New ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU Is Getting Closer

Equipment and protective systems for use in hazardous areas must comply with the requirements of the ATEX Directive 94/9/EC. The ATEX Directive applies to:

  • devices with their own potential ignition source,
  • protective systems,
  • components which are incorporated into protective systems, and
  • safety, inspection and regulating devices which are mainly used outside hazardous areas but which are necessary for the safe operation of devices and protective systems.

The European Parliament approved the new ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU on 26 February 2014; it was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 29 March 2014. It came into force 20 days later. The transition period during which EU Member States must implement the new Directive in national law ends on 20 April 2016.

After 20 April 2016 all economic operators must comply with the requirements of the new Directive 2014/34/EU. The main health and safety requirements have been incorporated into the new Directive without change. The conformity assessment process for products remains identical with the one described in the present Directive 94/9/EC. The switch to the new Directive is therefore relatively simple for manufacturers who already meet the requirements of the ATEX Directive.

EC type-examination certificates
As required by Directive 94/9/EC: these continue to be valid under the new Directive. Recertification of products is not necessary.
As required by Directive 94/9/EC: they can also continue to be used in EU declarations of conformity to 2014/34/EU.
As required by the new Directive 2014/34/EU: these are only valid after 20 April 2016 and may only be issued with this date.

The EC declaration of conformity becomes the EU declaration of conformity
Products which were placed on the market for the first time before 20 April 2016 require an EC declaration of conformity according to Directive 94/9/EC. They may also be placed on the market after 20 April 2016 with this EC declaration of conformity (e.g. warehouse stocks). Products placed on the market after 20 April 2016 or used for the first time after this date require an EU declaration of conformity according to Directive 2014/34/EU.

Every person or organization who manufactures, develops or arranges for a product to be manufactured and markets this product under their own name or trade mark or uses it for their own purpose is a manufacturer within the meaning of Directive 2014/34/EU. This also applies to operators who manufacture or modify a product for their own use. In this case all the requirements of Directive 2014/34/EU apply including the necessary conformity assessment process.