The ‘New’ ATEX Directive – UPDATE

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

Following up on the CSA Group-Sira news item regarding “The ‘New’ ATEX Directive” that was published in July, there has been some additional information provided to notified bodies at the recent ExNB* meeting.

The 18th Annual meeting of the ExNB took place on the 17th and 18th November 2014 in Brussels.  During this meeting, representation from the European Commission provided some additional information on the steps being taken in the preparation for the implementation of, and transition to, the new Directive 2014/34/EU.

The first point which we must reiterate is that although 2014/34/EU has been published, it is not useable until the effective date of the 20th April 2016.  What this means for notified bodies is that we are unable to issue certificates stating compliance with this new Directive.

It is also important to note that manufacturers are also not permitted to issue Declarations of Conformity stating compliance with 2014/34/EU before the 20th April 2016.

These limitations do create some practical issues so additional guidance will be provided in the coming months so that notified bodies and manufacturers can better prepare for the effective date.

Next steps

Currently there are no notified bodies which are notified for the new ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU.  This process of notifying is expected to commence in 2015, however, when notified bodies do become notified for the new Directive, they will still not be permitted to issue certificates to the new Directive until the 20th April 2016.

The European Commission will be providing additional information on the implementation of the new Directive before the end of 2014.  The content is expected to provide notified bodies with guidance on how new certificates may be prepared and it is hoped that some more practical information will be provided on how the transition may take place for notified bodies and manufacturers.

The final details of the transition are expected to be provided during a workshop for notified bodies which has been scheduled for September 2015.

We will continue to publish information as and when we receive it.

A C Smith
Certification Manager – Ex Products

*The ExNB is the committee of ATEX Notified Bodies and is also attended by market surveillance group, ADCO, and representation from the European Commission.