Documentation

This section is primarily aimed at site owners and end users, although it is of interest to systems integrators and panel builders who may have to supply the appropriate documentation to the end-user.
Documentation required for manufacturer product certification is currently out with the scope of this site although some may wish to take heed of the end users expectations as it is not unusual for manufacturers to supply documentation which is not 100% compliant.

The 'hazardous area' industry is a conservative industry and changes happen slowly and they are almost always backward compatible. However, there have been a number of step changes and the documentation requirements historically can be split into 5 distinct periods where there have been significant changes.

For supply to Europe the CE marking remains the same as per the 2014 Atex Directive. Even though former UK Certification companies had their Notified Body status revoked all have re-applied via offices based within Europe and the net result to clients is no change.

For the UK, Brexit has brought changes to the Hazardous area certification

2003 2016 2020 2021
Pre Atex 1994 Atex Directive 2014 Atex Directive Interim Brexit Full Brexit

UK Documentation Requirements

Documents required
Technical file to include:

  • UK Declaration of Conformity(s)
  • Installation/Product Manual
  • UK Type Certificate(s)
    or details in manual
    If intrinsic safety used
  • Descriptive System Documents

Now the UK has fully left the EU the Atex Directive is not applicable with the relevant regulation being Equipment and Protective Systems Intended for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2016 which was ammeded in "The ProductSafety and Metrology etc. (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019" (Statutory Instrument No 696. Section 25).
This requires an the use of UK Type Certificates and UK Declaration of conformity. However, there are some concessions allowing the use of Atex labelling during 2021.
Although the requirements for Hazardous Area certification are absolutely clear the use of Declaration of Conformity for Atex labelled equipment (supplied during 2021)is open to interpretation.
See 2021 changes for more details.


Bexit Transition period

Documents required
Technical file to include:

  • UK or EU Declaration of Conformity(s)
  • Installation/Product Manual
  • EU or UK Type Certificate(s)
    or details in manual
    If intrinsic safety used
  • Descriptive System Documents


For equipment placed on the UK market in 2020.
As the UK is no longer part of the EU Atex, being the authority to supply into the EU, no longer applies although its principles are written into UK law and under the interim agreement all Atex certification was accepted.
Although in theory UKCA marking replaced CE marking with subsequent changes to documentation, at the beginning of 2020 due to the timescales involved the UK was not ready, with no appointed certification bodies UK certification did not exist. It was business as usual, in reality, there were no changes regarding the use of equipment in a Hazardous Area and Atex was full accepted.


For equipment placed on the market April 2016 - January 2020

Documents required
Technical file to include:

  • EU Declaration of Conformity(s)
  • Installation/Product Manual
  • EU Type Certificate(s)
    or details in manual
    If intrinsic safety used
  • Descriptive System Documents

Since the 2014 Atex Directive replaced the 1994 Directive in 2016 the documentation requirements changed.
An EU Declaration of Conformity was required, which is a legal contract under EU law, confirming compliance to the 2014 Directive. The EC Declaration was no longer valid as it declared to the 1994 Atex Directive which had been revoked.
Supply of Type certificates, which are supporting evidence for the EU DoC's, were no longer mandatory providing the relevant information was supplied elsewhere e.g. in the installation or product manual. Both EU Type certificates and the earlier EC Type certificates can be used to support an EU DoC.
If intrinsic safety circuits1 are used then Descriptive System Document(s) must be produced to demonstrate Intrinsic safety compliance. This is currently the requirment for any equipment supplied to the EU.


For Atex equipment placed on the market 2003 to April 2016

Documents required
Technical file to include:

  • UK Declaration of Conformity(s)
  • Installation/Product Manual
  • EU or UK Type Certificate(s)
    or details in manual
    If intrinsic safety used
  • _Descriptive System Documents

This also applies to any Atex certified equipment prior to the 2003 mandatory implementation date. Early Atex equipment was labelled EEx to differentiate it from non-Atex hazardosu area equipment labelled Ex.
Prior to the 2014 Atex Directive the EC Type Certificate was the mandatory evidence of compliance, this could be a notified body certificate for Category 1 & 2 or a manufacturers certificate for Category 3.
In addition the manufacturer should have supplied an EC declaration of conformity in order to CE Mark the product. However, evidence has shown that the Atex directive seemed to be largely ignored on many manufacturers EC DoC's.


For equipment placed on the market prior to 2003

Documents required
Technical file to include:

  • Type Certificate
  • Risk analysis
    If intrinsic safety used
  • I.S. System Cert
    or drawing

The Atex equipment Directive 944/9/EC became mandatory in 2003, but equipment to the Atex standard started appearing in 1998. Early Atex certified equipment would be identified by EEx rather than just Ex.
Pre-Atex equipment was governed by national standards with certification based on Type Certificates. For intrinsic safety some manufacturers provided a system certificate, similar to a Descriptive System Document outlining the circuit that the apparatus could be used in.
In the UK a hazardous Area type certificate from an approved issuer is required for equipment to be used in Zone 0 and Zone 1 and a manufacturers certificate was allowed for zone 2. Installed Equipment certified pre-Atex can still be used if it has not been altered in form or function since the original installation2, but a full risk assessment must exist and it is recommended to include a gap analysis against a you a more recent standard.


Notes


  1. Descriptive System Documents are not required for portable equipment or where the intrinsic safety components are used internally to a product as compliance would be covered by the Type Certificate. 

  2. It must not have been changed or altered since the original installation, although if no currently certified alternative is available it can be replaced by an equivalent and the risk assessment conducted. However this is NOT recommended and generally Atex inspectors will not look favourably on this. 

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