The Requirements for ATEX/UKCA
One of the most misunderstood aspects of ATEX and UKCA Ex Certification is the ‘blend’ of Self Certification and Notified/Approved Body Certification. There are many routes to certification, and this is explained in legislative documents, but for end users and manufacturers it can be very confusing. An example of the routes to conformity is shown below….
So what exactly does this mean?
- Electrical equipment that is CAT 1 and CAT 2 (normally for use in in Zone 0 or 1) requires Notified Body Certification for the EU and UK Approved Body Certification for the UK (no self-certification is allowed unless the equipment is Simple Apparatus*)
- Non-electrical equipment for CAT 1 (Zone 0)requires Notified/Approved Body Certification.
- Equipment that is purely non-electrical requires a ‘technical file lodging’ with a Notified/Approved Body for CAT 2 (Zone 1) and the Notified/Approved Body will normally issue proof or receipt.
- All ‘Protective Systems’ (mitigation) require Notified/Approved Body Certification
- Associated Apparatus (even in the safe area) may require Notified/Approved Body Certification
- Simple Apparatus can be self-declared even for Zone 0 if you are competent (e.g. CompEx EX12) and produce a DSD (the DSD is effectively the Certification). Simple Apparatus must still be assessed against the appropriate Standards and appropriately marked for inspection.
It is also worth noting that electrical products which are certified as a ‘component’ (a ‘U’ on the end of the certificate number) requires recertification by a Notified/Approved body before they can be used in a potentially explosive atmosphere for CAT 1 and CAT 2.
Equipment Manufacturers Self Declaration (commonly referred to as ‘Self Certification’)
Manufacturers ‘Self Declaration’ under CE or UKCA Marking makes the person who signs the ‘declaration’ legally responsible for the equipment compliance as there is no legal requirements for 3rd party certification and no quality control over what is produced other than internal control of production. Regulatory Authorities may request the evidence (for example clause by clauses standards assessment and test reports) for the standards claimed on the Declaration.
Category 3 Electrical and Category 2 and 3 Non-electrical can be voluntarily certified (and this is sometimes required by end users/buyers) in the following ways…
- A Conformity Certificate from a Certification Body but with no Quality Control on production (so there can be no Notified/Approved Body number under the CE/UKCA Marking)
- A Unit Verification Certificate where the Certification Body inspects the equipment for compliance and lists it on the Certificate by serial number (this can be a full Notified/Approved Body Certification with the Body number under the CE/UKCA Marking)
The Requirements for IECEx
IECEx always requires a fully accredited and regulated ‘IECEx Certification Body’ to issue the certification, there is no self certification route. All IECEx Certificates also control the manufacturing quality related aspects via an IECEx QAR.
It’s easy to see why IECEx has become the ‘international’ scheme and why many end users prefer the simplicity and control of an IECEx Certificate. It should be noted however that although IECEx is the ‘baseline’ for most international schemes (including UKCA and ATEX), National Certification is normally required ‘in addition’ to the IECEx Certification, but the process should be far simpler than achieving multiple National Certification that may not be accepted in other countries…
Sean Clarke CEng MSc FIET is the Managing Director of ExVeritas who a UKCA Approved ‘Ex’ Body, an ATEX Notified Body and IECEx Test and Certification Body. With ‘Ex’ test laboratories in the UK and USA. www.exveritas.com
Happy 2023! I thought as it was anew year I would take a break from updating everyone on the every changing UKCA Requirements and look at a few other scheme and Standards updates.
The IECEx Certified Equipment Scheme have published OD 290 - Harmonized procedures for IECEx certification of equipment, components and systems associated with the production, dispensing and use of gaseous hydrogen.
IEC TS 60079-46 is for the certication of ‘assemblies’ and can be applied to any combination of certified equipment from diesel skids to pump sets. Assembly Certification gives end users confidence that the package they have had delivered are assessed by a 3rd party and simplifies the marking of the overall package. IEC TS 60079-46 is required for IECEX Assembly Certification but can also be used as the basis for ATEX and UKCA Approval if requested.
Purge and Intrinsic Safety Standards Update
Just to note there have been major updates to the Purge and Pressurization Standard and the new Intrinsic Safety Standard (which has just been published). These are very significant updates with approximately 40 major technical changes in each so will need to be considered carefully by manufacturers who use these concepts.
Sean Clarke CEng MSc FIET is the Managing Director of ExVeritas Limited.
ExVeritas provides Product Certification, Management System Certification, CompEx Certification and Site Safety Services and are a UK Government Appointed Body for UKCA ‘Ex’, an ATEX Notified Body and an IECEx Certification Body and Test Laboratory
Article written by Sean Clarke
Managing Director for Exveritas
From 1 January 2023, equipment and protective systems intended for the GB market should be conformity assessed by a UK approved body where necessary and should be UKCA marked, not CE marked.
All new products that placed on the market previously would have needed an ATEX Notified Body certificate will need a UKCA Ex Approved Body Certificate (and QAN as applicable)
On 20 June 2022 however the Government announced it intends to introduce legislation which will allow completed conformity assessment activities carried out under EU requirements before 1 January 2023 to permit self-declaration under certain conditions for a limited period. It should be noted however that this legislation has not yet been passed so anyone considering this route is doing so under their own risk. It is planned for the proposed legislation change to be placed before Parliament in the autumn 2022 to give effect to this.
The proposed legislation change will permit ATEX Notified body Certificates issued before 1 January 2023 to be used by manufacturers to declare existing product types as compliant with UKCA (assuming the ATEX Certificates are to the relevant UKCA Designated Standards)
Products must still bear UKCA marking. For ongoing production, they will need to undergo conformity assessment with a UK Approved Body once any of the relevant certification has changed (for example with a variation to the EU-Type examination certificate after 1 January 2023 or the QAN expiring), or after 5 years (31 December 2027), whichever is sooner. This will allow manufacturers to apply the UKCA mark without the need for UK approved body involvement and continue to place their goods on the GB market, based on an existing EU type examination certificate issued before 31 December 2022.
Where manufacturers are using existing ATEX certification completed before 1January 2023 as the basis to demonstrate compliance with UKCA for their products, they should include in the UK Declaration of Conformity the list of relevant UK designated standards and equivalent EU harmonised standards that apply to their product, as well as details of the ATEX Notified Body which carried out the conformity assessment procedures.
If the ATEX certificate was not issued before 1 January 2023, or a variation is issued to that certificate after that date then these products are considered ‘new’ and would require certication by an UKCA Ex Approved Body. This is also the case when the products are manufactured under an ATEX QAN, when the QAN expires the product will require a UKCA QAN issued by a UKCA Ex Approved Body.
Please note that whist this guidance is derived from published UK Government documents and feedback from BEIS, interpretations and legislation may change again before the end of the year!
Sean Clarke CEng MSc FIET is the Managing Director of ExVeritas who a UKCA Approved ‘Ex’ Body, an ATEX Notified Body and IECEX Certification Body.
When we certify products ATEX, UKCA or IECEx we test a product to the relevant Standards, and we control the future manufacturing compliance by listing the ‘controlled drawings’ or ‘scheduled drawings’ on the certificate.
Whilst these ‘scheduled’ drawings are only designed to control the safety related aspects of manufacturing, many critical parts may have been individual tested and listed on the drawings by type and part number. This is very often the case with Intrinsic Safety where a specific integrated circuit may have been tested, for example for transient let thorough or temperature.
Given that these parts may become unavailable (which seems to be happening a lot currently), it is highly advised that when seeking certification, a manufacturer lists of ‘alternative’ items in the Bill of Materials. It is both faster and less expensive to consider this at the time of certification and we would always recommend it for certain types of critical parts, for example: batteries, cements, gaskets, and critical intrinsic safety components.
If you have a part on your certication drawings listed by manufacturer/part number and that part is no longer available (or has very long lead times) you will need to get a ‘variation’ to your certication (as the drawings will change to show a new part). This variation may involve retesting parts, for example retesting a gasket or cement may involve thermal conditioning and that can take a month of testing, so don’t leave it until the last minute! Contact ExVeritas via the contact form on our web site if you need any more information on this or require a Certificate Variation to allow more flexible manufacturing (we can take over existing certificates and add new parts at the same time).
If you are on our web site, why not order out new A1 wall poster full of the very latest IEC, ATEX and UKCA information!
What you need for ATEX and UKCA Explosive Atmosphere Certification for the UK and EU Markets
Selling products for use in potentially explosive atmospheres in both the UK and EU will now require 2 marks, not just the ‘ATEX’ and ‘CE’ mark that was accepted when the UK was part of the EU. If your product previously required, an ‘ATEX Notified Body’ you will need to now use a UK Government UKCA Appointed Body that has explosive atmosphere certification (‘Ex’) on its scope.
ATEX Notified Body
ExVeritas ApS is a Notified Body, Number 2804, with full scope for (ATEX) 2014/34/EU Equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres. Notification can be verified online at the European Commission. ExVeritas ApS are accredited by the National Accreditation Body of Denmark (DANAK) against the EU ATEX Directive, Registration Number 7044.
UK Government UKCA Appointed Body for ‘Ex’
ExVeritas UKCA Approved Body Number 2585. The Approved Body listing can be viewed on the UK Government Website and ExVeritas hold UKAS Product Certification, Quality System Certification & Test Laboratory Registration Number 8613.
As ExVeritas are also an IECEx Certification Body and Test laboratory, we can conduct 1 project (and one manufacturing audit) and you will get all 3 Certificates (ATEX, UKCA an IECEx) for the widest possible market access.
Quality Audit Requirements
If you previously needed an ATEX QAN you will now also need a UKCA Ex QAN, although it is based on the same audit Standard, there are differences for the UKCA Mark (such as use of UK Designated Standards). Companies such as ExVeritas can conduct just one audit to issue a UK QAN, an ATEX QAN and an IECEx QAR. In addition, we are a UKAS Certification Body for ISO9001 we can also combine that audit to further reduce cost and audit times.
On 16 of July 2021, the new regulation 2019/1020/EU – Market Surveillance and Compliance of Products Regulation came into effect.
It aims to strengthen the requirements for market surveillance by Member States and will lead to far more checking of technical files and self-declarations including ATEX Category 3 (and probably UKCA CAT 3 as the UK will probably follow or reciprocate the more stringent checking requirements).
As you are probably aware, only UKCA Issued ‘Ex’ Certificates will be accepted from the 1st of January 2022 in the UK for products that previously required ATEX Notified Body Certification.
Electrical products for Zone 0 and 1, non-electrical products for Zone 0 and many types of protective systems will require a certificate from a UK Government Appointed UKCA Body.
Now that we have started to issue UKCA ‘Ex’ Certication, some of the problems facing equipment manufacturers are starting to be raised and addressed. One of the first issues that was apparent was the use of ATEX (only) certified parts within or as part of a UKCA Certification, for example, ATEX Ex e terminals within and UKCA Ex e Junction Box. The solution to this is a ‘time limited certification!
Get ready for a new ‘Ex’ mark with the UKCA Ex Scheme, its MANDATORY after this year.
Now that the UK has left the EU, we all must come to terms with what that means on a practical level. In the ‘Ex’ certification world, there are definite challenges as ATEX will not be accepted in the UK next year. If you want to continue to sell Ex equipment in the UK, you will have to make changes, and these changes may involve getting your equipment certified to the new ‘UKCA’ Scheme.