TPG2022 Chapter I paragraph 1.72

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Risks can be categorised in various ways, but a relevant framework in a transfer pricing analysis is to consider the sources of uncertainty which give rise to risk. The following non-exclusive list of sources of risk is not intended to suggest a hierarchy of risk. Neither is it intended to provide rigid categories of risk, since there is overlap between the categories. Instead, it is intended to provide a framework that may assist in ensuring that a transfer pricing analysis considers the range of risks likely to arise from the commercial or financial relations of the associated enterprises, and from the context in which those relations take place. Reference is made to risks that are externally driven and those that are internally driven in order to help clarify sources of uncertainty. However, there should be no inference that externally driven risks are less relevant because they are not generated directly by activities. On the contrary, the ability of a company to face, respond to and mitigate externally driven risks is likely to be a necessary condition for a business to remain competitive. Importantly, guidance on the possible range of risk should assist in identifying material risks with specificity. Risks which are vaguely described or undifferentiated will not serve the purposes of a transfer pricing analysis seeking to delineate the actual transaction and the actual allocation of risk between the parties.
a) Strategic risks or marketplace risks. These are largely external risks caused by the economic environment, political and regulatory events, competition, technological advance, or social and environmental changes. The assessment of such uncertainties may define the products and markets the company decides to target, and the capabilities it requires, including investment in intangibles and tangible assets, as well as in the talent of its human capital. There is considerable potential downside, but the upside is also considerable if the company identifies correctly the impact of external risks, and differentiates its products and secures and continues to protect competitive advantage. Examples of such risks may include marketplace trends, new geographical markets, and concentration of development investment.
b) Infrastructure or operational risks. These are likely to include the uncertainties associated with the company’s business execution and may include the effectiveness of processes and operations. The impact of such risks is highly dependent on the nature of the activities and the uncertainties the company chooses to assume. In some circumstances breakdowns can have a crippling effect on the company’s operations or reputation and threaten its existence; whereas successful management of such risks can enhance reputation. In other circumstances, the failure to bring a product to market on time, to meet demand, to meet specifications, or to produce to high standards, can affect competitive and reputational position, and give advantage to companies which bring competing products to market more quickly, better exploit periods of market protection provided by, for example, patents, better manage supply chain risks and quality control. Some infrastructure risks are externally driven and may involve transport links, political and social situations, laws and regulations, whereas others are internally driven and may involve capability and availability of assets, employee capability, process design and execution, outsourcing arrangements, and IT systems.
c) Financial risks. All risks are likely to affect a company’s financial performance, but there are specific financial risks related to the company’s ability to manage liquidity and cash flow, financial capacity, and creditworthiness. The uncertainty can be externally driven, for example by economic shock or credit crisis, but can also be internally driven through controls, investment decisions, credit terms, and through outcomes of infrastructure or operational risks.
d) Transactional risks. These are likely to include pricing and payment terms in a commercial transaction for the supply of goods, property, or services.
e) Hazard risks. These are likely to include adverse external events that may cause damages or losses, including accidents and natural disasters. Such risks can often be mitigated through insurance, but insurance may not cover all the potential loss, particularly where there are significant impacts on operations or reputation.

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