allowed the term of six months to the merchants residing on the coasts and in the ports of each other, and the term of one year to those who dwell in the interior, to arrange their business and transport their effects wherever they please, giving to them the safe conduct necessary for it, which may serve as a sufficient protection until they arrive at the designated port. The citizens of all other occupations, who may be established in the territories or dominions of the United States or of New Granada, shall be respected, and maintained in the full enjoyment of their personal liberty and property, unless their particular conduct, shall cause them to forfeit this protection, which in consideration of humanity, the contracting parties engage to give them.


Neither the debts due from individuals of the one nation to the individuals of the other, nor shares, nor money which they may have in public or private banks, shall ever in any event of war or of national difference be sequestered or confiscated.


Both the contracting parties being desirous of avoiding all inequality, in relation to their public communications and official intercourse, have agreed and do agree to grant to the envoys, ministers, and other public agents, the same favors, immunities and exemptions, which those of the most favored nations do or shall enjoy, it being understood that, whatever favors, immunities or privileges, the United States of America or the Republic of New Granada may find it proper to give to the ministers and public agents of any other power, shall, by the same act, be extended to those of each of the contracting parties.


To make more effectual the protection which the United States and the Republic of New Granada shall afford in future to the navigation and commerce of the citizens of each other, they agree to receive and admit Consuls and Viceconsuls, in all the ports open to foreign commerce, who shall enjoy in them all the rights, prerogatives and immunities of the Consuls and Viceconsuls of the most favored nation, each contracting party, however, remaining at liberty to except those ports and places in which the admission and residence of such Consuls may not seem convenient.


In order that the Consuls and Viceconsuls of the two contracting parties may enjoy the rights, prerogatives and immunities which belong to them, by their public character, they shall, before entering on the exercise of their functions, exhibit their commission, or patent, in due form, to the Government to which they are accreditted, and having obtained their Exequatur, they shall be held and considered as such by all the authorities, magistrates and inhabitants in the consular district in which they reside.


It is likewise agreed that the Consuls, their Secretaries, officers and persons attached to the service of Consuls, they not being citizens of the country in which the Consul resides, shall be exempt from all public service, and also from all kind of taxes, imposts and contributions, except those which they shall be obliged to pay on account of commerce or their property, to which the citizens and inhabitants native and foreign of the country in which they reside are subject, being in every thing besides subject to the laws of the respective States. The archives and papers of the Consulates shall be respected inviolably, and under no pretext, whatever, shall any magistrate seize, or, in any way, interfere with them.


The said Consuls shall have power to require the assistance of the authorities of the country, for the arrest, detention and custody of deserters from the public and private vessels of their country, and for that purpose they shall address themselves, to the courts, judges, and officers competent, and shall demand in writing the said deserters, proving by an exhibition of the registers of the vessel's or ship's roll, or other public documents, that those men were part of the said crews; and on this demand so proved (saving however where the contrary is proved by other testimonies) the delivery shall not be refused: Such deserters, when arrested, shall be put at the disposal of the said Consuls, and may be put in the public prisons, at the request and expense of those who reclaim them, to be sent to the ships to which they belonged, or to others of the same nation. But if they be not sent back within two months, to be counted from the day of their arrest, they shall be set at liberty, and shall be no more arrested for the same cause.

5 Art 33 abrogated by the United States July 1, 1916 in accordance with Seamen's Act of Mar. 4, 1915 (38 Stat. 1164).


For the purpose of more effectually protecting their commerce and navigation, the two contracting parties do hereby agree to form as soon hereafter as circumstances will permit, a consular convention, which shall declare specially the powers and immunities of the Consuls and Viceconsuls of the respective parties.6

6 See TS 55, post, p.882.


The United States of America and the Republic of New Granada desiring to make as durable as possible, the relations which are to be established between the two parties by virtue of this treaty, have declared solemnly, and do agree to the following points.

1st For the better understanding of the preceding articles, it is, and has been stipulated, between the high contracting parties, that the citizens, vessels and merchandize of the United States shall enjoy in the ports of New Granada, including those of the part of the granadian territory generally denominated Isthmus of Panama from its southernmost extremity until the boundary of Costa Rica, all the exemptions, privileges and immunities, concerning commerce and navigation, which are now, or may hereafter be enjoyed by Granadian citizens, their vessels and merchandize; and that this equality of favours shall be made to extend to the passengers, correspondence and merchandize of the United States in their transit across the said territory, from one sea to the other. The Government of New Granada guarantees to the Government of the United States, that the right of way or transit across the Isthmus of Panama, upon any modes of communication that now exist, or that may be, hereafter, constructed, shall be open and free to the Government and citizens of the United States, and for the transportation of any articles of produce, manufactures or merchandize, of lawful commerce, belonging to the citizens of the United States; that no other tolls or charges shall be levied or collected upon the citizens of the United States, or their said merchandize thus passing over any road or canal that may be made by the Government of New Granada, or by the authority of the same, than is under like circumstances levied upon and collected from the granadian citizens: that any lawful produce, manufactures or merchandize belonging to citizens of the United States thus passing from one sea to the other, in either direction, for the purpose of exportation to any other foreign country, shall not be liable to any import duties whatever; or having paid such duties, they shall be entitled to drawback, upon their exportation: nor shall the citizens of the United States be liable to any duties, tolls, or charges of any kind to which native citizens are not subjected for thus passing the said Isthmus. And, in order to secure to themselves the tranquil and constant enjoyment of these advantages, and as an especial compensation for the favours they have acquired by the 4th, 5th and 6th articles of this Treaty, the United States guarantee positively and efficaciously to New Granada, by the present stipulation, the perfect neutrality of the before mentioned Isthmus, with the view that the free transit from the one to the other sea, may not be interrupted or embarrassed in any future time while this Treaty exists; and in consequence, the United States also guarantee, in the same manner, the rights of sovereignty and property which New Granada has and possesses over the said territory.

2nd The present Treaty shall remain in full force and vigor, for the term of twenty years, from the day of the exchange of the ratifications; and, from the same day, the treaty that was concluded between the United States and Colombia on the 13th of October 18247, shall cease to have effect, notwithstanding what was disposed in the 1st point of its 31st article.

7 TS 52, ante, p. 855.

3rd Notwithstanding the foregoing, if neither party notifies to the other its intention of reforming any of, or all, the articles of this treaty twelve months before the expiration of the twenty years, stipulated above, the said treaty shall continue binding on both parties, beyond the said twenty years, until twelve months from the time that one of the parties notifies its intention of proceeding to a reform.

4th If any one or more of the citizens of either party shall infringe any of the articles of this treaty, such citizens shall be held personally responsible for the same, and the harmony and good correspondence between the nations shall not be interrupted thereby; each party engaging in no way to protect the offender, or sanction such violation.

5th If, unfortunately, any of the articles contained in this treaty should be violated or infringed in any way whatever, it is expressly stipulated that neither of the two contracting parties shall ordain or authorize any acts of reprisal, nor shall declare war against the other on complaints of injuries or damages, until the said party considering itself offended shall have laid before the other a statement of such injuries or damages, verified by competent proofs, demanding justice and satisfaction, and the same shall have been denied, in violation of the laws and of international right.

6th Any special or remarkable advantage that one or the other power may enjoy, from the foregoing stipulations, are and ought to be always understood in virtue and as in compensation of the obligations they have just contracted and which have been specified in the first number of this article.


The present treaty of peace, amity, commerce and navigation shall be approved and ratified by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the senate thereof, and by the President of the Republic of New Granada with the consent and approbation of the Congress of the same, and the ratifications shall be exchanged in the city of Washington, within eighteen months from the date of the signature thereof, or sooner, if possible.

In faith whereof, we the Plenipotentiaries of the United States of America, and of the Republic of New Granada have signed and sealed these presents in the city of Bogota on the twelfth day of December, in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty six.




The Republics of the United States and of New Granada will hold and admit as national ships of one or the other, all those that shall be provided by the respective Government with a Patent issued according to its laws.

The present additional article shall have the same force and validity as if it were inserted, word for word, in the Treaty signed this day. It shall be ratified, and the ratifications shall be exchanged at the same time.

In witness whereof, the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed the same, and have affixed thereto their seals.

Done in the city of Bogota, the twelfth day of December, in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty six



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