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World standards

In this section, we will outline the different standards used throughout the world and what it means for products specified for use in Hazardous Areas. Below is a map of the world which illustrates the standards that are generally used in these regions.

The ATEX Europe Directives

Directive 94/9/EC (ATEX 100A)

Since July 1, 2003, electrical equipment used in potentially explosive atmospheres within the European Union must comply with this directive and follow the ATEX standard.

This directive sets “essential requirements” for safety manufacturers and imposes a classification of devices into groups and categories, distinguishing between gas and dust.

Directive 99/92/EC

This directive requires users to apply a number of measures to keep workers safe, including:
(No risk assessment of explosion on their website)
– The classification of the different risk and signaling zones:
– Keeping an explosion protection document
– The implementation of technical and organizational measures to prevent
– Comply with the selection criteria for electrical devices in the table below:

Declaration of conformity

This document must be issued by the supplier for each order of product intended to be installed in a hazardous area. It must indicate that the material supplied complies with the most recent harmonized standard.

UL (USA) and CSA (Canada)

The American and Canadian standards are the only ones to have different classifications and locations. ATEX & IECEx work to Groups and Zones whereas the NEC & CEC works to Classes and Divisions, there is no direct comparison between the two. This means that it is imperative that the two standards are not inter-changed within an area.

INMETRO (Brazil)

The National Institute of Metrology, Standardization and Industrial Quality (INMETRO) is the government body responsible for the implementation of measurement, safety and quality standards for electrical and electronic products. It guides the activities of accreditation, inspection, testing and certification bodies in Brazil which issue the products’ certificates.

IECEx (International certification system)

The IECEx issues an inter national certificate of conformity for products used in a hazar dous area.

This system provides:

  • A single certification of conformity for manufacturers to comply that includes:
    • Testing and assessment of pr oducts to IEC standards including a full test report.
    • Ongoing surveillance of manufacturers premises.
    • A fast-track process for countries where regulations still require the issuing of national Ex certificates or approvals.

This certification system is in the process of being worldwide adopted by all the known standards across the world but countries are all working to various time scales.

EurAsian Conformity Mark (Customs Union)

EurAsian Conformity Mark follows similar rules to that of IECEx as far as the breakdown of the zones and other criteria are concerned. EurAsian Conformity Mark is the standard for the Customs Union which includes the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Armenia.

PCEC (Chine)

Products placed on the Chinese market shall be certified according to the national regulations in force. PCEC is accredited by CNAS (Chinal National Accreditation Service for Conformity Assessment) for product testing and issuance of certificates of conformity of products used in hazardous areas. Electrical materials for use in potentially explosive atmospheres must conform to major certification standards: IEC, EN, NEC and CEC.

Electrical equipment intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres must comply with the main certification standards: CEI, CENELEC and NEC. The standards of the IEC (International Electronic Commission) are accepted in practically all countries. They are identical to European CENELEC standards.

The NEC (National Electrical Code) is essential in the United States. Are 1996 edition, art. 505, uses the IEC designations for gas groups, equipment temperature classes and the definition of zones.

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