What is IECEx?

IECEx is the International Electrotechnical Commission’s (IEC) system for Certification to Standards Relating to Equipment for Use in Explosive Atmospheres. It uses quality assessment specifications that are based on international standards prepared by the IEC and also facilitates the international trade of equipment and services for use in explosive atmospheres.

IECEx provides testing and certification of equipment and services and competence of persons to international standards. It also offers a means for manufacturers, regulators and users of equipment used in hazardous areas to address the risk of fires or explosions from flammable gases or dusts. In combining all these points, it can facilitate the sale of safer products across the globe at a lower cost.


What is an Ex Area and where do you find Ex Equipment?

Ex areas relate to areas where vapours, gases, combustible dusts, fibres and flammable liquids are likely to occur.  The key point here is they occur in sufficient quantities to potentially cause a fire or explosion. The areas can be known as “Hazardous Locations”, Hazardous Areas” and “Explosive Atmospheres”.  Ex equipment can be found in use in several of these Hazardous Areas including:

  • Automotive & aircraft refuelling stations
  • Oil refineries including rigs and processing plants
  • Chemical processing plants
  • Gas pipelines
  • Printing industries
  • Metal surface grinding operations
  • Grain handling

What is IECEx for?

While maintaining the required level of safety, the IECEx System’s objective is to facilitate international trade in equipment and services for use in explosive atmospheres. In addition to this, their aim is to support company’s globally by:

  • reducing testing and certification costs to manufacturer.
  • reducing time to market.
  • providing an international confidence in assessment processes of products, equipment, personnel, and facilities.
  • providing one international database listing for certified Ex equipment & Ex components, personnel, and facilities.

What are the benefits to obtaining IECEx certification?

When using Ex equipment there is often a need for re-testing and re certification to the required standards of the country where the equipment is being used. Whilst there are several overlaps, the standards can vary from country to country.

The IECEx certification will reduce the requirement for re-certification and re-testing as it ensures conformity to the international IEC standards. This in turn will make international trade quicker and more cost effective. Some additional benefits of IECEx certification include:

  • Accepted in most countries worldwide – see a full list of countries on iecex.com
  • Reduced testing & certification costs, improved safety and accelerated time to market for manufacturers
  • Single qualification process for the assessment and evaluation of Ex Certification Bodies (ExCBs) and single way of conducting Ex testing and certification
  • One international certification database on iecex.com.


You may be aware that several of our products are also ATEX certified and while ATEX is a mandatory application accepted mostly in Europe, IECEx is an international certification accepted in numerous countries to help build confidence in the safety of Ex equipment.

Here are some more of the differences between these standards:


  • Global jurisdiction
  • Certification scheme requiring full compliance with IEC Standards
  • ExCBs and Ex Testing Laboratories (ExTLs) are evaluated and qualified according to a single international process and assessed by a team of IECEx assessors
  • Certificate is called a CoC
  • All product types require a CoC, regardless of zone of use of the product
  • IECEx certificates are all available for viewing on www.iecex.com


  • Jurisdiction is the European Union
  • Compliance with ATEX Directive, Essential Health and Safety Requirements (EHSRs), and European Standards (EN) is required
  • Certification bodies are known as an ExNB (Ex Notified Body) qualified by an official body within their own country issuing notification to the EU Commission
  • Certificate is called EC Type Examination Certificate
  • Assessment and testing process is risk based per ATEX and EU Directives, e.g., Zone 2 can be self-declared due to lower risk)
  • Certificates are available from the respective ExNB

Can IECEx ATEX be used together?

ATEX documentation may not necessarily support an IECEx certificate and therefore, it has become a common industry requirement for products to contain both ATEX (or equivalent) & IECEx certificates.

What products do we offer that are IECEx certified?


For more information on our IECEx certified products please contact one of our team on +44 (0)1494 566046 or email us on [email protected].