IECEx Scheme is a voluntary system for confirming the correct structure of explosion-proof devices. Documents issued by Bodies in individual countries are recognized by their respective units in other countries.
IECEx certificates do not substitute authorisation to be placed on the market (each country regulates this issue at its own discretion) – e.g. in the European Union the superior document is the ATEX certificate. The IECEx system language is English. All issued documents (IECEx CoC certifications, ExTR reports, QAR assessments) are publicly available at www.iecex.com.
The IECEx scheme is based on the TC31 technical committee. The first concept of the scheme was created in 1992 so that the first IECEx CoC certificate was issued in 2000. Since August 2003, the system has been running on a publicly accessible website. 130 certificates had been issued by September 2004 and 353 certificates by 2005 and the total number of conformity certificates (CoCs), test reports (ExTRs) and assessment of production quality assurance system (QARs) exceeded 3500 in 2007. 31 countries has joined the IECEx scheme by 2009. Poland joined in 2008 and the Central Mining Institute (GIG) achieved the status of the ExCB certification body and the ExTL research laboratory in 2010.
The structure, scope of operation, procedure and responsibility are presented in IEC publications (these publications are supervised in accordance with the IEC standards and available at www.iecex.com).
The ExCB body cannot exist without the associated ExTL research laboratory. Likewise, a research laboratory cannot exist without a connection with the ExCB body. Test reports (ExTR) issued by the laboratory (ExTL) are reviewed and verified by the ExCB body. The ExCB body supervises the research (scope and test program) performed by ExTL. The IECEx CoC certificate can be issued after the body (ExCB) has performed the tests in the laboratory (ExTL) and the production assessment (QAR production assessment is issued). ExCB and ExTL units create a mutually complementary structure.
Benefits of IECEx certification according to IECEx scheme.
- transparent certification system;
- recognition outside the EU;
- complete certification (device testing and evaluation of the production system at the same time/process).
For the user:
- access to the database of issued certificates online;
- control over the certification status of the device (the most recent version of the certificate is always available)
For the Certification Body:
- easy and transparent supervision over the issued certificate (possibility to suspend and revoke the certificate on-line).