The ATEX Directive and IECEx
The ATEX Directive
European countries require CE Marking and ‘ATEX’ is one of the CE Marking Directives required if your product is in scope and is designed to be used in potentially explosive atmospheres (gas or dust).
Many other countries (noticeably Asia and the Middle East) may use ATEX as a specification (which may or may not include other CE Marking Directives). The use of harmonized European standards (prefixed ‘EN’) gives the manufacturer the “presumption of conformity” to the “Essential Health and Safety Requirements (EHSRs)” and this is the basis on which to issue a declaration of compliance for the ATEX Directive. It is also possible to certify directly against the Essential Health and Safety Requirements without applying a Standard, but this is a far more difficult route and requires a high degree of specialist knowledge and experience (ExVeritas are experts in this type of approval).
The ATEX Directive requires that Zone 0 and Zone 1 electrical equipment (and zone 0 non-electrical equipment) has the following documents for approval.
- An ATEX EC Type Exam Certificate, which documents the evaluation and testing of the subject equipment, performed to the applicable Standards and/or EHSR’s, The certificate is issued by a Notified Body. ExVeritas are an ATEX Notified Body
- An ATEX Quality Module which documents the suitability of the manufacturer’s QA system, the Standard used is EN ISO IEC 80079-34:2011 and the Certification is issued by a Notified Body. More on Quality Modules
- A Declaration of Conformity (DoC) and Technical File stating compliance with all applicable Directives. The DoC is issued by the manufacturer.
For certain types of equipment (non-electrical for Zone 1 or both electrical and non-electrical for Zone 2), it is possible to self-certify, although in most cases buyers will request some form of 3rd party certification. For non-electrical equipment designed for Zone 1 use, self-certification can be carried out but the technical file generated must be lodged with a Notified Body.
The IECEx Scheme
The IECEx Scheme is a voluntary Certification Body Scheme for electrical equipment (non electrical equipment will be covered in the near future) used in potentially explosive atmospheres . It consists of three elements, all issued by an IECEx Scheme Certification Body (ExCB):
- IECEx Test Report (ExTR), which documents the evaluation and testing of the subject equipment, performed to the applicable IEC Series Standards
- IECEx Quality Assessment Report (ExQAR), which documents the suitability of the manufacturer’s QA system, performed to OD 005 (EN ISO IEC 80079-34:2011)
- IECEx Certificate of Conformity (IECEx CoC), which can be issued to a manufacturer holding an ExTR and an applicable ExQAR.
Unlike ATEX, there is no route for self-certification. There is also no legal requirement to have IECEx Certified Equipment, but it may be a specification requirement (some buyers prefer the scheme as there is no self-certification route)
IECEx can now offer ‘Special’ Certification (not using conventional protection concepts) using IEC 60079-33: 2012