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ATEX Directive 94/9/EC
ATEX is the term used when referring to the European Unions (EU) Directive 94/9/EC.
"ATEX" is derived from the French "Atmospheres Explosibles".
The ATEX Directive main objectives are to guarantee the free circulation of goods within the European Union by aligning the technical and legal requirements of the Member States.
The Directive is named "Approximation of the laws of the Member States concerning equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres". The Directive covers electrical and non-electrical equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres in mining and surface industries.
The Directive covers :
To ensure compliance with the Directive, equipment must meet with the essential requirements specified in the Directive and be marked with the CE marking .
The process of ensuring that equipment complies with the Directive, conformity assessment procedure(s) must be complied with. These procedures may involve a Notified Body. A Notified body is a body that is independent of the product manufacturer and assesses conformity of the products and the manufacturer with the Directive. The Notified Body has to be approved and appointed by its government.
Conformity assessment procedures include :
The ATEX Directive came into force on a voluntary basis on 1st March 1996 and will become mandatory from the 1st July 2003 and all products within its scope will have to comply before being placed on the market or put into service.
The Directive classifies equipment into eight categories depending on the equipment's area of use :