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International standards

Standards and what they mean

In this Section we will outline the different Standards used throughout the world and what it means for products specified for use in Hazardous Areas. Below is a map of the world which illustrates the Standards that are generally used in these regions.

Products Approvals

The ATEX Europe Directives

Directive 94/9/EC (ATEX 100A)

Since 1st of July 2003, the electrical equipment used in potentially explosive atmospheres within the European Union must comply with this Directive and carry the ATEX standard.

This Directive lays down “essential requirements” security manufacturers and imposes a classification of devices into groups and categories, while distinguishing gas and dust aspects aspects.


Directive 99/92/EC
This Directive requires users a number of measures to ensure the safety of workers, including:
No risk assessment explosions on their website
– the classification of different risk areas and signaling:
– holding a document on the protection against explosions
– the implementation of technical and organizational measures to prevent
– accordance with the criteria of selection of electrical appliances in the table below:


IECEx (International certification system):

The IECEx issues an international certificate of conformity for electrical equipment only for use in explosive atmospheres.

Its aim is to facilitate the international flow of electrical equipment intended to be used in potentially explosive atmospheres (in compliance with one or more international standards defining the type of protective against the risk of explosion) and thus avoiding multiple national certifications and at the same time ensuring an appropriate level of safety. The IECEx certification scheme allows the manufacturers of “Ex-proof” equipment to obtain a Certificate of Conformity that would be accepted in Member States in which this certification scheme is recognized.

UL (America) and CSA (Canada)

The American and Canadian standards are the only ones to have different classifications and locations. ATEX & IECEx work to Groups and Zones whereas the NEC & CEC works to Classes and Divisions, there is no direct comparison between the two. This means that it is imperative that the two standards are not inter-changed within an area.

INMETRO (Brazil)

The National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology (INMETRO) is an accreditation body representing the Brazilian government, and is responsible for assessing compliance requirements for a wide variety of products ranging from electrical goods to household appliances that are manufactured in or imported into Brazil. All electrical and electronic equipment used in explosive environments must be certified by INMETRO.

GOST (Russia & Kazakhstan)

GOST follows similar rules to that of IECEx as far as the breakdown of the zones and other criteria are concerned. However, the requirements for this country mean that separate GOST markings are required on the product.
GOST is divided into GOST (R) which is the standard for Russian Federation and GOST (K) that cover Kazakhstan.


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