ATEX Directive FAQ
Why do I have to do all this?
The countries that make up the European Economic Area adopt Directives as their national laws. The ATEX Directive is the law in every country in the European Community, and part of the law states that all products for use in explosive atmospheres must meet the Directive. Representatives from all of the Notified Bodies agree to certain policies and procedures during regular meetings.
What is a Notified Body?
A Notified Body is a Testing Laboratory and Certification Organization. Every national government can notify or designate one or several testing labs/certification bodies as an agency able to issue certificates to the Directives.
What is the CE marking?
The CE Marking signifies Declaration by the Responsible Party (usually the manufacturer) that a product is compliant with all appropriate European Union New Approach Directives, such as the ATEX, Low Voltage, EMC and Machinery Directives.
What are the ATEX Directive's quality system requirements?
For Category 1 and Category 2 electrical equipment, there are two options:
- Every individual product being produced is tested by a Notified Body, or
- The manufacturer meets special quality system requirements.
Regarding the reference to special quality system requirements, this means an ISO 9001 compliant quality system, plus a special ATEX audit for quality system requirements that go beyond ISO 9001 requirements. If you already have a registered ISO 9001 quality system, the ATEX audit usually takes one full day, and is good for three years (but a surveillance audit will be required after 18 months). If you have no ISO registration, the ATEX audit usually takes three days, and must be conducted annually.
How do I show that my product complies with the Directive?
Place the CE Marking on the product, and prepare a document called a Manufacturer's Declaration of Conformity. This lists all the European directives and standards with which the product complies. Certificates from notified bodies are normally referenced.
How many certificates will I receive from a Notified Body?
For Category 1 and Category 2 electrical equipment, usually two--one certificate for the quality system, and one certificate for the product or product family. These two certificates can be issued by different Notified Bodies, and the quality system certificate is protection method specific and may therefore support several product certificates. For Category 3 equipment, the Directive does not require a quality system or a product certificate, and manufacturers may self declare that their product(s) comply with the Directive. However, testing laboratories will evaluate Category 3 equipment and issue a certificate if a manufacturer desires.
What can UL do for me?
UL offers services to meet manufacturer's certification needs under a variety of European Directives. Please refer to European Assistance for details.