ATEX GUIDELINES Approximation of the Laws of the Member States Concerning Equipment and Protective Systems Intended for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres
|Publication Date:||1 May 2000|
|ICS Code (Environment. Health protection. Safety):||13|
The objective of these guidelines is to clarify certain matters and procedures referred to in directive 94/9/EC4 concerning equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres. The guidelines should be used in conjunction with the directive and with the European Commission's "Guide to the implementation of directives based on New Approach and Global Approach (Blue Guide)".
These guidelines are aimed not only at the Member States' competent authorities, but also at the main economic operators concerned, such as manufacturers, their trade associations, the bodies in charge of the preparation of standards and those entrusted with the conformity assessment procedures.
First and foremost, this document must ensure that, when correctly applied, the directive leads to the removal of obstacles and difficulties related to the free circulation (free movement) of goods within the European Union (see footnote 2), which any of the groups concerned may encounter as regards the aspects relating to the presence of potentially explosive atmospheres. It should be noted that the statements in these guidelines refer only to the application of directive 94/9/EC unless indicated otherwise. All parties concerned should be aware of other requirements, which may also apply (see chapter 6).
The directive 94/9/EC is a "New Approach" directive laying down Essential Health and Safety Requirements and leaving it to standards, primarily European harmonised standards, to give technical expression of the relevant requirements contained in the directive.
Directive 94/9/EC is a total harmonisation directive, i.e. its provisions will replace existing divergent national and European legislation which cover the same subjects as now stipulated by directive 94/9/EC.
Directive 94/9/EC had to be transposed into national law by 1 September 1995. Its provisions have applied (on a voluntary basis only) since 1 March 1996
However, the broad scope of directive 94/9/EC demonstrated the overriding need to provide for a transitional period, so as to ensure a smooth changeover to a New Approach Community-wide system.