What is the IECEx Scheme?
The IECEx Scheme is an international network of National Certification Bodies from around the world. It provides a mechanism for the mutual acceptance of test reports and certificates among participating members for equipment intended for use in explosive atmospheres (Ex equipment). More than 57 certification bodies in countries throughout Europe, the Americas, Asia and Australia participate in the Scheme. The Scheme is intended to facilitate trade of Ex equipment by offering manufacturers a simplified means for obtaining multiple national safety certifications for their products.
How Does the IECEx Scheme Work?
Each participating country has one or more national certification organizations recognized by the IECEx Scheme as an Ex Certification Body (ExCB). A manufacturer located anywhere in the world may apply to any of the participating ExCBs – such as QPS – to carry out the required testing/assessment and obtain the following documents, as applicable:
- An Ex Test Report (ExTR) based on successful completion of product testing.
- A Quality Assurance Report (QAR) based on successful assessment of the manufacturer’s quality system.
- An IECEx Certificate of Conformity (IECEx/CoC) based on a combination of ExTR and QAR.
The manufacturer can use the above reports/certificate to obtain national certification in all the member countries participating in the IECEx Scheme, without additional investigations.
What Standards are used in the IECEx Scheme?
The Scheme applies to equipment used in explosive atmospheres and is based on the use of the International IEC standards. However, the Scheme permits each country to have some National Differences to address local safety concerns. Participating ExCBs are required to test/evaluate the product to the applicable IEC standard.
How are National Differences Handled?
Typically, compliance with National Differences is evaluated by the ExCB issuing the Ex Test Report/Certificate (Issuing ExCB), provided it has the capability and technical knowledge to perform the additional testing/evaluation required. If not, then this work will be carried out by the ExCB to whom the Test Report is presented for acceptance (Accepting ExCB). Naturally, having all national differences evaluated by the Issuing ExCB helps reduce costs, completion time, and project complexity.
How can QPS help?
QPS is accredited in the IECEx Scheme as a Certification Body (ExCB) and as a Testing Laboratory (ExTL). The scope of our accreditation currently covers the following standards:
- IEC 60079-0 Part 0: General requirements
- IEC 60079-1 Part 1: Flameproof enclosures ‘d’
- IEC 60079-2 Part 2: Pressurized enclosures ‘p’
- IEC 60079-5 Part 5: Powder filling ‘q’
- IEC 60079-6 Part 6: Oil-immersion ‘o’
- IEC 60079-7 Part 7: Increased safety ‘e’
- IEC 60079-11 Part 11: Intrinsic safety ‘i’
- IEC 60079-13 Part 13: Equipment protection by pressurized room ‘p’ and artificially ventilated room ‘v’
- IEC 60079-15 Part 15: Construction, test and marking of type of protection ‘n’ electrical apparatus
- IEC 60079-18 Part 18: Construction, test and marking of type of protection encapsulation ‘m’ electrical apparatus
- IEC 60079-25
- IEC 60079-26
- IEC 60079-27
- IEC 60079-28
- IEC 60079-29-1
- IEC 60079-30-1
- IEC 60079-31
- IEC 60079-35-1
- IEC 60079-40
- IEC 61241-0 Part 0: General requirements
- IEC 61241-1 Part 1: Protection by enclosures ‘tD’
- IEC 61241-1-1 Part 1-1: Electrical apparatus protected by enclosures and surface temperature limitation – Specification for apparatus
- IEC 62013-1 Caplights for use in mines susceptible to firedamp – Part 1: General requirements – Construction and testing in relation to the risk of explosion
- IEC 62013-2 Caplights for use in mines susceptible to firedamp – Part 2: Performance and other safety-related matters
We will test your product to the applicable IEC standard (or to the national US & Canadian standard harmonized with the IEC standard) and to any National Differences required for the countries in which you intend to market your product. We will then issue an Ex Test Report (ExTR) that you can use to obtain national certification in any of the participating countries, without the need for additional testing.
If you wish to obtain an IECEx Certificate of Conformity (CoC), we will also assess your quality system in accordance with the requirements of the Scheme. We will then issue a Quality Assessment Report (QAR) and an IECEx Certificate of Compliance (CoC) which is accepted as equivalent to National Certification in some countries such as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Singapore.
Furthermore, the ExTR and the QAR can be used to obtain ATEX Type Certificate from a European Notified Body, using our ATEX Certification service.
Bottom line: One QPS product submittal can open the door to national certification in over 27 countries.