IECEx Global Approvals

As an IECEx Scheme member, LabTest provides IECEx Test Reports (ExTR), IECEx Quality Assessment Reports (QAR), and the IECEx Certificates of Conformity (CoC) to manufacturers of Hazardous Locations Equipment (Ex Equipment).

What is IECEx Scheme?

The IECEx System is the International Electrotechnical Commission System for Certification to Standards Relating to Equipment for Use in Explosive Atmospheres.

The IECEx Scheme is an agreement among IECEx approved Certification Bodies, from several different countries, based on the use of international (IEC) standards and meant to facilitate the international trade of electrical equipment, intended for use in Hazardous Locations (Explosive Atmospheres), while maintaining the required level of safety.


The two key items that support and ensure the fundamentals of the IECEx Scheme are:

  • The exchange and acceptance of test reports among participating ExTL’s (Ex Testing Laboratories) and EXCB’s (Ex Certification Bodies) for national approval in one or more countries
  • No need for additional testing, with some exceptions: Some countries may have national deviations that need to be addressed, which means that the IEC 60079 standards series will be used as the main standard and another standard(s), for the specific country, will be used in addition (deviation) and therefore, some additional testing to address the deviations may be needed.

The IECEx Equipment Approval Scheme consists of 3 key elements, all issued by an IECEx Scheme Certification Body (ExCB)

  • IECEx Test Report (ExTR), which documents the evaluation and testing of the subject equipment, performed to the applicable IEC 60079 series standards;

  • IECEx Quality Assessment Report (ExQAR), which documents the suitability of the manufacturer’s implementation of the requirements of ISO/IEC 80079-34 Explosive atmospheres – Part 34: Application of quality systems for equipment manufacture. This audit is performed by a LabTest qualified auditor at the manufacturer location. Length and frequency of both initial and Surveillance (Follow-Up) audits vary depending on the existence of a quality management system based on ISO9000 (certified by a third party) or not.

  • IECEx Certificate of Conformity (IECEx CoC), issued by an ExCB to a manufacturer holding an ExTR and an applicable ExQAR.

An introduction to IECEx

LabTest Certification provides Global Market Access (GMA) for the following:

India PESO, Brazil INMETRO, UKCA, Russia EAC and TR CU, Japan TIIS, China CCC, Korea KTL/KGS/KOSHA, Taiwan CNS, Saudi Arabia SASO, UAE ESMA/ECASEx

Benefits of the IECEx Scheme

Reduced testing and certification costs to manufacturer

Reduced time to market

International confidence in the product assessment process

One international database listing

Maintaining international confidence in equipment and services covered by IECEx Certification

Interested in Preliminary Design Review for IECEx ?

Ensure that your products meet the minimum safety criteria established in the applicable standards

Only approved IECEx Certification Bodies (ExCBs) can operate within the IECEx Certified Equipment Scheme and issue IECEx Test Reports (ExTRs), and IECEx Quality Assessment Reports (QARs). The list of IECEx Certification Bodies can be accessed from the IECEx website under Information/ExCBs:

The Certified Equipment Scheme approved IECEx Certification Bodies can be accessed from the IECEx website from the following link:

The IECEx webpage provides ExCBs by Country and Identifier. By clicking on the blue Identifier (company name) this will populate the specific details of the ExCB including their contact details and approved Scope of Standards they can test to.

The cost of multiple certifications in terms of both certification costs and time to market are no longer acceptable to industry operating in a global marketplace. This aspect is the very reason IECEx was born in the first place.

While accepting that many established markets will require their own national or regional certificate/approval to be issued, one must not overlook the markets that do not have their own Ex standards nor an Ex certification or approval scheme. These countries are ready to accept an International Certificate of Conformity issued under the IEC framework. Many of these are developing economies where infrastructure is being built or upgraded.

For other countries with their own certification/approval system, the IECEx Rules are very clear on those countries that are IECEx Members. They must recognise the conformity assessment data that is generated to achieve an IECEx Certificate.

Item 8.1.1 of IECEx 02 Rules of Procedure requires that new Certificates only be issued against the current edition of the Standard or one edition prior.

Note also that:

  • There is an exemption for IECEx Unit Verification Certificates which can be issued to any edition of the Standard
  • At present there is NO requirement to upgrade a previously issued Certificate to a later edition of the Standard
  • Changes may be made to previously issued certificates (the issuing of a New Issue of a Certificate) and the older editions of the Standard maybe used, that is, there is no need to upgrade the product to later editions of Standards when seeking a new issue of the Certificate.

The main rationale for the above is that in general, when a certificate number is issued, noting that IEC 60079-0 requires that the year of issue is to be incorporated into a certificate reference number, hence there is an expectation that a certificate number say “IECEx XX 18.0001” then the certificate would relate to an edition of the Standard or, to take the words of ATEX, reflect ‘state of the art as at 2018’.

No, but the frequency of ongoing surveillance audits on manufacturing or service facilities is reduced (the period is 18 months instead 12 months) if your company has ISO 9001 certification.

More information is available in Clause of IECEx Operational Document OD 025

If a manufacturer makes changes to the design of IECEx Certified Equipment they are required to advise the ExCB that issued the IECEx Certificate(s) covering that equipment – the ExCB will advise if an “up-issue” of the Certificate(s) is required to include the design changes that could impact on the ability of the equipment to satisfy the requirements of the IEC Standard listed on the Certificate.

The up-issued (issue x) CoC will include a note in the “Details of Certificate Changes” (from issues 1 and above) describing the changes from the previous issue to the new “up-issued” version.

As a manufacturer you can have multiple manufacturing locations producing the same product under the same Certificate of Conformity (CoC). To add additional manufacturing locations and retain the certificate number and use the same test report, the first step would be to inform your IECEx Certification Body that issued the CoC, that you wish to have additional manufacturing locations added to the IECEx CoC. The additional manufacturing locations will require to be audited either by the IECEx Certification Body that issued your certificate or another IECEx Certification Body. When the audit process is completed and the IECEx Quality Assessment Report/s (QAR) are produced for the other manufacturing locations, then the CoC can be up-issued to a new issue, which would now include the additional manufacturing locations listed on the CoC. The CoC would also list the QAR summary reports showing that these other manufacturing locations are under surveillance.

Yes, as long as the ExCB hold ISO/IEC 80079-36 and ISO/IEC 80079-37 within their Scope of Standards as listed on the IECEx website.

The IECEx Logo shall only be used in accordance with instructions provided as published in IECEx 01B. It shall not be used in such a manner that it compromises the integrity of the IEC, IECEx or its members.

Who may use the IECEx Logo

The IECEx Logo may be used by the following:

  • IECEx Member Bodies
  • IECEx Certification Bodies (ExCBs) and Testing Labs (ExTLs)
  • IECEx Certified Equipment manufacturers
  • IECEx Service providers (e.g. Repair facilities)
  • IECEx Certified personnel
  • IECEX Recognised Training Providers

The IECEx System is a set of four separate Schemes (of which one relates to Ex Equipment) that were developed to satisfy the calls from the Ex industry for international recognition and coordination of the outputs of various certification systems and test laboratories (house) with different practises with different levels of expertise.

The IECEx scheme operates from the platform of

  • having a single Qualification Process for the assessment and evaluation of Certification Bodies and Test Laboratories to ensure that they have the necessary test equipment and facilities with staff holding the necessary level of technical expertise to conduct testing and certification, and
  • establishing a single way of conducting Ex testing and certification – we refer to this as doing Ex certification the “IECEx Way”. As an illustration, it is acceptable under ATEX to rely solely on a manufacturer’s declaration for Zone 2 equipment (Ex ‘n’) whereas for IECEx we do not discriminate between Zone 0, 1, 2. All equipment under IECEx must be independently tested and certified in order to carry the IECEx certificate number and have an IECEx Certificate issued on the IECEx website.

Therefore, while we have some 57 ExCBs approved by IECEx to issue IECEx certificates, it is important to know that these bodies may still conduct testing and certification according to their local schemes, eg ATEX for EU based ExCBs and American for US based etc. So to be sure that the product is covered by an IECEx certification, the Ex equipment must carry on the marking plate the IECEx Certificate number “IECEx XXX 18.0001” where:

‘IECEx’ shows that it is an IECEx certification

‘XXX’ identifies the ExCB that issued the IECEx certificate

‘18’ Represents the last 2 digits of the year of issue

‘0001’ represents the running certificate number issued in that year

The fundamental differences between ATEX and IECEx are:

  • Targeted Jurisdiction for ATEX is the European Union but does get used on a voluntary basis outside EU
  • ATEX requires compliance with the EHSR listed in Annex II and uses compliance with Standards as a “deemed to comply with EHSR requirements” meaning that strict compliance with Standards is NOT a requirement of ATEX. However most manufacturers use standards as their means to demonstrate compliance with the EHSRs
  • Bodies offering ATEX services are known as “Notified Bodies” (ExNB). These bodies are qualified by the official body within their own country with the official body in the country issuing a notification to the EU Commission.
  • A certificate issued by an ExNB is called “EU – Type Examination Certificate” and is not a Certificate of Conformity.

The assessment and testing/certification process of ATEX as with EU Directives is risk based, meaning that for lower risk areas like previous zone 2 or Ex n, ATEX allows full manufacturer’s declaration without involvement of an ExNB

When it comes to IECEx

  • Targeted Jurisdiction is the world, all countries
  • As such, IECEx is a true International Certification Scheme where full compliance with IEC International Standards are required
  • Rather than being qualified within a certification body or Test Lab’s own country, IECEx Certification Bodies (ExCB) and IECEx Test Labs (ExTL) are evaluated and qualified according to a single international process managed and approved by the single International IECEx Management Committee. Each ExTL and ExCB is visited and assessed by an expert team of assessors from IECEx.
  • IECEx operates a Technical Secretariat with the IECEx Executive Secretary appointed with the Chief Executive Officer Function of the Scheme to handle day to day matters, reporting to the IECEx Executive and Management Committee
  • ExCBs issue IECEx Certificates of Conformity that require that samples be fully tested against the Standard regardless of the zone of use of the product.
  • IECEx Certificates are ALL publicly available for full viewing at the IECEx Website. This provides a single central On-Line location where Certificates issued by all IECEx approved ExCBs are located. In effect we say if the IECEx certificate does not appear on the website then it is not issued.
  • IECEx operates separate Schemes for

    • IECEx Certified Equipment Scheme
    • IECEx Certified Service Facility Scheme
    • IECEx Certification of Personnel Competencies (CoPC) Scheme
  • IECEx is the only Certification scheme to be formally endorsed by the United Nations as “world’s best practise and recommended model” for use by regulators when regulating the use of Ex equipment and Services.

The point to understand is that ATEX has been set up and works effectively within EU where there exists EU legislation as the overarching requirement.

As IECEx operates globally across many national and regional jurisdictions, the IECEx rules governing acceptance of ExTLs, ExCBs and the process of certification needs to be comprehensive to ensure that confidence and integrity in IECEx certifications are maintained.

So while from a legislative perspective, all that is required to sell Ex products in EU is ATEX, customers are asking for IECEx as well.

These and other differences are explained in more detail on our IECEx Guidance Publication IECEx 01A available for free download at 01A

If the testing under ATEX has been done and satisfies all requirements of the relevant IEC Standard(s), then it is a case of transferring the test data into the IECEx Test Report format.

The IECEx Operational Document, OD 009 provides further explanation

More information about the similarities and differences between IECEx System and ATEX Directives can be found in 01A

The first point of contact should be the manufacture. If for whatever reason the question relates to the specifics of the Certificate, then the ExCB who issued the Certificate should be contacted. The list of ExCBs including their contact details can be found on the IECEx website at:

Simply click on the Identifier and this will populate the ExCB details including email, phone, and Scope of IEC Standards they can issue and test to.

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