Scope of the directive :

This directive is adopted by the European Union (EU) to facilitate free trade in the EU by aligning the technical and legal requirements in the Member States for products intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres.

The Directive covers equipment and protective systems, which may be used in areas endangered by potentially explosive atmospheres created by the presence of flammable gases, vapours or dusts. The Directive covers both electrical and mechanical equipment.

The directive covers harmonisation of requirments as well as conformity assessment procedures.

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Differences between old national regulations and new directives:

  • Only one directive for mining equipment and other places liable to be endangered by explosive atmospheres.
  • The directive indicate safety requirements for equipment intended for use in potentially explosive environment created by the presence of dusts, and safety requirements for non-electrical apparatus intended for use in explosive atmospheres.
  • It brings the "CE" marking for equipment and protective systems, which may be used in explosive atmospheres.
  • It takes the place of national regulations for electrical apparatus.

This new directive has a larger scope than domestic standards.

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What is a potentially explosive atmosphere?

3 points for explosive atmosphereA explosive atmosphere is defined as a mixture of:

  • An inflammable substance (dust, gas, mists or dusts) (A)
  • The oxygen in the surrounding air = always present (B)
  • Under atmospheric conditions
    In which, after ignition has occurred (C), combustion spreads to the entire unburned mixture (in the case of fibers, the dust may not completely burned after combustion).

A potentially explosive atmosphere is an atmosphere which could become explosive due to local and operational condition.

Effective date:

Since 1 July 2003, all products placed on the market in the European Union have to conform to Directive 94/9/EC.
Already installed equipment need, however, not be replaced by equipment conforming to the ATEX directive.

What about the products after 30 june 2003?

After 30 June 2003, conformity to the ATEX directive is obligatory in order to enable free movement of products throughout the European Union.
Only the New Approach remains valid. It takes into account:

  • Hazardous areas (see page "Groups and zones"),
  • CE Marking (see page "ASCO Numatics and ATEX"),
  • Dust atmospheres (EN 60241, EN 50181),
  • The CENELEC standards EN 60079-0/EN 50014 ff. for electrical apparatus for explosive gas atmospheres (see the "ATEX documentation"),
  • Standard EN 13463 for non-electrical equipment for potentially explosive atmospheres.

What about the products after 1 july 2006?

After 1 July 2006, standards EN 50014..28 are progressively replaced by the EN 60079 series of standards in the list of harmonised standards. The same applies for EN 50281-1-1 (electrical apparatus for the use in the presence of combustible dust) which is replaced by the EN 61241 series of standards (see the "ATEX documentation").

If the equipment is not affected by substantial modifications of the new standards, the manufacturer does not need to apply for an addition to the EC type-examination certificate.

Status of the harmonisation of these standards at the end of 2006:

EN 50014 To be harmonized by 1 October 2008, then replaced by EN 60079-0 (2006) on 1 March 2007
EN 50018 «d» Harmonized until 1 March 2007, then replaced by EN 60079-1, harmonised in December 2006
EN 50019 «e» Replaced by EN 60079-7 (2003), harmonised in July 2006
EN 50020 «i» To be harmonised by 1 October 2009, then replaced by EN 60079-11 (2007)
EN 50021 «n» Replaced by EN 60079-15 (2003), to be harmonised by June 2008; then replaced by EN 60079-15 (2005)
EN 50028 «m» Replaced by EN 60079-18 (2004), harmonised in December 2006
EN 50281-1-1 To be harmonized by 1 October 2008, then replaced by EN 61241-0 and EN 61241-1
What is the IECEx certification?

The IECEx International Certification Scheme is a voluntary certification system. It offers a certification of conformity with the IEC series of standards 60079, 61241 and 61779. This certification facilitates the international trade of electrical equipment intended for use in explosive atmospheres and contributes to avoiding the multiplicity of national certifications while guaranteeing an adapted level of safety. The certification is issued by an organisation recognised by IECEx, an ExCB (Ex Certification Body).

  • It provides direct access to the markets in Australia, New Zealand etc.
  • It simplifies access to local certifications in Russia, China, USA etc.
  • It reduces the time and costs for certification due to its international recognition.
  • All certifi cates issued are available for download worldwide under "Online Certificates" at
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