Assessment Update

New conformity assessment and marking of Ex Products placed on the GB market from 1 January 2023

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.

Ex Certification and the problem with parts shortages

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

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.

For more information visit www.exveritas.com or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2019/1020/EU – New Market Surveillance and Compliance of Products Regulation impact on ATEX

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).

Identifying UKCA ‘Ex’ equipment has been correctly certified.

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.

UKCA Ex Certification problems and solutions

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!

Are you ready for UKCA ‘Ex’?

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.