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In March or April this year, new standards will be published which will give manufacturers of non-electrical equipment for explosive atmospheres the opportunity of IECEx certification for their products.

IECEx provides a higher level of confidence in a product than ATEX and extends globally, and is becoming the preferred choice for many purchasers. The new standards are as follows:

  • ISO 80079-36 replaces EN 13463-1 in specifying the basic method and requirements for all non-electrical equipment.
  • ISO 80079‑37 replaces EN 13463‑5, EN 13463‑6 and EN 13463‑8 providing the requirements for protection concepts ‘constructional safety’, ‘control of ignition sources’, and ‘liquid immersion’ in a single standard. Ex h will be the marking code for all these concepts.
  • ISO 80079-38 specifies requirements for all equipment and components in explosive atmospheres in underground mines.

Publication of European versions of all these standards will follow shortly after the ISO.  The existing EN 13463 series of standards are likely to lose harmonisation status three years after publication of the new ISO standards, so will no longer be available to directly support an ATEX Declaration of Conformity

There will be no replacement for EN 13463-3 for flameproof non-electrical equipment because ISO 80079-36 now refers directly to IEC 60079-1 for flameproof (Ex d) certification of non-electrical equipment. Similarly IEC 60079-2 is referenced for the pressurisation (Ex p) requirements for non-electrical equipment.

The aim of the IECEx scheme is to have one single certificate for any hazardous area product recognised and accepted throughout the world. The scheme is well established for electrical equipment with over 10,000 certificates issued so far. IECEx will be an option for manufacturers of non-electrical equipment soon after the ISO standards are published, opening up potential markets outside the confines of the European Union (EU). ATEX will still be a legal requirement within the EU, but as the technical standards will be identical, the ATEX documentation can be added to the IECEx certification for virtually no additional cost.

For more information about IECEx certification of non-electrical equipment, including how SGS Baseefa can help before the standards are formally published, please contact:

david.brearley@sgs.com

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