15 July 2021

Will Brexit affect ATEX?

After what can only be described as an extremely trying 18 months, it is accurate to say that all aspects of the globe’s economic and political limits have been stretched. The UK government has been forced to deal with the unprecedented onslaught of the global COVID-19 pandemic in tandem with intense and persistent negotiations of formally leaving the European Union (EU) via Brexit.

But what are the implications of the UK’s hard exit from the EU on key industry legislation? Here we explore if Britain’s final separation from the EU will have an impact on the ATEX directives.  

What is ATEX?

The ATEX directives are two EU directives that set out the minimum safety requirements for workplaces and equipment used in explosive atmospheres. Since 1st July 2003, equipment used in potentially explosive atmospheres within the EU is required to comply with the ATEX directive. Any equipment in use before July 2003 can be used, provided a risk assessment shows it is safe to do so.

The name ATEX derives from the French title of the 94/9/EC directive (Appareils destinés à être utilisés en ATmosphères EXplosibles). With over three decades of experience in ATEX-compliant and fully certified mobile computers,

TouchStar is no stranger to ATEX legislation. Find out more about the ATEX directive guidelines here.

Why ATEX?

European directives, like ATEX, are put in place by the European Parliament and must be embodied into the laws of each EU member. They exist to make it fair and consistent for trade within the EU and cover all angles of trade agreement. It is necessary for the legislation covering the ATEX directives to be embedded into the UK legal system, and this is done so through the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmosphere Regulations (DSEAR).

The DSEAR The DSEAR is the UK’s implementation of the European Union’s ATEX directive. It enables the EU directives to be successfully embedded and applied to the UK legal system. DSEAR places the ownness on employers to:

  • Reduce or eliminate risks from dangerous substances in the workplace.
  • Identify and control fire, and explosion hazards, to protect employees, assets and the working environment.  

Will Brexit affect ATEX?

The DSEAR, the UK implementation of the ATEX directive ensures that everything manufactured or imported to the UK still complies with the European Directive, despite the UK leaving the EU. It has been widely reported that no difficulties are set to arise despite the UK’s hard exit from the European Union, as the ATEX regulations are already part of UK law. This includes provision for the recognition of UK ATEX Notified Bodies, meaning those recognised bodies can continue without interruption, despite Brexit.

In many ways, this remains ‘business as usual’ thanks to DSEAR. In conclusion, there are no difficulties expected to arise despite the UK leaving the EU, as the laws were agreed while the UK was still part of the EU and, thanks to DSEAR, remain firmly part of UK legislation.

Find out more

If you would like to find out more about TouchStar and its ATEX-compliant, fully certified business operations, contact us today. Our team of experts are on hand and more than happy to discuss key operational directives with you.


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