The Key Provisions of the Agreement

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2.5 Risk analysis

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Article 5 refers explicitly to risk assessment. It should be noted that the international organizations recognize risk assessment to be part of a wider process called risk analysis.

Risk analysis

Risk analysis is a systematic way of gathering, evaluating, recording and disseminating information leading to recommendations for a position or action in response to an identified hazard. There are some slight variations in the terms used by the three organizations. However, all three sister organizations see risk analysis as a process consisting of four steps:

  • Hazard Identification;
  • Risk Assessment;
  • Risk Management; and
  • Risk Communication.

Hazard Identification involves specifying the adverse event which is of concern.

Risk Assessment takes into account the probability (the actual likelihood and not just the possibility) of the hazard occurring, the consequences of that hazard occurring, and the degree of uncertainty involved. (Note that this description of risk assessment differs from the definition contained in the SPS Agreement).

Risk Management involves identifying and implementing the best option for reducing or eliminating the likelihood of the hazard occurring.

Risk Communication implies the open exchange of explanatory information and opinions that lead to better understanding and decisions.



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