What is a UKEX fan?
10 January 2022
A UKCA “Ex” fan is a fan that has been manufactured, and is correctly certified, for use in potentially explosive atmospheres within Great Britain, meeting all UKCA requirements.
As a result of the UK leaving the European Union, the UK government issued a Statutory Instrument to product safety legislation meaning that the European Conformity “CE” marking will be phased out and replaced with a UKCA mark. Hazardous Area certification is also affected, meaning that the European term ATEX will no longer be recognised within Great Britain as it gets replaced with the agreed “UKEX” term.
The UK Government now recognises its own Designated Standards which will replace the EU’s Harmonised Standards that companies must use to ensure their products have conformity to GB Law.
Due to the high potential of a fan producing an ignition, the European Committee for Standardisation, back in 2007, published a standard for the Design of fans working in potentially explosive atmospheres.
The current form of this standard is BS EN 14986:2017, which along with standards for non-electrical equipment for explosive atmospheres BS EN ISO 80079-36:2016 and BS EN ISO80079-37:2016 form the constructional requirements for any fan that is to meet the new UKEX certification, GB Law and therefore be suitable to be placed on the “UK market”.
The common Ex–in–hexagon symbol remains. This symbol alongside the UKCA mark will indicate that the fan complies with current UK legislation for hazardous area use. The correct marking is supported by UKEX documentation. Many manufacturers are using the UKCA, EU CE and the Ex logo where products meet both UKEX and ATEX requirements.
From the beginning of January 2021, UKCA marked products along with UKEX goods for hazardous areas are being phased to replace CE and ATEX products. From the 1st January 2023 UKCA and UKEX requirements will only apply. CE and ATEX will no longer be accepted in Great Britain.
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What is the difference between ATEX, IECEX and UKEX fans?
The requirements for self-certification and third-party certification for Category 1, 2 and 3 hazardous area equipment remain unchanged across both UKEX and ATEX schemes.
This contrasts with the IECEx scheme, where all equipment and the manufacturers design and production facilities must be independently assessed and approved. IECEx documentation can be used to form the technical assessments for both UKEX and ATEX certification.
It is important to note that the documentation must be approved by, or submitted to, the appropriate accredited body. Only UK Approved Bodies can certificate for UKEX products. Only EU Notified Bodies can be used for ATEX certification which is valid in the European Economic Area (EEA) including Northern Ireland.
- UKEX is being phased in and will become mandatory in GB from 1st January 2023
- UK Designated Standards compliance
- UKEX requires involvement of a UK Approved Body for Category 1 and 2 equipment
- UKEX allows for “self certification” of Category 2 and 3 equipment
- ATEX is mandatory in the EEA
- ATEX 2014/34/EH Directive and EU Harmonised Standards compliance
- ATEX requires involvement of an EU Notified Body for Category 1 and 2 equipment
- ATEX allows for “self certification” of Category 2 and 3 equipment
- IECEx is an international standard, seen as best practise outside EU and UK.
- IECEx does not allow for any “Self-certification”, ensuring that the purchaser/end user is not held accountable for product compliance.
- IECEx: the manufacturer must hold a relevant BS EN ISO 80079-34 Quality Assessment Report (QAR)
See more information about the Exstream fan range – the first in the World certified to both Electrical & Non-Electrical (Mechanical) requirements of the ATEX IECEx Directive.
Republished with kind permission of Scott Harding from Woodcock & Wilson, specialist manufacturer of centrifugal, industrial, Axial and 3rd Party Certified ATEX and IECEx fans
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