The ATEX Directive is being repealed and replaced by the recast or new ATEX Directive. For those of you who track these by the Directive numbers, the old ATEX Directive 94/9/EC is being replaced by 2014/34/EU. The changes or enhancements in language in the recast ATEX Directive include:
- Change in the content of the DoC to an EU DoC (Annex X)
- Updated terminology throughout the document
- Additional definitions of terms (Article 2)
- Scope has been clarified to include components intended to be incorporated into equipment and protective systems (Article 1)
- Clarifies obligations of manufacturers, authorized representatives, importers and distributors
When is it effective?
- The old ATEX Directive will be repealed on April 20, 2016. (Article 43)
- The recast ATEX Directive goes into force on April 20, 2016. (Article 44)
How do you know if you are subject to the ATEX Directive?
- Any product intended to be used in a potentially explosive atmosphere is likely subject to the ATEX Directive. This would include products or components used in for safety, controlling, or regulating devices also intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres.
- This Directive does not apply to medical devices for use in a medical environment, equipment intended for use in domestic and non-commercial environments where explosive atmospheres do not normally exist, PPE, seagoing vessels and off shore units. (See Article 1 for more details)
What should you do?
- Now is a good time to check the standards your product was tested to and make sure the testing is up to date with changes in the standards. If not, you will want to have testing conducted to ensure the product meets the latest adopted standard in the Official Journal. You can check the harmonized standards that are published in the Official Journal at the following URL: http://ec.europa.eu/growth/single-market/european-standards/harmonised-standards/index_en.htm and then select the ATEX Directive. The list of harmonized standards is not changing between the old and recast Directive.
- Update your DoC to reflect the changes in Annex X of 2014/34/EU and standards the product complies with. Products being placed on the market in the EU on or after April 20, 2016 subject to the ATEX Directive should reference the recast ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU.
- Review your CE marking on your product and ensure it complies with the requirements.
- Make sure your retention policy for your technical construction file meets the 10 year requirement in the ATEX Directive from the time the product is placed on the EU market.