The ATEX Directive (2014/34/EU) was published on the 29th of March 1994 and it came into force 20 days later.
The objective of Directive 2014/34/EU is to ensure free movement for the products to which it
applies in the EU territory. Therefore the Directive, based on Article 95 of the EC Treaty, provides for harmonised requirements and procedures to establish compliance.
WHICH PRODUCTS ARE COVERED BY THE ATEX DIRECTIVE (2014/34/EU)?
The ATEX Directive applies to equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres. 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 are also covered by the scope of this Directive.
According to this Directive, ‘equipment’ means machines, apparatus, fixed or mobile devices, control components and instrumentation thereof and detection or prevention systems which, separately or jointly, are intended for the generation, transfer, storage, measurement, control and conversion of energy and/or the processing of material and which are capable of causing an explosion through their own potential sources of ignition.
‘Protective systems’ means devices other than components of the equipment defined above which are intended to halt incipient explosions immediately and/or to limit the effective range of an explosion and which are separately placed on the market for use as autonomous systems.
WHICH PRODUCTS ARE NOT COVERED BY THE ATEX DIRECTIVE (2014/34/EU)?
(a) medical devices intended for use in a medical environment;
(b) equipment and protective systems where the explosion hazard results exclusively from the presence of explosive substances or unstable chemical substances;
(c) 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;
(d) 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;
(e) seagoing vessels and mobile offshore units together with equipment on board such vessels or units;
(f) 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;
(g) the equipment used for national security by armed forces, police etc.
HOW TO COMPLY WITH THE ATEX DIRECTIVE (2014/34/EU):
The ATEX Directive offers two ways to perform conformity assessment:
1. Internal Production Control or CE marking self-certification: the manufacturer performs the conformity assessment and documents the assessment in his own right. The internal production control applies to equipment and devices under Group II, Category 3.
2. Involvement of a Notified Body: in the case of equipment; autonomous protective systems; for safety devices for such equipment or systems; and for components for such equipment, systems or devices, under Groups I and II, Categories M1, M2, 1 and 2.