2 OBJECTIVE OF THE ATEX DIRECTIVE 94/9/EC - ATEX 94/9/EC guidelines 4th edition


The objective of Directive 94/9/EC is to ensure free movement for the products to which it applies in the EU territory. Therefore the Directive, based on Article 95 of the EC Treaty, provides for harmonised requirements and procedures to establish compliance.

The Directive notes that to remove barriers to trade via the New Approach, provided for in the Council Resolution of 7 May 19858, essential requirements regarding safety and other relevant attributes need to be defined by which a high level of protection will be ensured. These Essential Health and Safety Requirements (EHSRs) are listed in Annex II to Directive 94/9/EC.

These Essential Health and Safety Requirements are specific with respect to:

  • potential ignition sources of equipment intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres;
  • autonomous protective systems intended to come into operation following an explosion with the prime objective to halt the explosion immediately and/or limit the effects of explosion flames and pressures;
  • safety devices intended to contribute to the safe functioning of such equipment with respect to ignition source and to the safe functioning of autonomous protective systems
  • components with no autonomous function essential to the safe functioning of such equipment or autonomous protective system(s)


Since 1 July 2003 relevant products could only be placed on the market in the EU territory9, freely moved and operated as designed and intended in the expected environment if they comply with Directive 94/9/EC (and other relevant legislation).

Directive 94/9/EC provides for the first time harmonised requirements for non-electrical equipment, equipment intended for use in environments which are potentially explosive due to dust hazards and protective systems. Safety devices intended for use outside explosive atmospheres which are required for or contribute to the safe functioning of equipment or protective systems with respect to risks of explosion are also included. This is an increase in scope compared to former national regulations for equipment and systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres.

The requirements for compliance with the provisions of Directive 94/9/EC will be further developed in the following chapters.

OJ C 136, 4.6.1985, p. 1.

Directive 94/9/EC is also applicable in other territories where a suitable international agreement is in operation. See the DG Enterprise and Industry website for more details: http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/sectors/mechanical/international-competitiveness.