The ‘New’ ATEX Directive

2014/34/EU – Equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres

On the 29th March 2014 a new “ATEX” Directive was published in the Official Journal.  This Directive is known as 2014/34/EU and replaces the existing 94/9/EC. This publication is one of nine new EU Directives published as a result of the New Legislative Framework (NLF), which implements the text of the EU Decision 768/2008/EC and makes reference to Regulation 765/2008/EC.

The Directives revised so far as a result of the NLF are:

1. Low Voltage Directive: 2006/95/EEC
2. Electromagnetic Compatibility Directive: 2004/108/EC
3. ATEX Directive: 94/9/EC
4. Lifts Directive: 95/16/EC
5. Simple Pressure Vessels Directive: 2009//105/EC
6. Measuring Instruments Directive: 2004/22/EC
7. Non-automatic Weighing Instruments Directive: 2009/23/EEC
8. Civil Explosives Directive: 93/15/EEC
9. Pyrotechnic Articles Directive: 2007/23/EC (was revised by Directive 2013/29/EU and adopted on the 12th June 2013)

How does this affect you?

Now that the new ATEX Directive has been published there is an adoption period of 2 years, the new Directive will be applicable to equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres placed on the market from the 20th April 2016.  This means that from the 20th April 2016 all manufacturers, importers, authorised representatives and distributors must comply with the requirements of the new Directive applicable to them.

An important point to note is that the NLF does not revise sector-specific elements of existing Directives; therefore no changes have been made to the scope or essential requirements.

Declaration of Conformity

Any existing Declarations of Conformity will need to be revised under the requirements of the new NLF Directives.  First and foremost is the requirement to include the new identification of the applied Directives.  Further to this is the requirement for manufacturer’s to produce a single Declaration of Conformity addressing all applicable Directives.  Therefore manufacturers who have multiple Declarations of Conformity for a single product will have to consolidate these into a single document.
Manufacturers claiming compliance with the new Directive before CSA Group-Sira becomes notified, should make it clear that compliance has been verified by self-assessment and not by CSA Group-Sira.

Importers

The role of an importer and their obligations has now been defined.  Importers have a number of additional requirements.  Most noticeable is the inclusion of their name/ trade mark and address on the product.  Importers are also required to ensure that the manufacturer has the relevant technical documentation in place, that the product bears the CE marking, that the product is correctly marked and that the product is provided with a declaration of conformity or attestation of conformity (whichever is applicable) and any other required documents (such as user instructions).

Notified bodies

The new Directive introduces the mandatory requirement that any notified body must be accredited by a national accreditation body.  Although most notified bodies are already accredited (CSA Group-Sira is accredited in the UK by UKAS), this was not a requirement in 94/9/EC.

Certificates

New Certificates

EC-Type Examination certificates will become EU-Type Examination certificates.  From the 20th April 2016 CSA Group-Sira will issue certificates under the new Directive.  For this to happen, CSA Group-Sira must become notified for the new Directive and this process, managed by UKAS, is likely to begin in 2015.

Existing Certificates

For existing EC-Type Examination certificates there is no requirement for new documents, certificate variations or supplements to be issued.  This is as a result of the new Directive stating in Article 41 (2) ‘certificates issued under Directive 94/9/EC shall be valid under this Directive’.

However, if you wish to update your certification to incorporate the new Directive, either as part of an update to your product or independent of any other product changes, a new certificate to 2014/34/EU will be required.  The EC-Type Examination Certificate will then become an EU-Type Examination Certificate.

What has not changed?

As mentioned above, the NLF does not revise sector-specific elements of existing Directives; therefore no changes have been made to the scope or essential requirements when comparing 2014/34/EC to 94/9/EC.  As a result, there are no new technical requirements to consider when transitioning to the new Directive.

Useful links:

Directive 2014/34/EU:
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=OJ:JOL_2014_096_R_0309_01&from=EN

Other Directives affected by the NLF:

• Explosives for Civil Uses – http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?qid=1396251345411&uri=OJ:JOL_2014_096_R_0001_01
• Simple Pressure Vessels (SPV) – http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=OJ:JOL_2014_096_R_0045_01
• Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) – http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=OJ:JOL_2014_096_R_0079_01
• Non-Automatic Weighing Instruments (NAWI) – http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=OJ:JOL_2014_096_R_0107_01
• Measuring Instruments (MID) – http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?qid=1396251345411&uri=OJ:JOL_2014_096_R_0149_01
• Lifts and Safety Components for Lifts – http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?qid=1396251345411&uri=OJ:JOL_2014_096_R_0251_01
• Electrical Equipment Designed for Use within Certain Voltage Limits (LVD) – http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=OJ:JOL_2014_096_R_0357_01