An ATEX certificate lasts for the lifetime of a product and, unlike some other conformity assessment schemes, there is no validity or expiry date on a certificate that incurs a re-certification.
The ATEX Directive does however require that ‘technical knowledge’, which can change rapidly, be taken into account as far as possible and utilised immediately. By implementing this latest technical knowledge, also known as ‘the state of the art’, it ensures a technically up-to-date product which is in line with current legislation.
An example of this would be if a technical standard used to certify equipment is updated to include new or different requirements.
ATEX Standards Updates
If the standards by which your product was certified to ATEX are superseded, there are a number of things to check to ascertain what, if any, conformity approval may be needed, and CSA Group suggests following this process:
The product should be reviewed against the new standard to see whether any changes that affect your product have been introduced. CSA Group can aid in this review. CSA Group’s ATEX reports now typically contain compliance checklists along with the detailed assessment which will make the process of cross-referencing easier.
If there have been changes that bring in more onerous requirements, the certificate will need to be re-issued to the latest standards, and we have a team of experts that can work with you to ensure you continue to meet the requirements of the Directive.
If there are no ‘more onerous’ requirements, you can modify your Declaration of Conformity to refer to ‘Compliance with the following standards’ (i.e. remove the reference to harmonised standards).
These standards should then continue to reference the standards that are listed on the certificate, until it is upgraded to the latest standard.
We’d be happy to discuss these requirements in more detail. Please contact us to talk to a member of our team.
Changes to the Design of Certified Products
As a manufacturer of equipment, you are always seeking ways to further develop your certified product range to meet wider client demands. As such, any new design developments may require the product to be re-assessed to ensure the ATEX certificate is still valid and includes any modifications.
This is called a variation to an ATEX certificate, whereby the certificate is required to be re-issued if a manufacturer changes any parts, ratings or drawings that were assessed and approved as part of the original certification.
A variation project may be a simple documentation review, or, call upon a larger schedule of tests and assessments, depending on the change.
One of our team would be happy to explain this process in more detail. Please contact us for further information.