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The ATEX Directive

The European Commission made a directive known as Atex 94/9/EC which had to be made law in all member states. It was incorporated into law in every member state equally. The directive allowed for a transition period and is fully in force in all member states since 30th June 2003. Thus there is no difference in what is acceptable in say Germany from say England. The Directive is part of what the EU terms its New Approach Directives which seek to fully harmonise the legislation and standards throughout the community, thereby fulfilling the EU objective of free movement of goods and services.
The Atex Directive also adopts a wider approach to safety in explosive atmospheres:

· it integrates Essential Health and Safety Requirements where other EU standards also apply and demands consideration of the broader implications of safety
· it demands Approved Quality Systems from manufacturers which include inspection, approval and continued surveillance of their Quality Systems
· it includes legislation for dusts as well as for gases and vapours
· it incorporates the CE community marking system with special provisions
· it empowers member states to nominate competent authorities, designated “Notified Bodies” to verify manufacturers conformity
· it addresses the risk-assessment considerations for classification of hazardous areas
· it includes non-electrical equipment in its considerations
· installation and maintenance instructions must be provided with equipment
· it simplifies the What-To-Use-Where problem.

For full details, click here to visit the European Commission Website