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The 90/ 180 days in Europe, how do they check it?

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 Uncle Derek 24 Mar 2022

My neighbour is off to his Holiday home in France for 87 days tomorrow. He came back from 8 weeks in Lanzarote about 8 Feb, and he was previously in France for about the 90days until November. I will have a chat with him to ask how he is doing it.

However, what I would like to understand is how they actually keep a tally.

When I have been going through an Airport border, I use the passport machine, so a computer is doing something. Is it though actually logging my passport and tallying my days.

I then get my Passport stamped by and extremely bored, border person in a booth. They do not flick through my passport to check on things.

When I leave, I get my Passport stamped by another extremely bored, border person in a booth. They do not flick through my passport to check on things.

I do not think they really check, though of course they could, and I assume, as with many governmental things, if you do something else they do not like, they can then use something like an overstay to boot you out, or possibly detain you.

Please please, no one start on about the rights and wrongs of Brexit, and get this shoved in the Poilitics forum where many people never look, as I would like to know how they check, and more people look in Destinations.

 

Post edited at 08:10
4
In reply to Uncle Derek:

I expect this will be similar to climbing gear in cabin baggage. You can try, you might get away with it, you might not.

A Clint Eastwood issue; "feeling lucky, punk?" 

Post edited at 08:10
1
OP Uncle Derek 24 Mar 2022
In reply to Presley Whippet:

TBH, I am working towards a long cycling tour that may be longer than the 90 days, and when I asses Risk, I look at the potential of it happening, and the potential worst consequences.

From what I read, here for example https://www.connexionfrance.com/article/French-news/Brexit/The-EU-s-90-180-day-rule-How-does-it-work-for-visitors-to-France I can cope with the worst.

So just assessing, the likelihood of the worst happening.

Did you have another dog, sans one leg?

 j_duds 24 Mar 2022
In reply to Uncle Derek:

Not sure, but assumed they check the passport stamps. 

There is an EU digital entry /exit system coming in 2023, called Etias. 

 jezb1 24 Mar 2022
In reply to Uncle Derek:

I don’t see how you’d get away with border control not noticing.

Your passport gets stamped, and recorded electronically.

Reading about the consequences of over staying and stories of people who have, the thought of being refused entry to Schengen areas without applying for a visa would be enough to put me off!

If you want to stay longer than 90 days, why not apply for a visa?

 Wilderbeest 24 Mar 2022
In reply to Uncle Derek:

You’d think that as you put your passport through it adds you to a database that flags you up after 90 days, and some one checks the list for those really overstaying….

More to the point can I borrow your neighbour’s house for my holidays?

In reply to Uncle Derek:

I did, she is long gone sadly as is the Whippet.

Both had long happy lives. 

OP Uncle Derek 24 Mar 2022
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> Both had long happy lives. 

I am sure they had

All the best.

 Jon Read 24 Mar 2022
In reply to Uncle Derek:

Look more carefully next time. It's not just stamped, it's also electronically scanned. I imagine any overstay would be automatically recorded.

 Martin W 24 Mar 2022
In reply to Uncle Derek:

According to this web page: https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/news/from-mid-2022-brits-will-no-longer-have-their-passports-stamped-during-eu-border-checks/ passport stamps will no longer be required after May this year, with all entry/exit to/from the Schengen area being recorded in a new "Entry/Exit System (EES).

This appears to be different to the ETIAS system mentioned by j_duds, which seems to be more about security checks on travellers wishing to enter countries that will operate the system.

One would assume that, in a rational world, the two systems would at least be able to share information (as allowed under GDPR for national security functions).

 jimtitt 24 Mar 2022
In reply to Martin W:

Depends if the automatic biometric scanning system teething problems are sorted!

 John Ww 24 Mar 2022
In reply to Uncle Derek:

They certainly do check, it’s all recorded electronically when border control scan your passport. The reason I know this is due to having been stuck in Germany for four months due to COVID between December 2020 and April 2021 - well over my 90 day allowance. When I finally managed to get a flight home, I was asked why I had overstayed, and why I had no official permission stamp in my passport. Fortunately, while I’d been in Germany, I’d applied for and been granted a Residency Permit, and once I’d showed them that, there was a cheery wave and I was on my way. As for what would have happened if I hadn’t had my permit, I’m not sure, and I wasn’t keen to find out. Does anybody know?

In reply to Uncle Derek:

I have asked my pet customs officer the question.

OP Uncle Derek 24 Mar 2022
In reply to John Ww:

> They certainly do check,[.....] and once I’d showed them that, there was a cheery wave and I was on my way.

Thank you, that is interesting.
I will possibly have to look into a longer stay Visa, but that will be a different thread.
I wonder if its the person or the passport they log. If its the passport, maybe the simplest and cheapest solution would be to apply for a new Passport in that circumstance.

As for what would have happened if I hadn’t had my permit, I’m not sure, and I wasn’t keen to find out. Does anybody know?

This gives an indication. https://www.connexionfrance.com/article/French-news/Brexit/The-EU-s-90-180-day-rule-How-does-it-work-for-visitors-to-France
Leave within 30 days, and possibly you might struggle for a longer stay Visa in the future. But it might vary between countries. 
Did they stamp anything in your passport to indicate you had overstayed?

Post edited at 09:44
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OP Uncle Derek 24 Mar 2022
In reply to Toerag:

> I have asked my pet customs officer the question.

LOL, on first reading, I thought you were being sarcastic because we had discussed dogs, then I re read.
If you get any information, please return.

 John Ww 24 Mar 2022
In reply to Uncle Derek:

No, no stamp in passport, because I hadn’t overstayed, because I had a residence permit. When I flew back into Hamburg a fortnight ago, all the rest of the Brits on the flight had their passport stamped, but I didn’t, as I have the permit.

OP Uncle Derek 24 Mar 2022
In reply to Martin W:

> According to this web page:https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/news/from-mid-2022-brits-will-no-longer-have-their-passports-stamped -during-eu-border-checks/ passport stamps will no longer be required after May this year, with all entry/exit to/from the Schengen area being recorded in a new "Entry/Exit System (EES).

>

That appears to be possibly happening in September https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/policies/schengen-borders-and-visa/smart-borders/entry-exit-system_en. and ETIAS next year, https://etias.com
Be interesting to see if they can implement two major computer systems in short order.

 Jenny C 24 Mar 2022
In reply to Uncle Derek:

You would have thought that with a legitimate reason for overstaying it would be ok.

Thet said a friend got thrown out of the USA (when trying to board a flight to leave) for overstaying her VISA - hardly her fault that they grounded all flights in September 2001, leaving her stranded at the airport.

 Doug 24 Mar 2022
In reply to John Ww:

Maybe it varies with country but I've heard of Brits who have a residency card for France having their passports stamped on arrival in France - not supposed to happen but seems it can

 ianstevens 24 Mar 2022
In reply to Uncle Derek:

Again, as others have said above, it's electronic. I'm a Danish resident which allows me unlimited time in Denmark, but still means I need to abide by 90/180 in the rest of Schengen. Asked at the border once out of interest, and was provided with the number of days I had been out of Denmark but in Schengen. They eyeball the stamps to make sure it matches electronic record. I think the punishments are fines and/or future travel bans, the same as for any non-European country. The systems aren't new, they've just added the UK to the list of places of origin that need this treatment. 

So no, your "neighbour" can't game the system, either by stamps being missed or by passports being changed. Play by the rules. I mean... they should play by the rules.

 yorkshireman 24 Mar 2022
In reply to Doug:

> Maybe it varies with country but I've heard of Brits who have a residency card for France having their passports stamped on arrival in France - not supposed to happen but seems it can

I'm one of them. It happened a few times, even had a border guard shout at me in Lyon when I questioned it, and another apologize profusely after stamping it at Gare du Nord as he said it was just a reflex action now. They seem to have all got the memo now though.

However it doesn't mean anything, just clutters up your passport. The residency permit trumps the stamp and there's a digital trail anyhow. 

In reply to Uncle Derek:

In my experience they do flick through the passport.  They do so to look for the entry stamp, and the date on that is how they know.  Dead simple

Some countries are now automating this (like the UK does) by scanning the passport, but not everywhere does yet.

If you mean totalling up the 90-within-however-long-it-is thing, it's less likely they'll notice that, but if they do the penalties could be severe including e.g. travel bans.  It's never good to mess with immigration in any country, they tend to have discretionary powers well in excess of even the normal Police, often with no facility to appeal.

On top of that there's Advance Passenger Information which is recorded when you check in for your flight, which depending on the country may or may not be analysed in this way.

Post edited at 13:12
In reply to ianstevens:

I'm the same in being a schengen resident but UK citizen; I know that is the theoretical limit but how do they have any record of your time outside your country of residence? I've almost never had to show my passport crossing internal borders and certainly never had my passport scanned so can't see how they can have any record of my movements within schengen, especially if I cross land borders.

All hypothetical in my case since the probability of getting 3+ months off to go on a eurotrip are much lower than my odds of evading official notice for more than 90 days.

 ianstevens 24 Mar 2022
In reply to yorkshireman:

> I'm one of them. It happened a few times, even had a border guard shout at me in Lyon when I questioned it, and another apologize profusely after stamping it at Gare du Nord as he said it was just a reflex action now. They seem to have all got the memo now though.

> However it doesn't mean anything, just clutters up your passport. The residency permit trumps the stamp and there's a digital trail anyhow. 

If you moved post brexit, you should be stamped. 

 ianstevens 24 Mar 2022
In reply to MB42:

> I'm the same in being a schengen resident but UK citizen; I know that is the theoretical limit but how do they have any record of your time outside your country of residence? I've almost never had to show my passport crossing internal borders and certainly never had my passport scanned so can't see how they can have any record of my movements within schengen, especially if I cross land borders.

> All hypothetical in my case since the probability of getting 3+ months off to go on a eurotrip are much lower than my odds of evading official notice for more than 90 days.

I've had to on the train to Sweden a few times (like 1/10), and when flying. But walking/driving over the border is I guess less of an issue, as passports basically never checked. So maybe that's the workaround the OP needs? Get a residency permit and fly (or don't) under the radar.

 yorkshireman 24 Mar 2022
In reply to ianstevens:

> If you moved post brexit, you should be stamped. 

Doug was talking about Brits with a residence permit, which I've got (moved in 2011 but if you have right of residence it shouldn't matter when you moved). You have to show your residence permit at the same time as your passport otherwise they have no way of knowing and will just stamp it. 

 Carless 24 Mar 2022
In reply to Uncle Derek:

Does he have dual nationality?

Last time I went to the UK via the tunnel the French border on seeing my UK passport and Belgian plates asked "do you have another passport?" so I gave my French one. She said great but show your UK one 50m away at the UK border

Coming back the reverse was true

In years to come, the systems will all be connected. Progress...

A while ago, who imagined getting a speeding fine from another country

 Alfrede 24 Mar 2022

A slightly different issue but maybe there will be some on this thread who can enlighten me. I am a Scot living in France with a French residence card. As I understand it, this means I can spend 365 days a year in France but as soon as I enter another Schengen country, sadly (and post-Brexit very reluctantly) become British again and only have the 90 days. I live in the Pyrenees near the Spanish border and regularly pop over on quiet mountain roads with no passport check. Also when I go to the Alps, I often traverse quiet border crossings where there is no passport check. (I drove over from Chamonix to Martigny twice last summer without sight or sound of any officialdom, even during COVID.) As far as I can see no one has any record of these movements, so how would anyone know if I had technically broken the rules? This is a big issue for me as I work as a walking guide all over Europe and in the past would spend a great deal more than 90 days in Schengen. If I keep rigidly to the rules as I understand them I am going to lose a lot of potential work. For example, I lead the TMB from a French base quite often and a week of this is split between Switzerland and Italy, but I walk over all the borders and never have to show my passport. Anyone else in a similar position?

 George_Surf 24 Mar 2022
In reply to Alfrede:

The only real way you’d get caught is with a random police stop and even then they might need to prove you’d been out of France but in the EU for longer than 90 days? The EU is borderless so the reality is if you’re ok in France you’re unlikely to get pulled up anywhere else. 
 

when we left France last year we had been in before the stamps came about. The lady got a bit irate but let us through. I’d imagine the French will be checking stamps very carefully but I’ll find out in a week. We did 45 days in Greece in nov, went to turkey and then did another 45 days in Spain ending shortly...

Id imagine a small over stay (days , maybe weeks) would go ok, possibly a fine. the repurchasing of a serious penalty include a ban (years) and a big fine I think. I wouldn’t roll the dice too hard if you want to get back in in the near future! 

1
 John Ww 24 Mar 2022
In reply to Alfrede:

A quick Google gave me this…

Where can I travel with my German residence permit?

“Holding a residence permit in Germany (or any other Schengen country, in fact) entitles you to free travel within the Schengen zone for the duration of your visa or permit.”

9 Oct 2021

So if you’ve got a French residency permit, that’s your problem solved. 

 jcw 24 Mar 2022
In reply to John Ww:

That's my understanding too

 wbo2 25 Mar 2022
In reply to Alfrede: that's my understanding as well. In contrast I have a Norwegian residence permit, and good for Schengen but still have the 90 /180 days which I expect to be enforced .  Yes, when they scan your passport they obviously use that data

OP Uncle Derek 25 Mar 2022
In reply to wbo2:

>  Yes, when they scan your passport they obviously use that data

Do they? How precisely do you know this, as this would be my assumption, how ever, I have a hunch, that until EES or EITAS come in they do not currently. This is the entire purpose of the thread and its in the subject line and OP.

To be totally honest one of the most irritating things on the internet is when someone states something as a fact when its an opinion or an assumption. Please do not be one of those people.

4
In reply to John Ww:

Do you have the source of this? As far as I know, it is incorrect. I understand that, as a UK citizen resident in an EU country, you are restricted to the 90 in 180 days in the rest of the Schengen area.

 ianstevens 25 Mar 2022
In reply to yorkshireman:

> Doug was talking about Brits with a residence permit, which I've got (moved in 2011 but if you have right of residence it shouldn't matter when you moved). You have to show your residence permit at the same time as your passport otherwise they have no way of knowing and will just stamp it. 

I am literally a brit with a residence permit and moved post Brexit. I show my permit. The rule now is to stamp, because we don't have the historic freedom of movement preserved like pre-brexit emigrants. 

 jimtitt 25 Mar 2022
In reply to Trythallj:

> Do you have the source of this? As far as I know, it is incorrect. I understand that, as a UK citizen resident in an EU country, you are restricted to the 90 in 180 days in the rest of the Schengen area.

It depends on what residence permit you have, a temporary one or permanent. Most of us residing in Europe pre-Brexit have effectively a permit forever and can do what we like in the Schengen area like move country, work etc.

Post-Brexit permits are of limited duration and scope.

1
Andy Gamisou 25 Mar 2022
In reply to Uncle Derek:

> Do they? How precisely do you know this, as this would be my assumption, how ever, I have a hunch, that until EES or EITAS come in they do not currently. This is the entire purpose of the thread and its in the subject line and OP.

> To be totally honest one of the most irritating things on the internet is when someone states something as a fact when its an opinion or an assumption. Please do not be one of those people.

I've worked on the Cyprus police system, which also records arrivals/departures into the country.  I was also lead developer for the country's ECRIS implementation.  The way it works for Cyprus is that every arrival has their passport MRZ number scanned and OCR used to make an entry in the database.  It also checks for any outstanding warrants against the individual and whether that individual is on a "stop" list.  It also checks if the individual has been in the country beyond their allowed days (departures only) and flags it to the operator.  Of course, especially if busy, they might ignore minor transgressions.  The DB check takes around 10s (or at least did when I was responsible for doing performance tests on an upgrade rollout).  If a small country like Cyprus does this, then I expect just about every country does.

 Enty 25 Mar 2022
In reply to jimtitt:

> It depends on what residence permit you have, a temporary one or permanent. Most of us residing in Europe pre-Brexit have effectively a permit forever and can do what we like in the Schengen area like move country, work etc.

You sure about this? I have a permanent French residency permit but I can't go and hang out in Spain for more than 90 days, or can I?

E

OP Uncle Derek 25 Mar 2022
In reply to Andy Gamisou:

That's really informative, thank you. The only thing is you only mention, in, not out.

It's odd at airports, people are always asking for passports and boarding passes, and I get confused.

However, other than the stamp, are people scanned out.

How does the country, know they have left.

Andy Gamisou 25 Mar 2022
In reply to Uncle Derek:

> That's really informative, thank you. The only thing is you only mention, in, not out.

> It's odd at airports, people are always asking for passports and boarding passes, and I get confused.

> However, other than the stamp, are people scanned out.

> How does the country, know they have left.

Pretty sure it's checked in and out (apologies if that wasn't clear).  Whilst from a customs point of view they seemed more interested in arrivals, from a police point of view (stopping criminals and the like leaving), they seemed to be more interested in departures.

Post edited at 12:28
 jimtitt 25 Mar 2022
In reply to Enty:

As far as I know you have to apply for a "D" visa. The rules appear to be changing now and then, my permanent German residence has changed to a European one but what this means I haven't bothered to look.

 John Ww 25 Mar 2022
In reply to jimtitt:

You may be on to something here Jim. When I applied for my temporary residency in Germany (Aufenthaltstitel) in February last year, as well as the usual proof of income, insurance, address, marriage certificate, etc etc, I had to prove that I’d been in Germany before 31st December 2020 (ie prior to our departure from the EU) to ensure that I would have the same movement and employment rights after Brexit as before…

“Germany has adopted an approach (which British in Germany e.V.  supports) known as “declaratory”. This means you are not applying for your rights but simply asking for rights that you have to be officially documented. This is different from the system adopted in some other countries, such as Austria, France and the UK. In general, you acquired residence rights in Germany by law (von Amts wegen) under the Withdrawal Agreement, if you were resident in Germany and exercising your free movement rights at the end of transition.”

Had I not been able to prove it, perhaps the outcome and travel rights and restrictions may have been different, who knows? As it is, for the next five years, I’m now not only allowed to live here, but work here as well (and I’ve got a tax code to prove it - god forbid! 😱). So, as far as I know, and unless someone can prove otherwise, I’m allowed to travel (and possibly work?) anywhere within the Schengen / EU area as often as I want and for as long as I want, with no 90 day limit.

As for travel and border checks, since we left the EU, I’ve travelled umpteen times from Germany by car through the French, Swiss and Italian borders and never once been stopped, never mind had my passport checked, but that may be due to being in a German car, who knows? However, when flying in and out of Germany, there’s a difference. When you leave England, you don’t go through passport control, but when you leave Germany, you do (which is how they know whether you’ve exceeded your 90 days or not). Maybe it’s because when you fly out of England you need to fill in your API, which has all your passport details on it. What the airlines do with this information is anybody’s guess.

Anyway, that’s my two bobs worth - anybody else any wiser? To be fair, it’s about as clear as mud, and getting a definitive answer to simple questions is like looking for unicorn feathers.

OP Uncle Derek 25 Mar 2022
In reply to John Ww:

>

> Anyway, that’s my two bobs worth - anybody else any wiser? To be fair, it’s about as clear as mud, and getting a definitive answer to simple questions is like looking for unicorn feathers.

You have got a simple answer, you are resident within the Schengen Zone, and it just happens to be in Germany, so have the rights of an EU citizen.

The people you are asking are perhaps confused as to why you would even ask.

You are over thinking things.

4
 Alfrede 25 Mar 2022
In reply to Uncle Derek

As I expected the response to my tuppenceworth confirms without doubt that nobody has a clue what the situation is, or how the authorities would interpret it. I can't speak for Germany but I would recommend the responders above to be careful - the gouv.fr site is quite clear that British residents in France only have a right to 90 days in Schengen. The important question for me is, how would they know, and how would they respond, and that God alone knows. In the immediate future I intend to look for more work and climbing time in France and avoid crossing Schengen borders where I need to show my passport. It doesn't help that the British walkers who have provided my livelihood for 25 years seem to be deserting France in favour of Spain, Italy and Portugal! Merry Brexit everyone!

 jimtitt 25 Mar 2022
In reply to Uncle Derek:

There are different categories of residency and which EU rights one enjoys depends on your status. JohnWw and I have the highest level without EU citizenship, if you hadn't already lived here for 5 years before Brexit you get a different one. We can also apply for naturalisation.

 jimtitt 25 Mar 2022
In reply to Alfrede:

The rules don't appear to be universal, the Austrian ones are apparently different. The main issue appears to be the actual residency itself and how long you can leave for before you are no longer considered a resident and thus need to re-apply.

 Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator  UKC Supporter 25 Mar 2022
In reply to Alfrede:

I don't think there is any mechanism for them checking you within Schengen as there are no border controls anymore. Last summer, we (as lucky Brexit Bonus types) got a stamp coming into Spain via Santander, the next stamp was 14+ weeks later coming into Slovenia from Croatia - no-one had a clue where we had been for the previous 100 days,

Chris

Post edited at 15:59
 John Ww 25 Mar 2022
In reply to Uncle Derek:

Well if it’s all so simple, why, as the OP, did you bring up the whole thorny subject of post-Brexit EU travel in the first place? 🤷‍♂️

 jimtitt 25 Mar 2022
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Depends where you where, a lot of countries your accomodation actually register you with the relevant authority, they don't write your passport number down for the fun of it! In Germany and Italy they mostly do it electronically nowadays so when the smash your passport on the copier it automatically dumps the info into the file anyway. They must hold the data for a year.

At least in Germany the police or whoever then just query your passport number and zap, they know where you are. Or put your car number in and Europe wide see where you drove around. Big Brother is watching you!

The onus is anyway on the person to prove they didn't breach the visa conditions, not the other way round.

 henwardian 25 Mar 2022
In reply to Uncle Derek:

From my recent experience, they ask you when you arrived in Europe as you are leaving and just take your word for it if you seem like an honest chap.

However I a) hadn't stayed over 90 days and b) did explain I was also an EU citizen when they went into lecture/explanation mode after looking at my UK passport. So whether there actually is a computer database where they can check is unknown to me but I would doubt it.

1
 jcw 25 Mar 2022
In reply to jimtitt:

Have you? my card says permanent to July 2031 which will certainly see me out.

 jimtitt 25 Mar 2022
In reply to jcw:

You mean nationality?  Not bothered, it would only be a formality and while our cards are for five years the residency is permanent, the card is automatically renewed.

1
 John Ww 25 Mar 2022
In reply to jimtitt:

Are you sure about that Jim? From what I’ve read (!) you have to apply for a renewal a couple of months before the five years is up. Once again, getting a definitive answer is nigh on bloody impossible.

 jimtitt 26 Mar 2022
In reply to John Ww:

The confusion (for me anyway) is there are various forms of card, some are daueraufenhaltskarte which are issued under normal EU rules and some like mine are say aufenhaltstitel and are issued under article 50 EUV. They appear to have different validity and whatever depending on which paragraph of the law they were issued under.

 rlrs 26 Mar 2022
In reply to thread:

Source. On the topic of people with residency permits for EU / Schengen area countries there are statements from the government:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-europe

Edit to add:

Scroll down to the passports and travel section for a link to a more detailed document. Promising phrases like "you do not need extra months on your passport to enter another country" are also used.

Call your resident country UK embassy helpline, even.

Check your resident country official guidance, even.

Am still wondering what happens to UK citizens who get a residency permit in an EU / Schengen area country now, though.

Post edited at 06:50
 jimtitt 26 Mar 2022
In reply to rlrs:

Depends on under which category you got the residency and whether it is country specific or EU residency (they are different). For study, job transfer etc then you'll get a time-limited permit, for most categories it's the usual five years living in the country to actually get residency. It is country specific so you go to the EU Immigration Portal and choose your destination country then everything is explained.

1
In reply to Uncle Derek:

> >

> You have got a simple answer, you are resident within the Schengen Zone, and it just happens to be in Germany, so have the rights of an EU citizen.

> The people you are asking are perhaps confused as to why you would even ask.

> You are over thinking things.

This isn’t necessarily true. I looked into getting residency in Spain recently and, after a consultation with a Spanish immigration lawyer, found that the 90 day rule still applies outside of Spain.

 jimtitt 26 Mar 2022
In reply to James Malloch:

That (as I understand it) is one of the differences between the national and EU residency, with a national one you need a visa after 90 days and can't work in another country, you then need to qualify for another national permit, with the EU permit you only need to register in the other land as usual after the 90 days. Something I've never really looked into in depth as it isn't relevant to me.

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