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Organisations in Asia, Europe and the Americas Join to Establish an Alliance to Ensure Safe Cross Border E-Commerce

The establishment of a global online consumer protection network has moved a major step closer. Self-regulatory organisations from Asia Trustmark Alliance (ATA), Europe and the Americas, announced today the formation of an organising committee that will establish a Global Trustmark Alliance (GTA). With similar objectives to the existing ATA, the global alliance intends to promote safe electronic commerce within each of the participating jurisdictions, and in cross border trade.

Singapore, 30 November 2004 | For Immediate Release

Global Trustmark Alliance Presented to CEOs at GBDe Summit

The establishment of a global online consumer protection network has moved a major step closer.

Self-regulatory organisations from Asia Trustmark Alliance (ATA), Europe and the Americas, announced today the formation of an organising committee that will establish a Global Trustmark Alliance (GTA). With similar objectives to the existing ATA, the global alliance intends to promote safe electronic commerce within each of the participating jurisdictions, and in cross border trade.

Many of the participating organisations operate trustmark programmes that allow businesses that meet high standards to display a trustmark, or label, on e-commerce web sites. All of the organisations promote self-regulatory codes of online business practices and effective dispute settlement procedures.

Asia Trustmark Alliance (ATA), one of the existing trustmark alliances at a regional level, will be part of the GTA pioneering committee. Mr Inderjit Singh, Chairman of National Trust Council said that. "After laying the foundation for a pan-Asian collaborative framework, it is only natural that Asia Trustmark Alliance looks toward closer co-operation at an international level. In this respect, it is in the mutual interest of both trust organsiations to work together with GTA and ATA to achieve our similar objectives, which is promotion of trustworthy e-commerce environment". Mr Singh was also the first Chairman of ATA for July 2003 to July 2004.

"This is an important development for the growth of e-commerce,"Steven Cole, Senior Vice President of BBBOnLine, told the GBDe Summit today. "We all know consumer trust and confidence is crucial to growth, and this is even more important for trade across borders. International cooperation amongst key regional organisations that all help consumers find trustworthy online businesses promises to fuel interest in cross border e-commerce," Cole added.

The GTA Organising Committee will begin work immediately to share best practices in the administration of trustmark programmes, and to establish cooperative procedures to resolve cross border complaints. GTA's longer term goal is to harmonise the various voluntary online business practice codes, and to issue an international GTA trustmark that would be co-branded with the local trustmarks used in each jurisdiction.

The organisations participating in the formation of GTA are:


  • BBBOnLine (United States)
  • BBBOnLine (Canada)

Asia Trustmark Alliance

  • Korea Institute for Electronic Commerce (Korea)
  • National Trust Council and its Authorized Code Owners (Singapore):
    - CommerceNet Singapore Ltd (CNSG)
    - Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE)
  • Secure Online Shopping Association (Taiwan)
  • Electronic Commerce Promotion Council (Japan)


  • Trust UK (United Kingdom)
  • E-comtrust (European and Switzerland)
  • Eurochambres (European)
  • Federation of Direct Marketing (European)

The announcement was made at the 2004 summit of the Global Business Dialogue on Electronic Commerce (GBDe). GBDe is a CEO-driven organisation that has been instrumental in promoting international rules for worldwide growth in e-commerce. It has supported the formation of the GTA since it was first conceived and was instrumental in bringing diverse trustmark organisations together for the first time. The GTA is an outgrowth of recommendations made by GBDe in past years for close cooperation amongst trustmark programs and for the linking together of dispute settlement mechanisms.

GTA's web site is at


Notes to Editor:

About National Trust Council

The National Trust Council (NTC) was formed in March 2001 to build confidence in online transactions amongst businesses and consumers so as to spur e-commerce growth as well as enable Singaporeans to embrace an e-lifestyle. The NTC recognises that a secure transaction environment is the first step to boosting confidence in e-commerce. A secure and robust e-commerce infrastructure is fundamental to nurturing such an environment. The NTC implemented a nation-wide trustmark initiative, known as TrustSg, which is supported by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), to recognise online merchants who engage in sound e-commerce practices, including data protection, secure e-payment infrastructure, provision of adequate information and proper fulfillment of goods and services purchased, to be part of an e-inclusive society.

The Global Business Dialogue on Electronic Commerce (GBDe),, is a worldwide, CEO-led, business initiative, established in January 1999 to assist in the creation of a policy framework. Many of the core principles set out in GBDe recommendations have been incorporated into international Government e-commerce initiatives.


BBBOnLine is a division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, BBBOnLine's mission is to promote trust and confidence on the Internet through the BBBOnLine Reliability and Privacy Seal Programs. BBBOnLine's web site seal programs allow companies with web sites to display the seals once they have been evaluated and confirmed to meet the program requirements. Approximately 18,000 web sites are qualified to display the BBBOnLine seal. The BBB organisation in Canada is coordinated by the Canadian Council of Better Business Bureaus.


The Asia Trustmark Alliance was established by Japan, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan to elevate the national trustmarks in the respective countries to regional status and thus opening up business opportunities for its accredited members beyond local markets.

ECOM, the Electronic Commerce Promotion Council of Japan, is a private non-profit organisation, whose mission is to promote electronic commerce. ECOM has conducted ADR Pilot Projects financed by Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), since November 2001.

KIEC, the Korea Institute for Electronic Commerce, is a comprehensive policy research and promotional agency established under article 22 of the Basic Law on Electronic Commerce, to effectively and systematically pursue policies supporting electronic commerce. Its main activities include the eTrust mark, the e- Business Prizes and other programs to promote electronic commerce; building trust and infrastructure for electronic commerce; developing and disseminating standards for growing B2B e-commerce; fostering expert human resources and consulting in the area of e-commerce and participating in international activities for standardisation and increase of cooperation. The eTrust mark currently has 112 participants.

National Trust Council, Singapore, CaseTrust, is an industry-led body formed to build confidence amongst businesses and consumers to accelerate infocomm technology adoption in Singapore. NTC manages the national trustmark programme and appoints sector-specific Authorized Code Owners (ACO) to accredit e-businesses that meet its stringent standards of e-commerce practices. Currently, the Consumers Association of Singapore operates for the B2C category while CommerceNet Singapore operates for both the B2C and B2B categories. CommerceNet Singapore Ltd,, is a not-for-profit eCommerce facilitator and part of the global CommerceNet consortium represented in various countries. Consumers Association of Singapore,, is a non-profit organisation committed to protect and enhance consumers' interests through information and education as well as promote fair and ethical trade practices.

SOSA,, is the Secure Online Shopping Association in Taiwan. SOSA promotes electronic commerce in Taiwan and operates a trustmark program that awards the SOSA trustmark to Taiwan businesses that meet its standards.


Ecomtrust, is comprised of member organisations throughout Europe, organised to promote safe electronic commerce. It is administering a pilot project through its Swiss member to implement a trustmark program based on consensus business practice standards developed in a CEN Workshop Agreement.

EUROCHAMBRES,, is the Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry. Through its member organisations, the association represents 2,000 Chambers of Commerce and their 18 million member enterprises in 43 countries. Many European Chambers of Commerce and Industry offer arbitration, mediation and conciliation services - both in B2B and B2C disputes. EUROCHAMBRES intends to make a pan-European trustmark program available to its members, along with an online dispute resolution technology called "Online Confidence."

FEDMA,, is the European Federation for the direct/interactive marketing business dedicated to representing direct marketing in all its forms. FEDMA's objective is to protect and promote the European direct marketing business by creating, through representation, self-regulation and information, acceptance and confidence in direct marketing within a healthy commercial and legislative environment in which the sector can profitably operate and develop. FEDMA has more than 350 direct members and represents more than 10,000 companies indirectly through its national DMA members.

TrustUK,, is the UK's e-commerce standards & accreditation agency. A non-profit organisation, it is entirely led and has the full endorsement of the UK Government. The Board of Directors is made up of consumer representatives and the heads of some of industry's biggest trade organisations. It is committed to ensuring the UK delivers the highest commercial standards of e-commerce. TrustUK's independent Accreditation Committee, which approves the e-commerce codes of practice of subscriber & membership organisations, is chaired by Lord Barrie, QC, a former Director General of the UK's Office of Fair Trading. Only those trustmark programs that meet TrustUK rigorous standards may display the TrustUK logo.

For media clarification, please contact:

National Trust Council Secretariat
c/o Geraldine Tan (Ms)
Tel: +65 6211 0209
Fax : +65 62112227