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Recognition of Tests in Explosion Protection

On invitation by the Deutsche Elektrotechnische Kommission (DKE, German Electrotechnical Commission) and PTB, a conference on test procedures in explosion protection was held in Braunschweig in September this year. The meeting was attended by 55 delegates from 20 countries. They adopted resolutions aiming at the mutual recognition of test results and certificates by extended global harmonisation according to the IECEx certification scheme.

In Europe, the recognition of test results and certificates is regulated by Directive 94/9/EC. The IECEx scheme will become an important instrument for worldwide harmonisation. The scheme provides mutual recognition of test results and certificates among member countries on the basis of IEC standards and harmonised rules of procedure. The two-stage conformity assessment of products will include a type examination as well as an assessment of the manufacturerÕs quality system. Member countries are obliged to adopt the complete IEC standards as national standards within a transition period of ten years.

Certification bodies recognised within the IECEx scheme may issue national type examination certificates based on «Assessment and Test Reports» (ATRs) made out by other countries. In order to avoid repeated assessment of the quality systems, the conference decided upon the introduction of «Quality Assurance Reports» (QARs). Moreover, the procedures for setting up and evaluating ATRs were further harmonised and simplified. In future, PTB may thus issue ATRs and QARs providing the basis for certification in other countries. Making test repetitions unnecessary considerably simplifies approval procedures in countries importing explosion-proof equipment. That, in turn, facilitates world market access for German and European manufacturers.

Contact at PTB:

Phone: +49-531-592-0