How to Setup Shopify International Shipping & Tips


Shopify International Shipping

Table Of Contents

Entering the world of international commerce has never held more promise. With eMarketer projecting global e-commerce to surge past $1.955 trillion by 2026 and cross-border e-commerce set to skyrocket to an astounding 7.938 billion by 2030, the potential is undeniable.

In this comprehensive guide, we delve into Shopify International Shipping. In this realm, strategic decisions, innovative tools, and seamless logistics converge to empower merchants with the ability to navigate the complexities of global commerce.

What is Shopify International Shipping? 

Shopify International Shipping refers to the specialized feature set within the Shopify ecommerce platform that enables merchants to expand their business operations globally by efficiently managing and executing shipping processes across international borders. 

Shopify International Shipping

This robust functionality empowers merchants to offer their products to customers worldwide, leveraging Shopify's comprehensive tools and integrations tailored specifically for cross-border commerce.

With Shopify International Shipping, merchants can customize shipping zones, rates, and methods to cater to diverse global markets. The platform seamlessly integrates with various carriers, facilitating smooth order fulfillment and delivery to customers in different countries. 

Additionally, Shopify's international shipping capabilities encompass considerations for taxes, duties, and customs regulations, streamlining the complexities associated with cross-border trade. This enables merchants to provide transparent shipping information, enhancing customer satisfaction and trust. 

Overall, Shopify International Shipping empowers businesses to scale their operations and tap into new markets with confidence and efficiency.

Advantages of Shopify International Shipping

Increased Business Growth Opportunities

Leveraging Shopify International Shipping for business growth involves tapping into global markets, breaking the shackles of local limitations, and embracing a worldwide clientele. It's a strategic move that expands customer bases, lessening reliance on singular markets and economic fluctuations. By venturing into diverse regions, businesses not only explore new markets but adapt offerings to suit varied consumer needs, ensuring stability amidst local downturns.

This expansion isn't just about reaching more customers; it's about engaging with different cultures and preferences, adapting strategies, and fostering a global brand presence. Through this, businesses cement their visibility, acquire a diverse customer pool, and set the stage for sustained global growth.

Making Sales Throughout the Year

Consistent year-round sales, facilitated by Shopify International Shipping, defy the traditional impact of seasonal limitations on businesses. When companies cater to customers in various hemispheres and regions, they offset the seasonal fluctuations typical in localized markets.

Shopify International Shipping

For instance, while one region might experience winter, another could be in summer, altering consumer needs and preferences. Shopify's international shipping empowers businesses to offer products relevant to different climates and seasons simultaneously. This approach sustains sales momentum regardless of seasonal shifts in specific areas, ensuring a steadier revenue stream throughout the year.

By embracing global markets, businesses can capitalize on peak seasons in different regions, harnessing diverse cultural events, holidays, or celebrations that drive consumer spending. This strategic diversification mitigates the risk associated with relying solely on one market's seasonal demand, ensuring a more stable and consistent sales trajectory.

Offering More Items to Customers

Diversifying product offerings through Shopify International Shipping entails tailoring merchandise to resonate with diverse global tastes and needs. This tactic involves diversifying and adjusting product varieties to meet the varied preferences and demands of customers across multiple regions and cultures.

Companies can enhance their product offerings by conducting research to comprehend the distinct requirements and preferences of diverse customer segments. They can introduce new products or variants that align with local trends, cultural nuances, or unique customer preferences in various regions. This approach not only broadens the appeal of the business but also enhances its competitive edge in global markets.

By embracing this diversity, companies can provide a more comprehensive and inclusive shopping experience. Creating a selection of products that align with diverse cultures and lifestyles strengthens connections with customers across the world, fostering brand loyalty and establishing the business as a versatile and accommodating global entity.

How to set up Shopify International Shipping?

1. Accessing Shipping Settings

Begin by accessing your Shopify dashboard and navigating to the Shipping section. Here, you'll find the settings necessary to configure international shipping options.

Shopify International Shipping

2. Defining Shipping Zones

Create specific shipping zones for different regions or countries you aim to serve through Shopify International Shipping. Each zone represents a distinct geographical area where you'll set shipping rates and methods.

Shopify International Shipping

3. Customizing Shipping Rates

Tailor shipping rates within each zone based on criteria such as weight, price, or offering free shipping for specific order values. This customization ensures accurate pricing for customers across the globe.

Shopify International Shipping

4. Adding Shipping Services

Shopify integrates with various carriers, allowing you to offer multiple shipping options to customers in different shipping zones. Choose services that align with your business needs and customer expectations.

Shopify International Shipping

5. Testing and Reviewing

Before making your shipping settings live, use Shopify's test orders feature. This enables simulation of international orders, ensuring that the rates, methods, and services function correctly.

6. Enabling International Selling

Adjust your store settings to allow for international sales. This includes updating policies related to refunds, returns, and any region-specific regulations to cater to global customers effectively.

7. Communicating with Customers

Clearly communicate your international shipping policies, costs, and estimated delivery times on your website. Transparent communication helps manage customer expectations and builds trust.

Things That Impact Shopify Shipping International

Translations for global market accessibility

Adapting product information, website content, and communication materials into multiple languages is a pivotal aspect of Shopify International Shipping. It's a strategic move that goes beyond mere translation; it involves tailoring content to resonate with diverse linguistic and cultural nuances.

Shopify International Shipping


By offering information in customers' native languages through Shopify, businesses significantly improve accessibility and engagement. Clients experience greater ease and assurance when they can browse a website, comprehend product information, and finalize purchases in the language they prefer.

Moreover, this adaptation demonstrates a commitment to inclusivity, reflecting an understanding and respect for diverse cultures. It fosters trust and a stronger connection with international customers, ultimately boosting sales and customer loyalty. Additionally, optimizing content for multiple languages enhances search engine visibility, attracting a broader audience and driving traffic to the online store.

Product considerations for international appeal

When considering international appeal for products through Shopify's global shipping features, it's essential to understand that cultural, aesthetic, and functional preferences vary across different markets. Tailoring products to suit these differences involves more than just offering translations; it encompasses adapting the design, features, and functionalities to resonate with diverse audiences.

This adaptation might involve adjusting product colors, sizes, or materials to align with regional preferences. For instance, what's popular or suitable in one market might differ significantly in another. It may also include tweaking functionalities to cater to cultural norms or specific needs prevalent in certain regions.

By customizing products to suit these preferences, businesses can broaden their appeal and relevance across various markets. This customized method not just boosts the chances of product approval but also elevates customer contentment and allegiance. Ultimately, aligning products with international preferences amplifies their attractiveness and positions them competitively in diverse global markets, contributing to increased sales and market penetration.

Shipping-origin considerations affecting delivery

The shipping origin plays an important role in the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of Shopify International Shipping. Where shipments originate significantly impacts delivery timelines, costs, and the overall logistics process.

Optimizing shipping origins involves strategically selecting warehouses or fulfillment centers that strategically position products for quicker and more affordable shipping to target markets. Businesses can lower shipping expenses and delivery times for customers by strategically situating inventory nearer to regions with high demand.

Shopify International Shipping

Moreover, the choice of shipping origin can affect customs procedures and regulations, impacting the speed and ease of goods passing through borders. Selecting an optimal shipping origin allows businesses to navigate these processes more efficiently, reducing potential delays and streamlining the international shipping process.

Ultimately, by strategically optimizing shipping origins within Shopify International Shipping, businesses can enhance efficiency, minimize shipping costs, and improve overall customer satisfaction by offering faster and more reliable deliveries to global customers.

Border restrictions impacting shipping routes

Border restrictions are critical considerations within Shopify International Shipping, as they directly influence the smooth transit of goods across international boundaries. These restrictions encompass a spectrum of regulations, including customs duties, import/export laws, product-specific restrictions, and documentation requirements imposed by different countries.

These regulations impact shipping routes by dictating the path shipments must take to comply with specific rules at each border. Additionally, they influence the duration goods spend in customs, affecting overall transit times. Ensuring adherence to these regulations is vital to prevent delays, fines, or possible rejection of shipped items upon entry.

Shopify International Shipping necessitates an understanding of these diverse border restrictions to ensure seamless cross-border transactions. Businesses must navigate these regulations by accurately documenting shipments, adhering to product-specific restrictions, and fulfilling all customs requirements to facilitate smooth passage through borders and uphold timely deliveries to customers worldwide.

Carrier & shipping options for efficient delivery

Shopify's integration with multiple carriers is a cornerstone of its International Shipping capabilities. This integration empowers merchants to choose from a diverse array of shipping options tailored to their specific business needs and the requirements of global customers.

Merchants can select carriers that best align with their shipping preferences, budget, and delivery speed requirements. These carriers often offer a range of services such as standard shipping, expedited delivery, express options, or specialized services for fragile or high-value items.

Shopify International Shipping

Moreover, Shopify's carrier integration extends to global logistics partners, facilitating seamless cross-border shipping. This includes partnerships with renowned international carriers that specialize in efficient customs clearance, reducing the complexities associated with international shipments.

By leveraging Shopify's carrier integration, merchants gain access to a variety of shipping options that ensure cost-effectiveness and timely deliveries across international borders. This flexibility allows businesses to offer diverse shipping choices to customers, enhancing customer satisfaction while optimizing shipping costs and delivery times.

Consideration of dimensional weight for cost-effective shipping

Dimensional weight is a crucial factor in Shopify International Shipping as it determines shipping costs based not only on a package's weight but also its dimensions. This approach ensures fair and accurate pricing for shipping, especially for larger, lightweight packages that occupy more space but weigh less.

The dimensional weight calculation considers both the actual weight and the package's volume, ensuring that shipping rates accurately reflect the space the package occupies in a carrier's transportation vehicle. This method prevents situations where bulky, lightweight packages incur higher shipping costs than smaller, denser items.

Shopify's consideration of dimensional weight in its shipping calculations optimizes cost-effectiveness for merchants. It encourages efficient packaging practices, prompting businesses to minimize excess packaging materials and choose appropriate box sizes to reduce dimensional weight. Ultimately, this approach benefits both merchants and customers by offering fair shipping rates while incentivizing space-efficient packaging practices.

Insurance and safety for secure international transit

This involves mitigating risks associated with potential damages, losses, or theft that can occur during the complex shipping journey.

Shopify International Shipping

Shopify's shipping setup allows merchants to explore insurance options, offering coverage for goods in transit. This coverage minimizes financial risks by compensating for losses or damages incurred during shipping. It provides peace of mind to both merchants and customers, guaranteeing compensation in case of unforeseen events.

Safety measures, such as robust packaging standards and handling protocols, are also integral. By implementing secure packaging practices, businesses protect items from damage while in transit. Additionally, adhering to carrier guidelines and regulations ensures safe handling and reduces the likelihood of accidents or mishaps during shipping.

By addressing insurance and safety measures within Shopify International Shipping, businesses fortify their shipping processes, instilling confidence in customers about the secure and reliable transit of their purchases across international borders. This commitment to security fosters trust, enhances customer satisfaction, and mitigates financial risks associated with global shipping.

Determining the Cost of Shopify International Shipping 

Fees for packaging

Fees for packaging within Shopify International Shipping encompass the expenses incurred in procuring materials essential for secure and efficient packaging. These materials encompass a range of items crucial for protecting goods during their transit across international borders.

Shopify International Shipping

Boxes: The cost of acquiring appropriate boxes or containers suitable for the items being shipped. This involves selecting sturdy and correctly sized boxes to accommodate and safeguard the contents.

Padding and Cushioning: Expenses for materials like bubble wrap, packing peanuts, or air cushions that cushion and protect items from impact or damage during transit.

Tape and Sealing: Costs associated with securing packages using tapes or seals to ensure they remain intact throughout the shipping process, preventing tampering or accidental opening.

Labels and Documentation: Expenses related to labeling packages accurately and providing necessary shipping documentation to comply with international regulations.

Efficient and secure packaging is vital in safeguarding items against potential damage or breakage during transit. Investing in quality packaging materials ensures that products reach customers in optimal condition, enhancing customer satisfaction and minimizing the likelihood of returns or replacements due to shipping-related damages.

Expenses related to shipping

Expenses related to shipping in the realm of Shopify International Shipping encompass the charges levied by carriers or shipping services utilized to transport goods across international borders. These expenses are determined based on various factors, notably:

Weight and Size of Packages: Carriers often employ weight-based pricing models where heavier or larger packages incur higher shipping costs. The dimensions and weight of the parcel influence the final shipping rates.

Destination of Packages: Shipping costs might fluctuate depending on the destination country or region because of varying shipping zones and international tariffs in place.

Shipping Services and Speed: Different services offered by carriers, such as standard shipping, express delivery, or expedited services, carry varying costs based on the speed and level of service.

Additional Services or Requirements: Special services like insurance, tracking, or signature confirmation may add extra costs to the shipping expenses.

Shopify International Shipping

By considering these factors, merchants can calculate accurate shipping costs for their international shipments through Shopify. Understanding these elements enables businesses to select the most cost-effective shipping options while ensuring timely and reliable deliveries to customers worldwide.

Charges for handling services

Charges for handling services within Shopify International Shipping pertain to the fees associated with tasks involved in preparing packages for shipment, processing orders, and managing logistics.

Order Processing: These charges can include the costs associated with receiving and managing customer orders. It involves tasks like order verification, picking items from inventory, and preparing them for shipment.

Sorting and Packaging: Fees might apply for sorting items, organizing them for shipping, and packaging them securely. This involves the labor, materials, and processes required to ensure items are correctly packed and ready for transit.

These handling charges contribute to the overall expenses incurred in the shipping process. They cover the labor, time, and resources involved in ensuring that orders are accurately processed, packaged securely, and prepared for shipment in compliance with shipping standards. Efficient handling services are vital to maintaining the integrity of shipments and ensuring timely deliveries to customers across global markets.

Additional costs like taxes and duties

Additional costs like taxes, customs duties, or import/export fees are significant components of the overall expenses in Shopify International Shipping. Governments or customs authorities of the receiving country levy these fees, distinct from shipping costs, and their imposition relies on various factors:

Nature of Shipped Items: Different types of products might incur varying tax rates or duties based on their classification, value, or intended use. Some items might be subject to higher tariffs or specific regulations.

Destination Country Regulations: Each country has its own set of customs regulations, and these charges vary significantly. Some countries might impose higher taxes or duties on certain categories of goods, while others might have preferential trade agreements that reduce these charges.

Declared Value of Goods: The value declared on the shipping documentation influences the taxes and duties applied. Accurate declaration is crucial to ensure compliance and avoid penalties or delays in customs clearance.

Merchants should be aware of these additional costs to calculate the total landed cost accurately. Failing to consider taxes and duties could lead to unexpected expenses for both the merchant and the customer upon delivery. It's essential to factor these charges into pricing strategies and communicate them transparently to customers to avoid any surprises or misunderstandings.

6 Tips for Shipping Internationally At a Lower Cost on Shopify

Pick the Best Supplier

When venturing into Shopify International Shipping, the choice of suppliers becomes a pivotal factor influencing the success of global operations. It's not just about the products; it's about forging partnerships with suppliers that harmonize with your shipping strategies for maximum efficiency and reduced expenses.

Shopify International Shipping

The first key criterion lies in reliability and cost-effectiveness. Seek out suppliers known for their reliability in fulfilling orders promptly and accurately. Equally important is their capability to offer competitive rates, directly impacting the overall cost structure of your products and subsequent shipping expenses.

Strategic location plays a pivotal role. Opt for suppliers strategically positioned in close proximity to your customer base or primary markets. Suppliers closer to these destinations significantly truncate shipping distances and transit times, thereby trimming shipping expenses while potentially expediting delivery times.

This strategic collaboration between businesses and suppliers not only influences the quality of products but also shapes the logistical aspect, creating a robust framework for efficient international shipping via Shopify. By aligning with reliable suppliers offering competitive rates and strategically located to minimize shipping costs, businesses set the stage for optimized global shipping operations, enhancing their competitive edge and customer satisfaction in the international market landscape.

Choose the Right Shipping Company

Shopify offers a spectrum of carrier integrations, empowering businesses to delve into a plethora of shipping options tailored for international operations.

Shopify International Shipping

The process begins by exploring Shopify's diverse range of carrier integrations. Within this extensive collection, there are well-known shipping firms providing a range of services tailored specifically for international deliveries. These services encompass various shipping rates, delivery timelines, and additional features.

To identify the optimal shipping partner, businesses can meticulously compare the services and rates offered by these carriers. It requires a detailed assessment of elements such as shipping expenses, delivery durations, dependability, tracking features, and specialized service offerings. Evaluating these aspects allows businesses to align the shipping company's offerings with their unique shipping requirements and customer expectations.

Consider Holidays

Anticipating peak seasons' shipping surges is crucial to sidestep potential delays and ensure timely deliveries.

Shopify International Shipping

By proactively scheduling shipments around holidays, businesses can circumvent shipping bottlenecks. Understanding and accounting for increased shipping volumes during festive periods allow for adjustments in shipping timelines.

To avert disruptions, it's vital to plan well in advance. This involves setting earlier order cutoff dates, adjusting delivery expectations, and communicating revised timelines to customers. These proactive measures mitigate potential delays caused by higher order volumes or carrier limitations, ensuring a smoother shopping experience during holiday rushes.

Leveraging Shopify International Shipping effectively involves anticipating and planning for holiday peaks. This proactive approach enables businesses to navigate increased demand, optimize shipping operations, and uphold customer satisfaction by preemptively addressing potential delays or complications during high-demand periods.

Be Choosy About Where You Send Parcels

The key lies in discerning and prioritizing markets based on favorable shipping economics and robust product demand.

Choosing countries strategically involves a meticulous assessment of shipping costs and demand dynamics. Prioritize markets where shipping expenses remain reasonable without compromising service quality. This ensures that shipping costs don't excessively burden your margins while offering competitive rates to customers.

Shopify International Shipping


Additionally, focus on regions demonstrating strong demand for your products. By aligning shipping destinations with areas showcasing high product interest, businesses can maximize sales potential and customer engagement, further enhancing profitability.

Opt for Compact Packaging

By focusing on compact packaging solutions, businesses can minimize dimensional weight, a pivotal factor in determining shipping expenses. Streamlining packaging to match product sizes reduces unused space, enabling more items to be shipped within the same dimensional weight bracket, thereby lowering shipping costs.

Efficient packaging materials, like lightweight yet sturdy options, ensure product safety without adding unnecessary weight. Balancing durability with minimizing excess packaging materials contributes to cost-effective shipping solutions.

Shopify's International Shipping framework allows businesses to adopt these packaging strategies seamlessly. Through strategic packaging optimization, companies can reduce shipping expenses, maintain product integrity, and offer competitive rates to customers, fostering both cost-efficiency and customer satisfaction in the global marketplace.

Try Using a Third-Party Logistics Provider

Integrating Third-Party Logistics (3PL) services within Shopify can revolutionize shipping operations, enhancing efficiency and cost-effectiveness. These services provide a strategic advantage by streamlining shipping processes and optimizing logistics.

Shopify International Shipping

3PL providers, when integrated with Shopify, offer a range of benefits. They consolidate shipments, combining multiple orders into single deliveries. This consolidation reduces shipping expenses by optimizing routes and maximizing shipment capacities, resulting in cost savings for businesses.

Moreover, 3PL providers specialize in logistics optimization. They leverage their expertise and resources to enhance order fulfillment, warehouse management, and transportation efficiency. This expertise ensures smoother operations, faster deliveries, and reduced shipping costs.

Time Frame for Shopify International Shipping 

The time frame for Shopify International Shipping can vary significantly based on several factors, impacting delivery timelines for global customers. Shipping duration within Shopify International Shipping is influenced by multiple elements.

Firstly, the destination plays a pivotal role. Shipping to different countries involves varying transit times due to distance, customs procedures, and local delivery infrastructure. Additionally, selected shipping methods and carriers can affect delivery speed, with express services generally offering faster deliveries but at higher costs.

Order processing times within the Shopify platform, including order verification, packaging, and handover to carriers, also contribute to the overall shipping duration. Furthermore, external factors like weather conditions or unforeseen logistical challenges may occasionally affect delivery timelines.

Understanding and communicating these potential time frames to customers is essential for managing expectations and ensuring transparency. While Shopify International Shipping aims for efficient global deliveries, it's crucial to account for these variables to provide accurate estimations and maintain high standards of customer service.

Shopify Apps that Help with International Shipping

Passport Shipping

Passport Shipping emerges as a cost-effective solution for international shipping from the US, offering inclusive Duties/Taxes. Tailored for eCommerce, it streamlines order management and provides comprehensive package tracking, ensuring transparency for customers.

Shopify International Shipping

Key Features:

  • Serving 150+ countries from the US, Passport simplifies international shipping with upfront duty and tax payments.
  • Access the market's most competitive international shipping prices through Passport, optimizing costs for merchants and customers.
  • Both merchants and customers benefit from top-tier, personalized support throughout the shipping journey.
  • Streamlined export/import documentation processes eliminate paperwork hassles, expediting shipments.
  • The Shopify App makes onboarding effortless, ensuring a hassle-free start for merchants.

Pricing Plans:

  • Free Installation: Passport's Shopify App is free to install.
  • Pay-Per-shipment: Users are charged solely for their shipments, calculated based on weight and destination.


  • Garnering a rating of 4.4/5 from 39 reviews.

Easyship ‑ All in One Shipping

Easyship, the comprehensive shipping solution, caters to Shopify merchants seeking streamlined global shipping operations. It simplifies shipping processes, offering diverse functionalities like order synchronization, label printing, and automated workflows, all within a single user-friendly platform.

Shopify International Shipping

Key Features:

  • Seamlessly sync orders, automate workflows, and print labels effortlessly.
  • Utilize a shipping calculator to compare couriers, ensuring optimal rates for various routes.
  • Display both cost-effective and expedited shipping rates at checkout, boosting sales. Offer flexible insurance coverage, customizable branding, and easy returns to enrich customer experiences.
  • Catering to varying business needs, Easyship offers tiered plans with increasing features and shipment allowances.

Pricing Plans:

  • Free Plan:
    • Basic features
    • 50 shipments, 1 user, unlimited sales channels
    • Email & community forum support
  • Plus Plan ($29/month or $276/year - 21% savings):
    • Expanded features
    • 500 shipments, 3 users, live rates at checkout, branded tracking
    • Live chat support
  • Premier Plan ($69/month or $660/year - 20% savings):
    • Advanced functionalities
    • 2,500 shipments, 5 users, live tax & duty display, phone support, return management
  • Scale Plan ($99/month or $948/year - 20% savings):
    • Comprehensive features
    • 5,000 shipments, 8 users, live tax & duty display, multi-box shipments, return management, phone support


  • 4.1/5 rating based on 392 reviews.

FlavorCloud – Global Shipping

FlavorCloud stands out among the Shopify International Shipping apps, simplifying global shipping for businesses seeking seamless expansion into international markets. Tailored for the Advanced, Shopify, or Plus plans, it facilitates effortless global sales, making it unsuitable for Shopify Basic.

This app leverages a network of over 300 carriers, serving 200+ countries, offering a streamlined integration directly into Shopify stores. It grants customers a one-click international checkout, ensuring a friction-free experience from purchase to delivery. FlavorCloud's dynamic pricing and routing, AI optimization, and data-rich insights guarantee competitive shipping rates.

Shopify International Shipping

Key Features:

  • Largest cross-border network of premium carriers for extensive reach.
  • Intelligent algorithm for optimal shipping rates and DDP options.
  • Industry-lowest international shipping rates and streamlined customs clearance.
  • Automated export/import clearance and hassle-free returns management.

Pricing Plan:

  • Free of charge,Commission fee per shipment that adjusts according to your business growth.


  • Rated 4/5 based on 60 reviews.

Frequently Asked Questions about Shopify International Shipping

Why should I expand internationally when my domestic market is doing well?

Venturing into international markets widens your customer base, mitigating reliance on regional economic fluctuations. It presents a chance to reach new customer groups, expand income sources, and safeguard your business against potential market constraints in the future.

Are there specific markets more suited for entry into cross-border e-commerce?

Markets showing high internet penetration, rising disposable incomes, and cultural affinity for online shopping, such as parts of Asia-Pacific and Europe, often present promising entry points.

What steps can I take to optimize my website for global audiences?

Incorporate localization elements, offer multiple payment methods, and ensure a user-friendly interface that adapts to various devices and languages. Conducting A/B testing for regional preferences can refine the user experience.


Amidst the promising realm of Shopify International Shipping, seizing global expansion isn't just advantageous—it's pivotal for sustained growth. As this chapter closes, remember the essentials: embracing localization, efficient shipping, and market diversity is key. Whether starting anew or a seasoned brand, success in the global arena hinges on adaptability and customer-centric approaches.

Let these insights guide your journey into international commerce via Shopify. With tools like EComposer for crafting effective landing pages, forge ahead confidently, charting a course towards triumph in the boundless landscape of cross-border trade!

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