Changes in Russian ‘Ex’ approvals – what you need to know!
From the 15th March 2015 GOST-certified products used in potentially explosive atmospheres within member states of the Customs Union can no longer be placed on the market. From this date, product must conform to the Technical Regulation of the Customs Union – TR CU 012/2011.
The History of TR CU 012/2011
The Eurasian Customs Union came into existence on 1 January 2010 as the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia, and has recently been extended to include Armenia and Kyrgystan from January 2015.
One of its aims is to harmonise certain legislation to allow the free movement of goods across the member states.
From February 2013, any new product placed on the market needed to comply with TR CU 012/2011, with existing GOST-certified equipment acceptable until 15th March 2015, allowing a 2-year transition period for such products.
From 15th March 2015, manufacturers of Ex equipment looking to export to a Customs Union country need to obtain TR CU 012/2011 approval rather than the formerly recognised GOST conformity route.
The scope of TR CU 012/2011
This technical regulation applies to electrical equipment, including Ex-components, and non-electrical equipment intended for use in explosive atmospheres.
The main differences in the conformity routes
From a certification viewpoint, the approval route calls upon a different set of technical standards for assessment, aligned in the main with IEC 60079 series, with a certificate validity of 5 years. This certificate grants entry to all Custom Union territories (previously GOST-R Ex was valid for 3 years and only granted entry to Russia, for example).
Legal representation (an organisation based in a Custom Unions country must be the applicant for the certificate) and mandatory audits are also required in order to achieve TR CU 012/2011 conformity.
How do I convert an existing GOST approval to TR CU 012/2011?
Having a contract with an applicant is critical to enable the start of a compliance project.
Once in place, the Certification Body will either utilize the existing data on record and/or use IECEx test reports as part of the assessment process.
Typically no re-testing is required in this scenario.
Translated manuals and specific marking on product label drawings needs to be considered.
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