What are the UK ATEX Regulations?

The official title of the UK ATEX Regulations is The Equipment and Protective Systems Intended for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2016

The original purpose of the UK ATEX Regulations was to enact into UK Law the requirements of the European ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU.  However, with the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union, from January 1st, 2021 any products or systems placed on the market in the UK that would previously have been declared in conformity with the EU ATEX Directive will need to meet the UK ATEX Regulations instead.*

What are the Differences Between the UK ATEX Regulations and the ATEX Directive?

Initially, the technical requirements of the UK ATEX Regulations will be identical to those of the EU ATEX Directive. That is likely to remain the case for the foreseeable future.

Though the methods of demonstrating conformity for the UK Regulations and EU Directive will remain broadly similar, if you are applying the both the UK Regulations and EU Directive you will need to apply for each one separately.

For example, if the conformity assessment process requires the involvement of a Notified Body for the EU ATEX Directive, the involvement of a UK Approved Body (UKAB) will be required for the UK ATEX Regulations.

Do the UK ATEX Regulations apply to me?

The UK ATEX Regulations apply to any product that is placed on the market or brought into service in the UK and is intended for use in a potentially explosive atmosphere.

It up to the owners and operators of workplaces to determine whether potentially explosive atmospheres are likely to form in the facilities they are responsible for. In the UK this is done by applying the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (DSEAR) 2002.  

If it is found that there is a risk of a potentially explosive atmosphere forming in a workplace or other location, only equipment that conforms to the UK ATEX Regulations can be used in that environment.

If you currently apply the EU ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU to your products, either as standard because of the industry sectors you regularly supply to or periodically when specific customers have requested that you do so, you will need to apply the UK ATEX Regulations for any product you sell in the UK.

How Do I Comply with the UK ATEX Regulations?

The UK ATEX Regulations provide a list of Essential Health and Safety Requirements (EHSRs) that the equipment, protective system or component must comply with. The Regulations cover both electrical and non-electrical (mechanical) products that generate their own ignition source. To comply with the Regulations, the manufacturer or responsible party shall do the following:

  • Show compliance with the EHSRs by designing their equipment to comply with the applicable British Designated Standards, or other suitable standards.
  • Produce a UK 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. This can require employing a 3rd party ATEX UK Approved Body to provide an UK-Type Examination Certificate.
  • Mark the product with the UKCA Mark and relevant explosion protection symbol, protection concept and associated scope of use marking.
  • Create and supply a UK Declaration of Conformity or Assertation of Conformity for each product placed on the market.

*UKCA only applies in England, Wales and Scotland, but not Northern Ireland.

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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 and apply the requirements and obligations of both the UK ATEX Regulations and DSEAR 2002.

We can provide complete solutions in-house for all ATEX equipment categories, and by partnering with ATEX UKABs we can assist in gaining UK-Type Examination Certificates for applications where this is a mandatory requirement.

Our services include:

  • Determining if products fall under the ATEX Directive
  • Developing complete Technical Files to demonstrate conformity with the UK ATEX Regulations
  • Delivery of 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.

*Note:  The UK Government has announced that valid CE Marks will remain acceptable in the UK until December 31st, 2021.