Hazardous Location Product Safety Testing Explained for UL/CSA, ATEX & IECEx

Safety testing and certifying products for hazardous locations is complicated, especially when a manufacturer is exporting to multiple markets. Following is a basic primer.  For more detailed information or questions, contact MET Labs

Standards
In countries with formal certification and a 3-zone system, the IEC60079 series of standards is commonly used, adopted as National Standards as they are written or with some National Deviations that ensure compatibility with local installation codes. 

Most all other countries that produce their own National Standards base them on the IEC 60079 series.   Some countries, like the U.S. and Canada, have dual standards systems: National Standards, plus adoption of the IEC60079 series as an alternate system. 

CE Marking/ATEX Directive
All EU countries require CE Markings, which involves the ATEX Directive for products used in hazardous locations.  The use of harmonized EN standards gives the manufacturer the “presumption of conformity” to the “Essential Health and Safety Requirements (EHSRs)” and a basis on which to issue a declaration of compliance for the ATEX Directive.

The ATEX Directive requires:

  • ATEX EC Type Exam Certificate, which documents the evaluation and testing of the subject equipment, performed to the applicable EN 60079 Standards, which are an adoption of the IEC 60079 Series with National Deviations for ATEX markings.  The certificate is issued by a Notified Body (NB). 
  • ATEX Quality Assessment Notification (QAN), which documents the suitability of the manufacturer’s QA system, performed to the EN13980 Standard.  The notification is issued by a NB.
  • Declaration of Conformity (DoC) stating compliance with all applicable Directives.  The DoC is issued by the manufacturer for Zone 2 certifications.  Zone 1 and Zone 0 DoC certifications are issued by the NB.

For certain types of equipment (non-electrical for Zone 1 or both electrical and non-electrical for Zone 2), it is possible to self-declare compliance.

IECEx Scheme
The IECEx Scheme is the CB Scheme for electrical equipment used in explosive atmospheres (hazardous locations).   It consists of three elements, all issued by an IECEx Scheme Certification Body (ExCB):

  • IECEx Test Report (ExTR), which documents the evaluation and testing of the subject equipment, performed to the applicable IEC 60079 Series Standards
  • IECEx Quality Assessment Report (ExQAR), which documents the suitability of the manufacturer’s QA system, performed to OD 005 (EN13980)
  • IECEx Certificate of Conformity (IECEx CoC), which can be issued to a manufacturer holding an ExTR and an applicable ExQAR.

In alliance with UK-based TRaC Global, MET offers testing, certification and product inspection services under the ATEX Directive and the IECEx Certified Equipment Scheme, via an innovative Harmonised International Ex Testing Program.  Read more about it.

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