FAQ: What's the Difference Between ATEX and IECEx Certification?

Monday, 24 August 2020
You may have heard references to IECEx and ATEX certification used interchangeably when discussing electrical equipment designed for explosive atmospheres. There are important differences between them that you should know.

  • ATEX and IECEx are very similar, but there are some differences between each certification
  • The main difference is the geographical location where the certification is recognised and accepted
  • ATEX is a requirement in Europe
  • IECEx is accepted across several countries internationally, including Australia


IECEx certification is accepted globally, including by Australia.


ATEX is a mandatory application limited to Europe.

What is IECEx?

IECEx stands for International Electrotechnical Commission Explosive. Quality assessment specifications are based on standards provided by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). While ATEX is a mandatory application limited to Europe, IECEx is an international certification accepted in several countries to help build confidence in the safety of Ex equipment.

IECEx is the only accepted certification in Australia for electrical equipment that is used in potentially explosive atmospheres. All hazardous area electrical equipment and lighting supplied by Pacific Automation is IECEx certified and suitable for use in Australia.

What is ATEX?

The term ATEX derives its name from “Appareils destinés à être utilisés en ATmosphères EXplosives” and is a mandatory certification for all products sold across Europe. It refers to two separate (but related) European Union directives for standardisation that cover equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres.
Many products that we supply will also have the ATEX certification upon them.

Conformity Assessment Document

A Conformity Assessment Document (CAD) can potentially be requested where a hazardous area product is certified for use by another certification body, but not certified for use by IECEx. If no comparable product exists, companies can seek a CAD to allow use of an ATEX-certified product within an IECEx specified application.

A CAD serves as potential justification for the use of hazardous area equipment certified to an alternative standard.

While you're here...

Looking for more information about ATEX/IECEx certified equipment?

Check out our hazardous area solutions. We've got you covered.

If there's a specific problem you're trying to solve, please get in touch with our friendly technical team today. We provide expert technical support on every product sold. Welcome to Pacific Automation.