ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU or ATEX Directive

ATEX is an English abbreviation Explosive Atmospheres. These are mixtures of gases, vapors, mists or dusts with atmospheric air, capable of combustion by ignition.

Operating equipment, protective systems and components used in explosive atmospheres present a high risk to people, property and the environment, this is why it is subject to mandatory safety controls in the form of certification of explosion protection in accordance with the ATEX Directive and further marking with the uniform CE mark of the European Union and a specific marking of explosion protection ATEX specific marking of explosion protection.

Only products that fully comply with the requirements of the ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU may be placed on the European market and marked with a conformity mark CE (European conformity).

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The following products are covered by Directive 2014/34/EU:

  • Equipment and protective systems, as well as components to be incorporated into them, intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres

  • Safety devices, controlling devices and regulating devices intended for use outside potentially explosive atmospheres, but required for contributing to the safe functioning of equipment and protective systems with respect to the risks of explosion

Directive 2014/34/EU does not apply to:

  • Medical devices intended for use in a medical environment

  • Equipment and protective systems where the explosion hazard results exclusively from the presence of explosive substances or unstable chemical substances

  • Equipment intended for use in domestic and non-commercial environments where potentially explosive atmospheres may only rarely be created

  • Personal protective equipment (covered by Council Directive 89/686/EEC of 21 December 1989 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to personal protective equipment)

  • Seagoing vessels and mobile offshore units together with equipment on board such vessels or units

  • Means of transport

  • Arms, ammunition, military materials

Product conformity assessment procedure according to the ATEX Directive:

Annex 1 of the ATEX Directive distinguishes two equipment groups:

Group I - equipment intended for underground and surface mining and processing of minerals

Group II - equipment used in potentially explosive environments.

Each of these groups has three levels of explosion protection A, B and C, its own application area - G for gas or D for dusty environments, as well as 6 classes of protection against high temperatures.

Depending on the explosion protection group and class of the products, different certification modules can be used for ATEX certification according to ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU. This can be both a declaration based on own evidence, as well as certification where a notified laboratory needs to be involved to conduct sample tests, control production conditions and quality management system.

If a notified laboratory is involved in the certification process, it carries out the following tasks:

  • verifying the technical documentation

  • testing of product samples

  • drawing up an evaluation report

  • checking the production conditions and the quality management system.

Within the ATEX Directive an essential element is carrying out and preparation of a risk assessment of ignition sources.
NB All economic operators, i.e. the importer, the distributor, the EU Authorized Representative (if applicable) in addition to the manufacturer, are responsible for compliance with the requirements of the ATEX Directive. In this way, the control of compliance with the requirements of Directive 2014/34/EU is entrusted to all parties involved in the sale of goods.

CE Marking according to ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU (ref. Articles NN 15 and 16)European certification for ATEX equipment

CE marking according to Article 2 of the ATEX Directive is “a marking by which the manufacturer indicates that the product is in conformity with the applicable requirements set out in Union harmonization legislation providing for its affixing”. The general principles of the CE marking are laid down in Annex II of the Regulation (EC) No 765/2008. The CE marking shall consist of the initials ‘CE’ (Conformité européenne – European conformity).

The CE marking shall be affixed to the equipment, protective systems, safety devices or its nameplate visibly, legibly, and indelibly.

The CE marking and the identification number of the notified body which carried out conformity assessment procedures (where applicable) shall be followed by a specific marking of explosion protection ATEX specific marking of explosion protection, the symbols of the equipment group and category, and, where applicable, the other markings.

Declaration of Conformity according to ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU (ref. Annex X)

Only if it has been established that the products comply with the requirements of the ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU can the manufacturer or his Authorized Representative issue a declaration of conformity, the products can be placed on the European Union market and marked with the CE marking and a specific marking of explosion protection ATEX specific marking of explosion protection.

By issuing a CE declaration for the product groups specified in the ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU, the manufacturer, importer or supplier of the product confirms under his own responsibility the compliance of the product with all requirements of the ATEX Directive. This declaration is an integral part of the technical documentation for the products and must be kept by the manufacturer and/or his Authorized Representative for 10 years. The fact that part of the conformity assessment was performed by a notified laboratory does not exempt the manufacturer from liability.

The declaration contains information about the manufacturer, his EU Authorised Representative, a list of harmonised standards applied and information about the notified laboratory involved in the certification process.

The CE declaration of conformity stating the compliance with ATEX Directive and its harmonized standards includes the below information:

  1. Product name and identification

  2. Name and address of the manufacturer or his authorised representative

  3. Object of the declaration such as identification of product that allows traceability

  4. A list of applicable directives/harmonised standards

  5. Name and number of the notified body, as well as the description of its scope of intervention (if applicable)

  6. Place and date of issue of the declaration

  7. Name, function, and signature of the person responsible to sign the declaration on the manufacturer’s behalf.

EU Authorised Representative for ATEX Equipment

If a manufacturer is located outside the European Union, he must appoint an authorised representative in the European Union in order to register a declaration of conformity or to apply a CE mark to the equipment.

In addition to providing a complete range of services with regards to certification and declaration of conformity of products according to the requirements of Directive 2014/34/EU CCIS-EXPERTISE also delivers a service of an authorised representative in the European Union.

Statutory reference

ATEX currently comprises requirements of the three EU directives:

  • Directive 94/9/EC concerning equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres

  • New Approach Directive 2014/34/EU applicable to equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres

  • Directive 1999/92/EU on minimum requirements for improving the safety and health protection of workers potentially at risk from explosive atmospheres

ATEX directive 94/9/EC first appeared in 1994 when there was a process of harmonization of national technical regulations of EU countries. In 2014, it was considerably reviewed and recasted within the framework of the "new approach" and replaced by Directive 2014/34/EU.

The directive describes the minimum requirements for equipment and safety systems used in explosive atmospheres.

The ATEX directive 94/9/EC applied until April 20, 2016. Nowadays it is new approach directive 2014/34/EU that applies.

Compliance with directives 2014/34/EU and 1999/92/EU is mandatory throughout the European Union when placing the equipment for explosive atmospheres on the European market and putting it in service.

Full text of the ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU

CCIS-EXPERTISE specialists will help you to:

  • identify directives and standards that apply to your products

  • prepare and evaluate the technical file

  • translate all relevant documentation and drawings

  • determine the cost of certification work

  • carry out all procedures of the European conformity assessment process

  • conduct tests of any complexity in accredited European and national laboratories

  • prepare the declaration of conformity

  • provide an authorised representative for your company in the EU