The guidelines are a manual for all parties who deal with equipment and protective systems in potentially explosive atmospheres and who are affected by Directive 2014/34/EU, commonly referred to as the ATEX ("Atmosphères explosibles") "product" directive. The ATEX Directive carries specific obligations for the person (natural or legal) who makes products available on the market and/or puts products into service, be it the manufacturer, its authorised representative, the importer or the distributor. The Directive does not regulate the use of equipment in a potentially explosive atmosphere which is covered by the ATEX "workplace" Directive 1999/92/EC. The fourth edition of the guidelines was published in November 2022.
The guidelines clarify certain matters and procedures regarding the relevant equipment and protective systems which are used in potentially explosive atmospheres. The guide’s objective is to help find a common understanding of the Directive and its provisions among government representatives, stakeholders and interested parties such as manufacturers, trade associations and bodies in charge of establishing standards. The guide contributes to the removal of obstacles and difficulties related to the free market of equipment and protective systems within the scope of the Directive, namely the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA).
Directive 2014/34/EU is a harmonisation directive (CE marking) and part of the "New Approach". It lays down essential health and safety requirements and leaves it to European harmonised standards to define technical details in order to meet the relevant requirements described in the directive.
The guidelines have been prepared and published by DG Growth in collaboration with national experts. They refer to the so-called "Blue Guide" on the implementation of EU product rules.
The guidelines provide an overview on:
- Preamble to the ATEX Directive - The Citations and the Recitals
- The Articles of the ATEX Directive
- The Annexes to the ATEX Directive
- Application of Directive 2014/34/EU alongside others that may apply
- Application of Directive 2014/34/EU to specific equipment
- Borderline list – ATEX products
- Specific marking of explosion protection drawn from Directive 84/47/EEC
- Useful ATEX websites
Published by: European Commission, Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
Publication date: November 2022
Number of pages: 240 pp.