What is ATEX?EX logo

The ATEX directive came into force on 1st July 2003 before transitioning to the New Directive 2014/34/EU from 20th April 2016. The directive ensures that equipment intended for use in environments where potentially explosive atmospheres can occur will not become a source of ignition. Specifically, the ATEX directive ensures equipment is designed to meet the relevant Essential Requirements of the Directive(s).

You can find additional information about ATEX on the European Commission website here.

Does it apply to me?

The ATEX directive applies to all equipment falling within its scope that is placed on the market, or brought into service, within the European Union and the European Economic Area (EEA). 

ATEX applies if:

  • You have areas within your facility / site / plant located within the European Economic Area (EEA) where potentially explosive atmosphere(s) may occur, and / or,
  • You have a product to be placed on the market in the European Economic Area (EEA) intended for use in a potentially explosive atmosphere.

The applicable ATEX Directives that apply are:

  • ATEX ‘Workplace’ Directive 1999/92/EC: Directive covering minimum requirements for improving the Safety and Health Protection of workers potentially at risk from Explosive Atmospheres
  • ATEX ‘Product’ Directive 2014/34/EU: Directive for Equipment & Protective Systems Intended for use in Potentially Explosive Atmosphere

How do I comply with the ATEX Directive?

ATEX ‘Workplace’ Directive 1999/92/EC 

The objective of the ATEX ‘Workplace’ Directive is to protect workers against risks arising from explosive atmospheres. The Directive stipulates employers meet the following requirements:

  • Conduct a risk assessment. The assessment must assess the risks arising from explosive atmospheres.
  • Workforce training. Individuals that work in the explosive atmosphere must be suitably trained regarding explosion protection, equipment installation and maintenance.
  • Explosion Protection Document (EPD). An EPD must be created prior to initiating any work activities. The EPD must include the associated Area Classification that has been performed. The EPD must be kept up to date with any changes to the facility / plant / site work activities and equipment installed within.
  • Written instructions and permits to work. Instructions and a permit to work system must be employed for all hazardous activities performed by employees and sub-contractors.
  • Explosion prevention and protection. Appropriate technical and/or organisational measures must be applied to prevent and protect against explosions.
  • Work coordination. If workers from different undertakings are carrying out work at the same time and location suitable coordination and implementation of health and safety activities.

ATEX ‘Product’ Directive 2014/34/EU 

The ATEX ‘Product’ Directive provides a list of Essential Health and Safety Requirements (EHSRs) that the equipment, protective system or component must comply. The Directive covers electrical and non-electrical (mechanical) products that generate their own ignition source. To comply with the Directive, and to permit the relevant CE marking to be applied as required by this Directive, the manufacturer shall perform the following:

  • Show compliance with the EHSRs by designing their equipment to comply with the applicable harmonised standards, or other suitable standards.
  • Produce a Technical File which includes all the information / evidence required to demonstrate compliance with the EHSRs / relevant standards.
  • Depending on the required ATEX Category / Zone of use, perform the relevant compliance procedure which can required employing a 3rd party ATEX Notified Body to provide an EU-Type Examination Certificate.
  • Mark the product with the CE mark and relevant explosion protection symbol, protection concept and associated scope of use marking.
  • Create and supply an EC Declaration of Conformity or Assertation of Conformity for each product placed on the market.

How can Technology International help?

With over 30 years of experience, Technology International are specialist regulatory compliance consultants and can help you and your company understand the requirements and obligations of the ATEX Directive.

  • We can provide complete solutions in house for all ATEX equipment categories, and by partnering with ATEX Notified Bodies we can assist to gain EU-Type Examination Certificates for applications where this is mandatorily required.
  • Determining if products fall under the ATEX Directive
  • Developing complete technical files to meet the requirements of the ATEX Directive
  • Ex training courses.
  • On-going Ex related technical support
  • Area Classification
  • Quality Assurance Notification / Quality Assessment Report (ATEX QAN / IECEx QAR).
  • Ex Installation design, inspection and maintenance guidance and advice.

For more details on the services we can offer please contact us. Whatever a client’s individual requirements Technology International can tailor support solutions to meet their specific needs and budget.

ATEX outside of Europe?

Equipment intended to be used in potentially explosive atmospheres outside of the EU and EEA, is often required to comply with the IECEx Scheme, which is similar in many respects to ATEX. Although IECEx is a voluntary scheme it now has many member countries, the list of which is continuing to grow. “Ex” compliance is often strictly enforced within industries where risks of explosions are significant and constant, such as the Petrochemicals, Pharmaceutical and the Food Processing industries and IECEx can be an alternative widely accepted conformity process that goes hand-in-hand with ATEX.

For more information on the IECEx Scheme please click here.

Why work with Technology International?

Technology International’s goal is to simplify and guide our customer confidently through the complicated process of CE Marking and other Regulations from start to finish.


Notified body for Machinery, Low Voltage and Radio Equipment Directives


We have been a presence in Regulatory Compliance for over 30 years and have worked on over 10,000 compliance projects


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