ATEX 2014/34/EU guidelines: quali modifiche?

A maggio 2020 è stata emessa la terza edizione dell’importante linea guida alla direttiva di prodotto ATEX 2014/34/UE, cosiddetta Linea Guida ATEX.

Da più parti ci si è chiesto quali siano state le modifiche di sostanza introdotte rispetto al testo previgente.

Ho posto la domanda sia a Mario Gabrielli Cossellu (UE DG for Health and Food Safety) che a Jan Mayerhöfer (UE DG GROW/Unit C3, Engineering, Maritime and Rail Industries) i quali mi hanno fornito le preziose risposte che andrò qui ad illustrare.

Premetto che l’elenco delle modifiche apportate alla seconda edizione della Linea Guida ATEX sono riportate nel documento “Explanatory Note, ATEX 2014/34/EU Guidelines 3rd edition – May 2020”. In esso viene specificato che, durante le ultime due riunioni del gruppo di lavoro ATEX, si è deciso di incorporare alcune delle decisioni prese dal gruppo di lavoro medesimo nelle linee guida ATEX 2014/34/UE.

Si discute, in particolare, di cinque modifiche alle Linee Guida ATEX che andrò ora a dettagliare.

LA PRIMA (modifica)

§ 236   Pressure Equipment Directive 2014/68/EU (PED) and Simple Pressure Vessels Directive 2014/29/EU (SPVD)

The Pressure Equipment Directive 2014/68/EU (PED) is a single market directive similar to Directive 2014/34/EU. There are a small number of examples of safety accessories which may be autonomous protective systems or, possibly, equipment. Flame arresters have been judged to be also pressure accessories in the sense of the PED if they are intended to be used with a pressure > 0,5 bar. There are no additional requirements for the flame arrester element under the PED. PED specifically excludes from its own scope equipment classified no higher than Category I under Article 13 of PED; such kind of product may be inside the scope of ATEX. The Pressure Equipment Directive deals only with the pressure hazard and does not consider the prevention of and protection against explosions/inflammations, which are not triggered by pressure. It is presumed that PED equipment does not have an own ignition; its safety accessories source when used in an explosive atmosphere must comply with the ATEX directive. If such kind of equipment is fully certified in accordance with the directive 2014/34/EU it must be properly installed according to the instructions of the manufacturer (including information about maintenance and repair of the connecting devices, e.g. valves, flanges). If PED equipment shows hot surfaces occurring during operation caused by the temperature of its content solely, it is not applicable to consider this equipment under the ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU. Risk assessment related to hot surfaces and electrostatic charges, among other possible risks, shall be undertaken by the end user to ensure that any explosive atmosphere is not ignited […]”.

LA SECONDA (modifica)

“Modification of § 91, Table 4: based on the decision of the Minutes from ATEX 2014/34/EU Working Group, 5 July 2018. Action point VIII (5.5. Section § 91, Table 4: Clarification for equipment with categories 2 and 3 – Docs. ATEX_WG/17/1/06, ATEX_WG/17/1/06_1, ATEX_WG/17/1/06_2). The revised table has been approved and will be inserted into the (Third Edition) of the ATEX Guidelines”.

LA TERZA (modifica)

§ 149   Marking of components

[…] In any case, according to Directive 2014/34/EU, ATEX components shall not bear the CE-marking; components can be εx-marked with the specific marking of explosion protection, as a conformity marking as well as an identification marking […]”

LA QUARTA (modifica)

§ 50     Potentially explosive atmosphere in the sense of Directive 2014/34/EU

[…] A vacuum pump sucking from a vacuum container and conveying the mixture into a pressure vessel or pressure line is in scope of Directive 2014/34/EU just during starting and shutting down phases. In this case the inner parts of the pump are not connected to a potentially explosive atmosphere in the sense of Directive 2014/34/EU […]”

LA QUINTA (modifica)

§ 74 Obligations of manufacturers

[…] For the purposes of market surveillance the EU declaration of conformity and, when applicable, the written attestation of conformity must accompany the information given with each single product, or each batch of identical products delivered for the same end user. These documents, as well as the translations according to the language requirements in national legislations transposing the Directive, need to be provided on paper, in a similar way as for safety information that also must accompany the product according to the ATEX Directive. While safety information needs to be provided in paper copy, the other non-safety instructions can be provided on electronic or other data storage format. However, a paper version should always be available upon request and free of charge for the market surveillance authorities and the end-users […]”.

Ho evitato volutamente di tradurre il testo per evitare di aumentare l’entropia dell’informazione. Lo leggiamo in inglese, meglio. Per chi voglia approfondire il dettaglio delle decisioni prese sono comunque a disposizione nei commenti al presente post.

Alla prossima!