The new ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU takes into effect on 20 April 2016. The implementation date is fast approaching and as that date draws near, manufacturers and producers must be aware of the changes to ensure product documentation conforms with the applicable requirements.
This new Directive is part of the New Legislative Framework (NLF) and applies to equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres that will be placed starting 20 April 2016. Note that the NLF does not revise or change sector-specific elements of existing Directives. Therefore the implementation of the new Directive 2014/34/EU will not change the scope or essential requirements of the ATEX Directive.
What will be required from 20 April onward?
The most asked question by manufactures and others effected by the new Directive is, what must be done to ensure current products can continue to be sold after 19 April?
Existing EC Types certificates
Existing EC Types certificates do not require new documents or certificate variations and there are no additional costs or paperwork involved in migrating to the new Directive. Certificates issued under Directive 94/9/EC will remain valid under the new Directive 2014/34/EU and Certificates that still refer to the old directive do not have to be re-issued to reference the new Directive.
Certificates issued under Directive 94/9/EC remain valid and have no time limit, as long as the products are not subject to certification updates or variations of existing certifications.
If a Certification must be updated because the product has been changed or another reason, a new Certificate conform 2014/34/EU must be required and the past EC-type examination certificate will change to an EU-Type examination Certificate.
Variations of existing certifications
After the new Directive becomes effective, variations to existing certifications issued under 94/9/EC can be updated without changing the certificate number.
Declarations of Conformity
When the product has been changed, existing Declarations of conformity will need to be revised to reflect the new ATEX Directive. The European Commission permits Declaration of Conformity to be revised ahead of time to state compliance with both 94/9/EC and 2014/34/EU. While manufacturers and others are not permitted to state compliance with 2014/34/EU before 20 April 2016, they do not have to wait until that date to update their Declarations of Conformity.