On 20 April 2016, the new version of the ATEX directive entitled 2014/34/EU will come into effect. From this date, the new directive is the binding basis for newly issued ATEX certificates – though previously issued certificates remain valid indefinitely. The declaration of conformity for the European single market also undergoes a name change: EC declarations of conformity according to directive 94/9/EC are replaced by EU declarations of conformity according to directive 2014/34/EU. For all products, R. STAHL currently ensures that conformity with both the new and the old directive is declared in the same document.
The new incarnation of the ATEX directive includes some changes in nomenclature, since the EU seeks to harmonise concepts and terminological conventions throughout many areas of legislation, with the express intent to further increase product safety. While these changes have very little impact on manufacturers of explosion-protected equipment, users, importers and distributors are faced with a different picture. They may be affected by the directive's broadened scope of application and new obligations. "Making available on the market" no longer solely means the sale or use of new products.
Plant operators manufacturing explosion-protected equipment for internal use may now also be considered “manufacturers” for the purpose of the ATEX standard. Moreover, importers and distributors must inspect products for actual conformity closely enough to be able to identify questionable cases and alert the supervisory authorities. Given these changes, users may be liable to observe extended obligations, namely test and documentation provisions for declarations and certifications of conformity. R. STAHL is ready to answer all questions regarding the changes at any time in a comprehensive fashion.
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