The ATEX Directive 94/9/EC is one of a number of CE Marking Directives that are getting a make-over to bring them into line with EU Decision No. 768/2008/EU, in accordance with the New Legislative Framework (NLF) that was introduced in 2008. Subsequently, a new recast, Equipment for Explosive Atmospheres (ATEX) Directive 2014/34/EU came into force on the 18th April 2014, however, the current directive (94/9/EC) will not be repealed until 20th April 2016 and until this 2016 date, manufacturers can continue to place products on the market that comply with the current Directive.
The new Directive appears quite different to the Directive it will replace, and the pdf version is 65% larger, but other than rewording, reformatting, reordering and clarifications, the actual changes and the impact on manufacturers is relatively slight. Changing to the new Directive should not be too difficult for manufacturers and furthermore EC-type-examination certificates which have been issued under the current ATEX Directive (94/9/EC) will be valid under the new Directive (2014/34/EU).
Please note: EC-type-examination certificates are NOT the same as EU Declarations of Conformity which, if issued under the ATEX Directive, will cease to be valid when the current ATEX Directive (94/9/EC) is repealed on 20th April 2016.
Terminology Changes, Clarifications and Additions
As with the other Directives which have been aligned with the NLF, a number of terms have been changed and even some new terms have been introduced, as can be seen in the tables below:
Table 1- Terminology correlation table
|Term used in 94/9/EC||Term used in 2014/34/EU|
|Community Directives||Union Legislation|
|EC-Type Examination||EU-Type Examination|
|EC-Type Examination Certificate||EU-Type Examination Certificate|
|EC Declaration of Conformity||EU Declaration of Conformity|
(in relation to the indication of conformity of a component)
|Attestation of Conformity|
Table 2 – New definitions in 2014/34/EU
|Making available on the market||any supply of a product for distribution, consumption or use on the Union market in the course of a commercial activity, whether in return for payment or free of charge|
|Placing on the market||the first making available of a product on the Union market|
|Manufacturer||means any natural or legal person who manufactures a product or has a product designed or manufactured, and markets that product under his name or trade mark or uses it for his own purposes|
|Authorised representative||any natural or legal person established within the Union who has received a written mandate from a manufacturer to act on his behalf in relation to specified tasks|
|Importer||any natural or legal person established within the Union who places a product from a third country (i.e. not a EU member state or a country which is part of European Economic Area – European Free Trade Association), on the Union market|
|Distributor||any natural or legal person in the supply chain, other than the manufacturer or the importer, who makes a product available on the market|
|Economic operators||the manufacturer, the authorised representative, the importer and the distributor|
|Technical specification||a document that prescribes technical requirements to be fulfilled by a product|
|Conformity assessment||the process demonstrating whether the essential health and safety requirements of this Directive relating to a product have been fulfilled|
|Conformity assessment body||a body that performs conformity assessment activities including calibration, testing, certification and inspection|
The types of products which are covered by the directive remains the same, however the scope has been modified to make it clear that components intended to be incorporated into equipment and protective systems, do fall within the scope of the ATEX Directive.
Obligations of Economic Operators
The Directive now specifically details the obligations of Manufacturers (M), Authorised Representatives (AR), Importers (I) and Distributors (D). These obligations are summarised in the table below:
Table 3 – Summary of obligations to be undertaken by economic operators
|Ensure the product has been produced in accordance with EHSR’s of the Directive||X||N/A|
|Only place compliant products on the market||X|
|Act with due care in relation to the requirements of the Directive||X|
|Draw up the technical documentation||X||N/A|
|Ensure the technical documentation has been drawn up||X|
|Carry out (or have carried out) the relevant conformity assessment||X|
|Ensure the conformity assessment has been carried out||X|
|Draw-up DofC and affix the CE marking or produce a written attestation of conformity for a component and ensure it is accompanied with the product||X|
|Ensure the DofC or attestation of conformity has been produced & accompanies the product along with other required documents, and the CE marking is placed on the product (where possible)||X||X|
|Keep technical documentation & DofC/attestation of conformity for 10 years after the product has been placed on the market||X||X||X|
|Ensure procedures are in place for series production to remain in conformity with the Directive||X|
|When risk appropriate, carry out sample testing of products and where necessary keep a register of: complaints; non-conforming products; and product recalls, and keep distributors informed||X||X|
|Ensure products bear, (or where not possible, on other documents accompanying the product) a type, batch or serial number or other element allowing identification||X||X||X|
|Ensure products other than components bear Ex markings and other relevant ATEX markings required by the Directive or applied harmonised standards||X||X||X|
|Ensure it is indicated on the product (or where not possible, on other documents accompanying the product) the manufacturers name, registered trade name/mark, postal address||X||X||X|
|Ensure it is indicated on the product (or where not possible, on other documents accompanying the product) the importers name, registered trade name/mark, postal address||X||X|
|Ensure the product is accompanied by instructions and safety information in a language easily understood by the end-users||X||X||X|
|Take corrective actions/inform national authorities when a product they have placed on the market is not in conformity with the Directive||X||X||X|
|Inform the importer, manufacturer & market surveillance authorities where the product presents a risk||X||X|
|If requested, provide the national authority with the technical documentation in a language easily understood by the authority, and cooperate with the authority to eliminate the risk posed by the products which they have placed on the market||X||X||X||X|
|Ensure a products compliance is not jeopardised due to storage or transport conditions||X||X|
|On request by a market surveillance authority: identify any economic operator (i.e. manufacturer, authorised representative, importer or distributor), who has supplied them with a product; or any economic operator to whom they have supplied a product, for up to 10 years after the product has been supplied.||X||X||X||X|
|Note 1: An authorised representative may have further tasks to undertake as per the mandate agreed between themselves and the manufacturer.
Note 3: Specific obligations which the authorised representative can/cannot fulfil are also specified is each conformity module.
Note 2: An importer or distributor shall be considered a manufacturer where they place a product on the market under their name or trade mark or modify a product already placed on the market in such a way that compliance with the Directive may be affected
Essential Health and Safety Requirements
The requirements of manufacturers contained within the Annex II of the Directive, concerning the Essential health and safety requirements remain largely the same as the previous Directive. The only potentially significant difference is contained within clause 1.5 which contains requirements with respect to safety-related-devices. The clause now states that the ‘fail-safe principle’ should be applied in general, as opposed to just the electrical circuits, as was the previous requirement. In reality the majority of manufactures have already been applying the fail-safe principle to all systems in their products where necessary as determined through the use of Ignition Hazard Assessment and Harmonised Standards.
The assessment modules have been aligned with the NLF and Decision 768/2008/EC. As such many of the titles have been modified as indicated below:
Table 4 – Correlation table for module headings
|III||Module: EC-Type Examination||Module B: EU-Type Examination|
|IV||Module: Production quality assurance||Module D: Conformity to type based on quality
assurance of the production process
|V||Module: Product Verification||Module F: Conformity to type based on product verification|
|VI||Module: Conformity to Type||Module C1: Conformity to type based on internal
production control plus supervised product testing
|VII||Module: Product Quality Assurance||Module E: Conformity to type based on product quality assurance|
|VIII||Module: Internal Control of Production||Module A: Internal production control|
|IX||Module: Unit Verification||Module G: Conformity based on unit verification|
Each conformity module has been split into the following distinct topic sections with the following headings (where applicable to the conformity module):
However the only sections which add or modify any requirements for an economic operator are highlighted below along with a summary of the changes.
EU Declaration of Conformity
The EC Declaration of Conformity is now referred to as an EU Declaration of Conformity and should now include the following information:
There are a number of other differences between the current and new ATEX Directives, but theses generally will only affect the operation of notified bodies and member states and will not require manufacturers and other economic operators to make changes in order for them to be accommodated.
The Text of the New ATEX Directive
The PDF text of the new ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU can be accessed through the link below:
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