Safety testing and certification of products for hazardous locations can be a stressful process for manufacturers wishing to export their products to international markets, but doesn’t need to be.



The key to a stress-free process is knowledge.

Following are the basics of ATEX and IECEx certifications.

For more detailed information or questions, contact LabTest Certification Inc.


In countries with formal certification and a 3-zone system, the IEC60079 series of standards is commonly used, adopted as National Standards as they are written or with some National Deviations that ensure compatibility with local installation codes.

Most all other countries that produce their own National Standards base such standards on the IEC 60079 series.

Some countries, like the U.S. and Canada, have dual standards systems: National Standards plus adoption of the IEC60079 series, as an alternate system.


CE Marking/ATEX Directive

All EU countries require CE Marking, which involves the ATEX Directive for products used in hazardous locations.

The use of harmonized EN standards gives the manufacturer the “presumption of conformity” to the “Essential Health and Safety Requirements (EHSRs)” and a basis on which to issue a declaration of compliance for the ATEX Directive.

The ATEX Directive requires:

  • ATEX EC Type Exam Certificate

    Which documents the evaluation and testing of the subject equipment performed to the applicable EN 60079 standards, which are an adoption of the IEC 60079 Series with National Deviations for ATEX markings.  The certificate is issued by a Notified Body (NB);

  • ATEX Quality Assessment Notification (QAN) 

    Except for Unit Verificationwhich documents the suitability of the manufacturer’s QA system, performed to the EN ISO/IEC 80079-34:2011 standard.  The notification is issued by a Notified Body (NB);

  • Declaration of Conformity (DoC)

    Stating compliance with all applicable Directives.  The DoC is issued by the manufacturer for Zone 2 certifications.  Zone 1 and Zone 0 DoC certifications are issued by the Notified Body (NB).

For certain types of equipment (non-electrical for Zone 1 or both electrical and non-electrical for Zone 2), it is possible to self-declare compliance.

IECEx Scheme

The IECEx Schemeis the CB Scheme for electrical equipment used in explosive atmospheres (hazardous locations).   It consists of three 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)

    Except for Unit Verification which documents the suitability of the manufacturer’s QA system, performed to the ISO/IEC 80079-34:2011 standard;

  • IECEx Certificate of Conformity (IECEx CoC)

    Which can be issued to a manufacturer holding an ExTR and an applicable ExQAR.

LabTest Certification Inc. offers testing, certification, and product inspection services under the IECEx Certified Equipment Scheme and the ATEX Directive, via an innovative Harmonised International Ex Testing Program.

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