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ATEX Product Certification Directive 2014/34/EU

Conformity with the ATEX Directive is a mandatory requirement to enable products designed for use in potentially explosive atmospheres to be CE marked for access to the European Single Market.

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DNV GL offers a full scope of ATEX product certification designed for manufacturers who require third party evaluation, testing and certification of their products to demonstrate conformity to the new ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU (which replaces Directive 94/9/EC.)

Conformity with the ATEX Directive is a mandatory requirement to enable products to be CE marked for access to the European Single Market. It demonstrates that all of the Essential Health & Safety Requirements of the European Union have been met though compliance with recognised harmonised standards and, depending on equipment risk category, has been independently verified by a Notified Body.

Technically, the standards and technical requirements used to demonstrate conformity are almost identical for ATEX and IECEx and a product can usually be assessed for both schemes at the same time.

For both experienced equipment manufacturers and new entrants to this sector the conformity assessment route and process can be complex. At DNV GL we operate a network of experts globally who are available to support you through the certification process – use the buttons to the right of the page to contact one of our experts today.

Our IECEx Certification Body and ATEX Notified Body Hazardous Area services are issued by our joint-venture entity DNV Nemko Presafe AS in Oslo, Norway.

Relevant Directives / Schemes

ATEX Directive – 2014/34/EU (which replaces the original ATEX Directive 94/9/EC).

ATEX Directive Scope and Exclusions

The ATEX Directive Applies to:

  1. equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres;
  2. safety devices, controlling devices and regulating devices intended for use outside potentially explosive atmospheres but required for or contributing to the safe functioning of equipment and protective systems with respect to the risks of explosion;
  3. components intended to be incorporated into equipment and protective systems referred to in point (a).

Specifically excluded from the ATEX Directive (because other directives apply) are:

  1. medical devices intended for use in a medical environment;
  2. equipment and protective systems where the explosion hazard results exclusively from the presence of explosive substances or unstable chemical substances;
  3. equipment intended for use in domestic and non- commercial environments where potentially explosive atmospheres may only rarely be created, solely as a result of the accidental leakage of fuel gas;
  4. personal protective equipment covered by Council Directive 89/686/EEC;
  5. seagoing vessels and mobile offshore units together with equipment on board such vessels or units;
  6. means of transport, i.e. vehicles and their trailers intended solely for transporting passengers by air or by road, rail or water networks, as well as means of transport in so far as such means are designed for transporting goods by air, by public road or rail networks or by water. Vehicles intended for use in a potentially explosive atmosphere shall not be excluded from the scope of this Directive;
  7. the equipment covered by point (b) of Article 346(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

Basic Technical Concepts

Hazardous Areas (Potentially Explosive Atmospheres) are defined in terms of Zones and Safe Areas under relevant IEC (for IECEx) and EN (for ATEX) standards depending on the expected frequency and duration of an explosive atmosphere being present.

Zone 0An area in which an explosive gas atmosphere is present continuously or for long periods or frequently.
Zone 1An area in which an explosive gas atmosphere is likely to occur periodically or occasionally in normal operation.
Zone 2An area in which an explosive gas atmosphere is not likely to occur in normal operation, but if it does occur, it will exist for a short period only.
Zone 20An area in which an explosive dust atmosphere, in the form of a cloud of dust in air, is present continuously, or for long periods or frequently.
Zone 21An area in which an explosive dust atmosphere, in the form of a cloud of dust in air, is likely to occur in normal operation occasionally.
Zone 22An area in which an explosive dust atmosphere, in the form of a cloud of dust in air, is not likely to occur in normal operation but, if it does occur, will persist for a short period only.
Safe or Non-Hazardous AreaAn area in which an explosive gas, or dust atmosphere is not expected to be present in quantities such as to require special precautions for the construction, installation and use of equipment.

In addition to Zones, Hazardous Areas are further subdivided by Gas or Dust Groups depending on the explosion properties of the gas or dust and Temperature Classes depending on the auto-ignition temperature of the explosive atmosphere.

Gas or Dust GroupRepresentative Gas or Dust
I (mines susceptible to firedamp)Methane
IIAPropane
IIBEthylene
IICAcetylene & Hydrogen
IIIAIgnitable fibres/flyings, such as cotton lint, flax & rayon
IIIBNon-conductive dusts, such as flour, grain, wood & plastic
IIICConductive dusts, such as magnesium

Surface Temperature °CEquipment Temperature Class
< 450°CT1
< 300°CT2
< 200°CT3
< 135°CT4
< 100°CT5
< 85°CT6

Equipment for use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres is specified by an Equipment Category (ATEX) or an Equipment Protection Level or EPL (IECEx) which defines the level of safety of the equipment and the zone in which it is suitable for use.

Zone of intended useATEX CategoryIECEx EPL
Zone 01GGa
Zone 12GGb
Zone 23GGc
Zone 201DDa
Zone 212DDb
Zone 223DDc

The Equipment Category or EPL, representative gas or dust group and temperature class (T Class) are determined by the relevant protection method which is employed.

Common Standards

The following standards define the most common protection concepts which can be used to achieve the appropriate level of protection, gas group and temperature class.

IEC/EN 60079-0General Requirements
IEC/EN 60079-1FlameproofEx d2GD Gb Db
IEC/EN 60079-2PressurisationEx p2GD Gb Db
IEC/EN 60079-5Quartz-filledEx q2GD Gb Db
IEC/EN 60079-6Oil-filledEx o2GD Gb Db
IEC/EN 60079-7Increased SafetyEx e2GD Gb Db
IEC/EN 60079-11Intrinsic SafetyEx I1GD Ga Da
IEC/EN 60079-15Non IncendiveEx n3GD Gc Dc
IEC/EN 60079-18EncapsulatedEx m2GD Gb Db
ISO/EN 80079-36General Requirements (mechanical equipment)
ISO/EN 80079-37
Constructional SafetyEx c2GD Gb Db
Control of Ignition SourcesEx b2GD Gb Db
Liquid ImmersionEx k2GD Gb Db

The Conformity Assessment Route (Click to see larger version):

Atex-conformity-assessment-route750px 

What Services Do We Offer?

We offer a full scope of evaluation, testing and certification services for both ATEX and IECEx approvals. In addition, DNV GL can supply pre-evaluation services to assist our customers with gap assessment or understanding of the technical and compliance requirements prior to undertakaning and approval project.

We also offers a range of additional Hazardous Area Services including services specifically for Assemblies of Equipment and Market Access for USA, Canada and Brazil.