The Type Certificate has historically been the required document for proof of compliance for equipment to be used in Hazardous Areas. With the introduction of Atex, marking and EC Declarations of conformity the EC Type Certificate remained the mandatory document for evidence of Atex compliance to the 1999 directive.
The 2014 Atex Directive changes that, not only making the EU Declaration of Conformity the mandatory document but even removing the requirement for the manufacturer to supply a Type Certificate. For equipment certified according to the 2014 Directive it become the EU Type Certificate part of the technical file and purely a supporting document for the EU DoC.
It is expected that for any new equipment certifed for UK use it will again evolve into a UK Type Certificate which, other than some minor wording, will be the same as the Atex ones and will serve the same purpose.
The Atex Notified Body Type certificates Certificates generally are of the same number/title format.
Typically - Notified body name or abbreviation, 2 number for year of issue, "ATEX", then Certificate No. _NB yy_ATEXnnnn
E.g. (From SGS Basseefa) 'BAS19ATEXnnn' an EU Type Certificate issued in 2019.
For any changes to the original certificate a Variation will be issued, this is indicated by a "/" and a variation number. E.g. SIRA08ATEXnnnn /3 indicating a Sira EC Type Certificate issued in 2008 with 3 variations.
Although existing EC Type Certificate are valid under the 2014 Directive, variations are not allowed to EC Type Certificates after April 2016.
If the original EC Type certificate was to the latest version of the all relevant standards it can been transfered to an EU Type Certificate then futuere variation on it would be allowed.
As part of the certificate there may be special conditions attached, in this case there will be an "X" appended to the certificate number e.g. Intertek certificate ITS17ATEX_nnnn_X.
The special conditions are not generally onerous and will be detailed within the Type Certificate, common examples are:
If the certificate is appended with a "U" e.g. ExVeritas 17ATEXnnnU then is is not a fully approved device but a component and can only be used in the Hazardous area as part of an assembly which has its own 'full' Type Certificate.
Component approved items include empty enclosures, terminals, switches, pushbuttons & indicators1 etc. and are component certifed to make simplify the certification of the complete assembly.
E.g. a control station is made up of components A, B, C which all have component approval on Certificate D, the enclosure may have component approval.
When the Assembly is submitted for certification only the worst case for items A, B, C need be assessed and individual items do not necessarily need to be tested as they have a component certificate.
Anybody using component approved items must have their own assembly certification2 this could be a Category 3 'self-certification'3 and a full 'assembly' certificate stating that it can have any components from a list (or component certificate) including A, B & C.
Although items such as switches, pushbuttons and indicators are generally only component approved it is possible to have fully certified versions i.e. no 'U' on the certificate. These differ from the conventional style component (with open terminals for example) in that in order to comply they will have connections by a potted cable or a glanded backbox (i.e. there own small enclosure) covering the terminals. ↩
A 3rd party manufacturer may include the component in their Notified body submission but may require original manufacturers support. ↩
Any 'competent' person could certify a device for Atex Category 3 and using component certification makes that simpler ↩