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Any place that may contain, or has operations that cause explosive or potentially explosive atmospheres requires ATEX or IECEx certified items. There are a variety of settings that might be classified as having an explosive atmosphere, some more evident than others, such as an oil rig, and others that you might not think of as explosive, such as a wheat mill. Most of us have heard of ATEX and IECEx certification, but many people are curious about the differences between the two. Here, we offer our knowledge of each qualification and point out the distinctions between them.

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ATEX Certification

Atex Certification
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The acronym ATEX stands for “Appareils Designed to be Used in Explosive Atmospheres,” and it is a necessary certification for all items marketed in Europe. It refers to two independent (but related) European Union standards directives that cover equipment and protective systems for use in potentially explosive environments. The two main directives are

Directive ATEX 95

The ATEX 2014/34/EC Directive, generally known as ATEX 95, governs the design of all equipment and goods used in potentially explosive settings. The ATEX 95 Directive establishes the minimum health and safety requirements that must be met by all explosion-proof equipment and safety items in order to be traded in Europe.

ATEX 137 Directive

The ATEX 99/92/EC Directive, often known as ATEX 137, is designed to protect individuals who are regularly exposed to potentially hazardous working conditions. The directive reads as follows:

IECEx Certification

IECEx symbol of conformity
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IECEx is the acronym for International Electrotechnical Commission Explosive. Its quality assessment parameters are based on the International Electrotechnical Commission’s standards (IEC). While ATEX is a European-only requirement, IECEx is an international certification recognized in a number of nations to assist in creating confidence in Ex equipment safety.

When items and equipment are IECEx approved, they can be traded across nations without having to be re-tested and re-certified for each one. Because different countries have varying safety requirements, products from one country must be re-tested in another to meet its criteria for use in dangerous locations.

As a result, IECEx serves as a uniform set of safety standards for certification throughout participating countries, lowering testing and certification costs for businesses. The majority of European countries, Canada, Australia, Russia, China, the United States, and South Africa are all members of the IECEx Scheme.

The following are some of the advantages of choosing an IECEx-certified product:

Key Difference Between IECEx and ATEX Certification

Hazardous area product with Atex and IECEx certification
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The fundamental distinction between ATEX and IECEx is that ATEX certification is only valid in EU nations, but IECEx certification is valid worldwide. As a result, compared to ATEX certification, IECEx certification is more commonly recognized and accepted.

Another significant distinction between ATEX and IECEx certifications is that ATEX is based on law, but IECEx is based on standards. The entire ATEX certification process for products is the responsibility of the manufacturer. On the other hand, the external certification party is responsible for ensuring that the required items are IECEx certified.

The way each certification is built up is one major difference between ATEX and IECEx. IECEx certification is divided into four categories: IECEx Equipment, IECEx Conformity Mark License, IECEx Services, and IECEx Certified Persons. These four schemes are designed to verify that all aspects of the products meet the IECEx standard, from the quality of the Ex equipment to the competence of the persons who will be handling it in hazardous settings. On the other hand, ATEX certification is made up of only two directives: ATEX 95 and ATEX 137.

Furthermore, while an IECEx test report can be used to obtain ATEX certification, ATEX documentation does not always support an IECEx certificate. As a result, having both ATEX and IECEx certificates for a product has become a typical industry requirement.


All ATEX/IECEx certified products are labeled with the certifications’ official logos for easy identification and transparency. E-abel offers a wide range of explosion-proof products that are both ATEX and IECEx certified. Contact us for any information about our certified products, we will be thrilled to hear from you.

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