Overview of European ATEX certification system

1.Introduction of ATEX explosion-proof directives by EU CE certification

ATEX is the abbreviation of French"Atmospheres Explosibles",means"explosive environment".Since July 1,2003,all the equipment and protection system enter European economic area (EEA),and used in explosive environment must conform to the ATEX directive(94/9/EC) (after April 20,2016,directive 94/9/EC is replaced by 2014/34/EU).Explosion-proof electrical equipment is a kind of safe electrical equipment,

especially in the oil,marine oil,petrochemical industry,chemical industry,pharmaceutical and military industry and other industries in the workplaces where hazardous chemicals used in explosive hazardous atmosphere.


European commission adopted the"equipment and protection system used in potential explosion atmosphere”directive (94/9/EC) on March 23,1994.This directive covers mine and non mine equipments,unlike previous directives,it includes mechanical equipment and electrical equipment,including various kinds of explosion-proof electrical equipment,protection system,safety instrument,control instrument and control device,etc.extends the potential explosion hazardous atmosphere to the dust in the air,combustible gas,combustible vapor and mist.It specifies the technical requirements,basic health,safety requirements and equipment within the range of application which used in potential explosive atmosphere must use conformity assessment procedures before placed on European market.


In 1999,the European commission issued the minimum requirements directive which involves the improvements of worker health and safety protection in potentially explosive hazardous atmosphere (1999/92/EC),and ATEX94/9/EC instruction in parallel (after April 20,2016,94/9/EC is replaced by 2014/34/EU),stipulates the employer's liability involving in potentially explosive hazardous atmosphere.


For the basic safety and health requirements and protection system stipulated in explosion-proof directive,European Organization for Standardization is entrusted to formulate the corresponding“coordinative criteria”,used for stipulate its detailed technical implementation method.Manufacturer applied ATEX directive terms and with attached CE marking who are allowed to sell equipments used in potential explosion hazardous atmosphere without considering more requirements in Europe.This is the effective method to quickly enter into world's largest single market with more than 4.5 billion citizens.


So the implementation of European explosion-proof directives promotes the flow of trade for equipment and protection system in potential explosive atmosphere in the European market,provides the guarantee to ensure the health and property safety,which are beneficial to manufacturers,users and consumers.Also,regardless of old methods or new methods of explosion-proof instruction,it has a significant contribution to establish a single European market,eliminate trade technical barriers and ensure the equipment used in potential explosion hazardous atmosphere for free flow between its members.Pay close attention to the development and change of the ATEX directive,

familiar with its implementation method,it is of great significance for how to use ATEX directives for explosion-proof products to enter the European market.


2.The scope and classification of ATEX explosion-proof authentication

The equipment range of applicability of this directive is particularly large,generally including offshore platform,petrochemical plant,flour mills and other places where equipment is suitable in potential explosive atmosphere.

In general,the application of the directive has three preconditions:

  1) Devices must have their own ignition source;

  2) Expected for potential explosive environment(air mixture);

  3) And under normal air condition.

The directive applies to the safety use of the necessary components,as well as safety device useful to equipment safety within the scope of application.These devices can be used outside the potential explosive atmosphere.

ATEX (94/9/EC) directive can be divided into three classes according to the protection level of installation equipment:

  1) Category 1--very high protection level;

  2) Category 2--high protection level;

  3) Category 3--normal protection level.

If equipments are used in Zone 0,1,2,then there is G after category number (gas,vapor/mist):


Zone 0 Zone 1 Zone 2
1G type equipment 2G type equipment 3G type equipment


If equipments are used in Zone 20,21 or 22,then there is"D"after category number (dust).


3.Common sense of authentication for equipments used in European ATEX explosive atmosphere

1) Authentication mode:factory production quality system review + product type tests + product CE conformity statement,only meet three requirements at the same time can enter into Europe ATEX member states and other countries approved ATEX authentication.


2) Factory quality system review:explosion-proof test centers authorized by the ATEX certification authority (such as German PTB,TUV,French LCIE,Norway Nemko,DNV,Italy Eurofins,etc.) are to review and issue a certificate of quality evaluation(QAN) and production quality evaluation report(QAR),the certificate is valid for 3 years,18 months for supervision and review,review and change

certificate after 3 years.Warom selects German PTB as the ATEX assessment organization for production quality,PTB is the abbreviation of Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt and authority in explosion-proof flied.


3) Product type tests:product type tests can be processed by any explosion-proof test center authorized by the European ATEX certification body;EC product type test certificate and EC type test report can be issued if test qualified,certificate is of long-term effective.


4) CE conformity statement:only has the production certificate of quality evaluation and EC product type test certificate can manufacturer proceed product CE conformity statement which need to meet EN45012,EN45014 (EN/ISO/IEC 17050-1-2004,EN/ISO/IEC 17050-2-17050) standards.


5) Factory production quality system review is based on ISO/IEC80079-11,product type test is based on 2014/34/EU,EN60079 series,EN61241 series standard and other explosion-proof standards approved by ATEX;CE certificate is based on the production quality evaluation certificate and EC product type test certificate.


4.ATEX certification body

Based on the high standard requirements of ATEX certification system,therefore,it has a high recognition all over the world;there are many countries approved ATEX certification,in addition to EU members,like most countries in Africa,the Middle East,Southeast Asia,South America,etc.


5.So far the EU has 28 countries,specific as follows:

EU member states:Austria,Belgium,Bulgaria,Cyprus,Czech Republic,Denmark,Estonia,Finland,France,Germany,Greece,Hungary,Ireland,Italy,