Due to Europe’s New Legislative Framework, the ATEX Directive 94/9/EC will be replaced by ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU in 2016, for the testing and certification of certain equipment intended for potentially explosive atmospheres in the EU.
From the manufacturer perspective, the changes are not significant, as there are no changes to the Essential Health and Safety Requirements in Annex II of the new directive. Therefore the directive does not affect the standards that are used, and there are no significant changes in the remainder of the Annexes regarding the conformity assessment procedures for manufacturers.
Here are the most important changes for manufacturers:
- The EC declaration of conformity must be replaced by an EU declaration of conformity.
- The EC type examination certificate must be replaced by an EU type examination certificate.
- Importers are required to put their names and addresses on the products.
- Manufacturer’s, importer’s and distributor’s responsibilities for traceability and market surveillance are more precisely defined.
Here is what stays the same:
- CE and ATEX marking requirements.
- The scope of the directive and its essential health and safety requirements.
- The conformity assessment procedures.
- The classification of groups and categories of equipment.
Here is the transition date: On April 19, 2016 Directive 94/9/EC will be abrogated. It remains applicable until this date. From April 20, 2016 the new 2014/34/EU directive will come into force.
Certificates issued according to 94/9/EC remain valid until changes are made affecting the product. In the case of modification, a new certificate with a new number, under Directive 2014/34/EU, must be issued.
In recent years, software has been king in Silicon Valley. Now the pendulum is swinging back, and hardware is taking center stage again, says Bloomberg Businessweek.
The strongest evidence is the tablet war, which has been dominated by Apple’s iPad. Now, however, all the big players are piling in. Within two weeks of each other, Microsoft unveiled its new Surface tablet, and Google announced a partnership with Asustek Computer to build the Nexus 7.
Amazon has been making Kindles since 2007. Barnes & Noble has its Nook e-reader. Oracle purchased server maker Sun Microsystems in 2009 to house its databases.
Fueling the trend for small companies is Kickstarter and other crowd-funding sites. That’s how the iPhone-enabled gTar guitar got its start.
The high tech hardware boom extends beyond personal electronic devices. In the symbolic return of hardware and its manufacture stateside, MET Labs-tested all electric cars from Tesla Motors are produced in a Fremont factory not far from where an Apple manufacturing plant was shuttered in the early 1990s.
Tesla is not the only big name producing locally; Google is manufacturing its new Nexus Q entertainment device in the Bay Area.
We are encouraged by this return to prominence of hardware, not only for the increased business for 3rd party test labs like MET Labs, but also for the return of balance to the U.S. tech industry that will ensure its future health.
Have a question about electronic hardware regulatory compliance? Ask Pat, our compliance expert.
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