ATEX are guidelines on the application of Directive 94/9/EC3 of the European Parliament and the Council of 23 March 1994 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States concerning equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres.
ATEX product certification (or EC Type Examination) is the check on the design specification of a product in relation to a series of relevant standards laid out under the directive. It involves a detailed process of examination, testing and assessment of equipment intended for use in potentially hazardous areas, with the end result being the issue of an ATEX certificate and report, confirming and demonstrating that the product is safe to use (within certain parameters) within potentially explosive atmospheres. The certification process must be undertaken by a Notified Body who issue ATEX certificates and conduct periodic surveillance of quality management systems. (Certain exclusions apply, such as equipment intended for use in zone 2 environments, and category 2 & 3 non-electrical equipment).