February 12, 2001

Bureau Veritas launches quality assurance program for maritime websites
Bureau Veritas has launched a quality assurance initiative to provide a set of standards for maritime websites. The Internet certification program WebValue, will improve e-business services by identifying websites that meet the Bureau Veritas quality, confidentiality and security standards.

Stefan Recher, e-business manager of Bureau Veritas' marine division, says, "With the proliferation of e-business in the maritime industry it is hard for Internet users to judge the quality of a website. How does a user tell if an auction site is really neutral or if a trading site is really secure? At the moment there is a lack of confidence in using the Internet as the element of trust is missing. WebValue will provide this trust."

The Bureau Veritas WebValue programme is designed to regulate maritime websites and enable Internet users to make an informed decision when it comes to e-business. The programme consists of initial assessment of the gap between the WebValue standard and the client's practices. Then Bureau Veritas Group consultants evaluate the risks associated with the business activity. Finally, a team of independent Bureau Veritas auditors perform a certification audit. Companies that have successfully completed the programme will be allowed to display the Bureau Veritas WebValue seal of excellence on their websites. Continuous quality of the certified services is assured through regular audits.

"Companies offering web-based services that display the WebValue seal communicate their commitment to their clients in terms of quality of service, confidentiality and security. The growth of e-business has been hampered by the lack of regulation surrounding the Internet. The WebValue programme has already been successfully tested in France and has proven to significantly increase the capacity of a website to attract new clients," says Recher.

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