On 19th. April 2016, the old ATEX Directive 94/9/EC will be replaced by Directive 2014/34/EU, covering test and certification of material/equipment to be used in areas with potentially explosive atmospheres.
As the new directive contains no changes to the essential health and safety requirements (EHSR requirements) in appendix II, it will not affect the already applied standards, neither is there major changes in the other appendices concerning the conformity assessment procedure.
The most important changes for the manufacturer are:
- The EC-Declaration of Conformity is replaced by an EU-Declaration of Conformity.
- From 20th. April 2016, the manufacturer’s Declaration of Conformity must reflect the Directive 2014/34/EU.
- The EC-Type Examination Certificate shall be replaced by an EU-Type Examination Certificate.
- Products already in the distribution chain can still be distributed with the EC-Declaration of Conformity.
- The importer is bound to label their products with their name and address.
- The responsibility and traceability of the manufacturer, the importer and the distributor (”the economic operators”) is more precisely defined.
- Certificates issued to the Directive 94/9/EC (e.g. EC Type Examination Certificates), are still valid after 20 April 2016.
- It is possible to issue appendices and annexes to certificates issued to the ”old” Atex Directive, if only such new supplements refer to Directive 2014/34/EU.
The most important changes for Notified Bodies are:
- Unlike the ”old " ATEX Directive, the 2014/34/EU, Article 21, demands an accreditation of the Notified Body. This means that there will typically be demands on compliance with e.g. EN 17021, i.e. the Notified Body is able to document i.a. technical competences, necessary test equipment/facilities, awareness of the EHSR requirements, impartiality, etc.
Areas, which remain unchanged:
- CE and ATEX marking
- Scope of the Directive and its essential health and safety requirements
- The Conformity Assessment Procedure (Annex III, V, VIII, IX).
- Classification of groups and categories of equipment
- The applied EN-standards, harmonised under the ”old” ATEX directive, can directly be applied under the ”new” ATEX Directive.
The new Directive will come into force on 20 April 2016. After this date, it is not possible to issue certificates or make changes/updates to existing certificates, unless reference is made to the new Directive 2014/34/EU.