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Obtaining Ex Certification

Getting your Ex equipment certified can be a challenge. For example, for the IECEx Scheme or the ANZEx Scheme you need to:

  • Design and manufacture equipment that complies with the relevant standards
  • Document that design
  • Implement a Quality Management System for your manufacturing that ensures you consistently produce equipment complying with that design
  • Produce a product quality plan
  • Have your product tested for compliance with the relevant standards and your product quality plan audited

Almost inevitably you will find the certification and testing body has many questions and requirements that may be difficult to understand. Not dealing with these effectively can delay your certification dramatically and increase your costs. We can help you through the maze.

IEC

Founded in 1906, the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) is the world’s leading organization for the
preparation and publication of International Standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies. These
are known collectively as “electrotechnology”.

IEC provides a platform to companies, industries and governments for meeting, discussing and developing the
International Standards they require.

The IEC’s mission is “to promote, through its members, international cooperation on all questions of electrotechnical standardization and related matters, such as the assessment of conformity to standards in the fields of electricity, electronics and related technologies”.

The IEC is one of three global sister organizations (IEC, ISO, ITU) that develop International Standards for the
world.

A visit to the IEC website is strongly recommended to anyone who wants to know more about their processes, published standards or committee work.  Its website can be found at www.iec.ch

IECEx International Certification System

The objective of the IECEx International Certification System is to facilitate international trade in electrical equipment intended for use in explosive atmospheres (Ex equipment) while maintaining the required level of safety:

  • reduced testing and certification costs to manufacturer
  • reduced time to market
  • international confidence in the product assessment process
  • one international database listing
  • maintaining international confidence in equipment and services covered by IECEx Certification

The IECEx System comprises the following

  1. The IECEx Certified Equipment Scheme
  2. The IECEx Certified Service Facilities Scheme
  3. The IECEx Conformity Mark Licensing System
  4. The IECEx Certified Persons Scheme

The availability of IEC standards that are very close to the national or regional standards used by countries is vital to the scheme.

The IECEx Certified Equipment Scheme makes use of testing to the IEC standards and defined national differences to allow certification to occur in the country of use, based on testing elsewhere. Hence a product may be tested in a test (ExTL) station in one country to the IEC standards and defined national differences for the country in which it is to be used. An accepted certifying body (ExCB) under the Scheme, in the country of use, will then issue a national certificate.

In 2003 the Scheme introduced the the provision to issue full certificates of conformity to the relevant IEC standards. These are based on a testing report (ExTR), establishing compliance of equipment with the standards, a quality assessment report (QAR) on the manufacturer’s capablity to produce the equipment and ongoing surveillance.

The Scheme has 30 member countries and 42 ExCBs in the Certified Equipment Scheme.

Its website can be found at www.iecex.com

ANZEx Scheme

The ANZEx Scheme is an Australian and New Zealand Scheme that commenced in 2002.

It is very similar in concept to the IECEx Scheme. It is based on establishing compliance of equipment through testing, coupled with ensuring the equipment continues to comply, through auditing of a product quality plan and ongoing surveillance audits at the manufacturer’s premises.

Details of the scheme are included in Standards Australia Miscellaneous Publication MP87.  There is a website for certified equipment at www.anzex.com.au.

AUS Ex Scheme

The AUS Ex Scheme is an Australian certification scheme for explosion-protected electrical equipment. Applications for new certificates for this scheme ceased to be accepted at the end of 2003.

Certificates were issued on the basis of a type test of an applicant’s equipment to establish compliance with the relevant Ex standards and an undertaking by the applicant to continue to manufacture equipment in compliance with the certificate and documentation of the equipment.