Brexit

The following is for information only and represents the author the views and interpretation based on common knowledge and may change depending conditions of exit.

Atex is not product certification but an EU legal framework to allow the sale and use of equipment within the hazardous area. By definition on 31st January 2020 the UK and EU legal systems separated and the UK is in a transition period. Essentially it appears to be business as normal and the UK is complying with all EU directives for the interim period i.e. Atex directives are still being followed.

However we are no longer part of the EU legal system, it is presumed UK Notified Bodies have technically lost their status so will not be issuing new Atex certification1

The current requirements for Atex been transposed to the UK, at least for the transition period and all UK Atex Notified bodies have partners or operations still based in the EU so it should be business as usual.

UKCA Mark All existing certifications from UK Notified bodies will remain valid and it should have no effect on existing Atex installations. There is provision for a UKCA mark to replace the CE mark and it is presumed that is now available as on option for new certifications and would sit alongside the CE mark for dual UK & EU certification.

There will be some key changes, the most likely scenario for documentation being

  1. A UK Type certificate for equipment will issued in place of the EU Type certificate
  2. A UK Declaration of Conformity will be issued in place of the EU DoC currently required.

Under Atex it is mandatory for the manufacturer to supply an EU Declaration of Conformity as the legal contract of supply. After the transition period the UK Declaration of Conformity will become the mandatory document of compliance with the basis for issue depending on Atex category declared.

  1. For Category 3 equipment (for Zones 2 and 22)
    Category 3 equipment is not Notifiable under Atex and there is no such thing as a EU Notified Body Type Certification for Cat 3 equipment. Similarly for the new UKCA, the manufacturer or certifying authority would issue their own UK DoC, either based on the existing Atex or new UK Type certificate which any competent person can issue.
  2. For Category 1 or 2 (i.e. any other zone)
    Instead of Notified body type Certificate an UK approved body will issue a UK Type certificate and the manufacturer will issue the UK DoC.

In summary: Brexit should have minimal effect on the site or end-user for the interim period Atex documentation will be accepted although it may be wise to ask for or the issue a UK Declaration of Conformity from the manufacturer although these are likely to be initially in short supply.
Installed or existing Atex compliant equipment placed on the market prior to 1st February 2020 (i.e. purchased) can still be used.

Manufacturers should be in discussion with their Atex EU Type certificates issuer about getting UK Type certificates as, particularly if a 'No deal' occurs there is likely to be a queue, particularly when the transition period ends. It should be noted in theory there should be minimum cost for this for any equipment certified to the latest standards as it likely to be just printing of a new certificate.
Other than it will not be declared to the Atex Directive, a new UK Declaration of conformity is likely to be almost identical to the EU one as the requirements remain the same.

Note: To re-iterate this is the hazardex.com take on Brexit based on current available information and seems to be the most likely scenario, The final outcome is fluid and undecided.

1st February 2020


Notes


  1. All the former UK bodies have arrangements via group companies to issue Atex certification. 

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