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Equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres

This Directive aims to ensure the free movement of equipment and protective systems intended for use in explosive atmospheres by harmonizing the national provisions.


European Parliament and Council Directive 94/9/EC of 23 March 1994 on the forthcoming legislation for Member States on protective devices and systems for use in potentially explosive atmospheres [See amending act(s)].


The Directive applies to electrical and non-electrical protective devices and systems (surface and mining equipment) used in potentially explosive atmospheres * and to items of equipment for use outside potentially explosive atmospheres but which impinge upon devices that are present in any such atmospheres.

The Directive does not apply, in particular, to:

  • medical devices,
  • protective devices and systems used on premises where potentially explosive or chemically unstable substances are stored,
  • seagoing ships and mobile offshore units,
  • certain means of transport.

Conformity assessment procedures

Protective devices and systems must meet the essential safety and health requirements. These are divided up into three categories:

  • common requirements concerning protective devices and systems,
  • additional requirements applying to devices which can trigger an explosion,
  • additional requirements for protective systems.

CE conformity marking

The procedures for obtaining the CE conformity marking depend upon the device and level of safety provided. The Directive sets out in detail the procedures to be followed with regard to the various categories of protective devices and systems used in potentially explosive atmospheres. These devices are typified by a protection-level scale which determines the type of procedure to be followed.

Certain procedures for the assessment and checking of protective devices and systems are carried out by a notified body; a list of these is published in the Official Journal of European Union together with their identification numbers and the tasks for which they have been notified. Moreover, procedures ranging from unit verification to internal production control by manufacturers are laid down for well-defined conformity categories.

The CE conformity marking must be affixed to equipment in a visible manner, together with the identification number of the notified body where the latter is involved in the production control stage. Any other marking may be affixed to equipment provided that the visibility and legibility of the CE marking are not thereby reduced.

Equipment and protective systems complying with the Directive and bearing the CE conformity marking are deemed to be able to move freely throughout the European market. However, they may be withdrawn from the market if they adversely affect human or animal health or property.

For a transitional period ending on 30 June 2003, Member States allowed the placing on the market and bringing into service of equipment conforming to the provisions in force on their territory on 23 March 1994.

Key terms of the Act
  • Equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres: machines, apparatus, fixed or mobile devices, control components and instrumentation thereof and detection or prevention systems which, separately or jointly, are intended for the generation, transfer, storage, measurement, control and conversion of energy for the processing of material and which are capable of causing an explosion through their own potential sources of ignition.


ActEntry into forceDeadline for implementation in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Directive 94/9/EC



OJ L 100 of 19.4.1994

Amending act(s)Entry into forceDeadline for implementation in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1882/2003



OJ L 284 of 31.10.2003

The successive amendments and corrections to Directive 94/9/EC have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated version  is for reference only.


List of titles and references for harmonised standards.

Directive 1992/92/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 1999 on minimum requirements for improving the safety and health protection of workers potentially at risk from explosive atmospheres (15th individual Directive within the meaning of Article 16(1) of Directive 89/391/EEC) [Official Journal L 23 of 28.1.2000].
This Directive lays down minimum requirements for the safety and health protection of workers potentially at risk from explosive atmospheres and in particular, the obligations of the employer.

Guidelines for the application of Directive 94/9/EC.

Last updated: 24.08.2011

See also

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