IECEx International Certification System

IECEx certification is an internationally recognized certification that facilitates international trade in equipment and services for safe use in explosive atmospheres. IEC stands for the International Electrotechnical Commission and Ex means for explosive atmospheres.  IECEx creates a single, international database of Ex products, which helps reduce manufacturers’ testing and certification costs.

In order to provide an IECEx certification, recognized IECEx certifying bodies (also known as ExCBs) undertake two main steps: Technical Evaluation and Quality Assessment.

Samples of the ex-product are tested and evaluated to prove that it complies with all the requirements of relevant Standards. This Step is summarized in an ExTR (known as a Test Report).   In addition, all locations where the product will be manufactured are audited to prove that they are capable of manufacturing products identical in design and performance to the tested sample. This Quality Assessment is summarized in a Quality Assessment Report (known as a QAR). Only if these evaluations are successful may a product be IECEx certified.

Once an IECEx Certificate of Conformity is issued by the ExCB, the product is assigned a unique IECEx Certificate number to be placed on the product nameplate. This IECEx certificate number has 4 main parts:

IECEx ETL 20. 0001

  • IECEx Symbol
  • The accredited ExCB issuing the certificate (e.g., UL, CSA, QPS, Intertek)
  • The 2-digit number of the year that the certificate is issued
  • A unique, four-digit identification number

By having a quick look at this certificate number, we can learn that it was issued by Intertek (ETL) in 2020.

The certificate number may also have a suffix – an X or a U that appears at the end of the number.  If the certificate number ends in an ‘X’, it means there are conditions for installation and use related to the product that are included in the certificate. A suffix ‘U’ indicates that the product is a component that can be incorporated into equipment and may need an additional evaluation once installed.

The status of a product claiming IECEx certification may always be verified by checking the master list of certificate numbers on the IECEx website as follows:

  • Log onto the IECEx website
  • Go to the “Certificates and Licenses” menu
  • Select “View Certificates and Licenses”
  • In the right corner you can type the IECEx certificate number and see more details provided for that certificate

You may also find other useful information on the IECEx website such as a list of approved IECEx Certification Bodies, a list of publications, and many other useful details.

We hope you enjoyed this presentation. If you still have questions about IECEx certification, please contact the Hazcon team.

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