Ensure ATEX certification for both products (2014/34/EU) and workplaces (99/92/EC). Choose Applus+ Laboratories, an expert notified body.


What is ATEX?

Explosive Atmospheres or “ATmosphère EXplosible” (in French), known as ATEX in Europe, may take place in environments under the presence of the following factors:

  • A mix of dangerous substances (gases, vapours, mist or dust)
  • Oxygen which, under regular ambient temperature and pressure, can spread combustion to the entire unburned mixture.
  • The presence of an ignition source.

What is ATEX Directive for the EU?

The EU regulates the safety of equipment, workers and workplaces used in equipment of Explosives Atmospheres through two EU directives.

One to regulate the products used in explosive atmospheres and best practices for working safely with them. The other regulates the applicable requisites to ensure that workers are also protected while working in explosive atmospheres.

The ATEX Product Directive (2014/34/EU)

The ATEX Product Directive (2014/34/EU) governs all requirements for products to be used in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres.

The ATEX Worker Protection Directive (99/92/EU)

The ATEX Worker Protection Directive (99/92/EC) regulates when a working area should be considered as ATEX, and lists out responsibilities to carry out and manage risk assessments and determine the appropriate measures to eliminate or reduce potential risks.

What is ATEX certification used for?

ATEX Certification applies to manufacturing facilities located within the EU or for vendors hoping to sell equipment that’s to be used in a potentially explosive atmosphere within the EU. Additionally, ATEX certification can provide the following benefits:

  • EU market access: ATEX compliance is mandatory for the EU, and allows vendors to sell or produce their goods in this territory.
  • Promotes safety: it establishes a set of standards to mitigate potential risks caused to people or the equipment.
  • Increases stakeholder trust: Since its validated by an independent notified body, ATEX compliance demonstrates that safety standards are incorporated throughout the entire value chain.

What is the difference between ATEX and IECEx Certification?

ATEX and IECEx certifications are actually very similar, the main difference is their geographical reach.

Short for International Electrotechnical Commission Explosive, IECEx it’s a mutual international certification scheme that’s accepted in more than 50 countries. Its objective is to build confidence in the safety of Ex equipment under a mutual scheme, facilitating international market access for equipment and services used in explosive atmospheres. On the other hand, ATEX is a mandatory scheme for Europe.

ATEX Product Certification for the EU

When used in potentially explosive atmospheres, all products sold for the EU must demonstrate their compliance with the 2014/34/EU ATEX Directive. The conformity assessment and process structure can be complex, even for the most experienced manufacturers. As a Notified Body, we have the know-how and accreditation to facilitate its completion.

Our international team of experts can help you meet specific market needs and provide guidance throughout the whole CE Marking process. This includes:

  • Testing/evaluations based on applicable ATEX Directive requirements and issuing required Type Certificate and Reports.
  • Quality system assessments based on ATEX Directive requirements and the issuance of the required Quality Assessment Notification (QAN).
  • As a Notified Body for a wide range of directives, we can also provide support throughout the whole CE Marking process.

How to define the right ATEX procedure for products?

These are some of the variables that must be considered to define the right ATEX Directive procedure:

  • Identifying the Zone, group and category: First, potentially explosive areas are split into Zones. Zones are then defined depending on whether they are in the presence of gas or dust. Products included in the Directive also fall into different groups and categories, based on the expected frequency and duration of the explosion risk or if it's electrical or not.   
  • Implementing specific safety precaution norms: Products (electrical and non-electrical) will need to implement specific protection norms, as described in the ATEX guidelines and the related standards. This process guarantees the equipment in question won’t ignite/ propagate an explosion in a certain area and temperature  

Other conformity requirements, such as additional assessments, depend on the Zone the product is to be used at. Employees operating in ATEX areas must also undergo specific training and obtain certifications based on their factory line function.

ATEX product certification accreditations and recognitions

 Applus+ Laboratories counts with QPS Applus+, a Notified Body that can conduct ATEX Product Certification for both North America and Europe. These are their corresponding marks:

  • ATEX Notified Body in Canada- QPS Evaluation Services Inc, and Applus+ Company. (Canada).

  • ATEX Notified Body in Netherlands, Europe - QPS Europe B.V., an Applus+ Company (The Netherlands).

ATEX Certification for workplaces for the EU

The ATEX certification process on workplaces comprises a series of distinct stages. We’re standing by to help clients meet specific needs and can provide support throughout all stages, including:

  • The Explosion Protection Document (EPD):
    • Preliminary study and report to assess current compliance with regulatory requirements
    • Proposal of measures to adopt (both organisational and technical)
    • Support with drawing up the Explosion Protection Document:
      • Risk assessment
      • Classification of areas according to their level of risk
      • Protective and preventive measures
      • Training in producing and updating EPDs
  • Conformity assessment and generation of certificates of conformity
  • Periodic third-party inspections, in line with relevant regulatory requirements, resulting in the issuing of verification reports.

Choose Applus+ Laboratories for ATEX, HazLoc and IECEx Certification

Our experts conduct the proper test reports and certificates for equipment and personnel operating in Explosive Atmospheres worldwide, including the EU, UK, US and Canada and other international markets thanks to IECEx Certification.


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