Certification requirements for Australia

Australia uses the AS/NZS 60079 series for Ex Equipment, most of which are identical adoptions of the IEC 60079 series.

Ex Equipment needs to satisfy 4.4 of AS/NZS 60079.14:2017. The same requirements apply to associated equipment, such as zener barriers or galvanic isolators for intrinsic safety. The only exception is for simple apparatus in an intrinsically safe circuit—meaning simple switches or resistive elements supplied by a certified intrinsically safe isolator or barrier.

The requirements are summarised in this post.

Directly acceptable certification

Equipment with ANZEx or IECEx certification can be directly accepted in hazardous areas in Australia in most cases.

Underground coal mines subject to firedamp (Group I) have additional regulations which usually require a certificate from an Australian certification body or specific approval from the regulator.

Certification to other standards

Equipment with other certification may also be used when it is not practical to use equipment with acceptable certification. This includes certificates issued under the ATEX directive for Europe or by a NRTL for the USA.

Additional assessment is required for this equipment, and it needs to be accepted by each end user on a case-by-case basis. The process for this is most commonly a Conformity Assessment Document or CAD.

A Conformity Assessment Document (CAD) does not replace acceptable certification, but can be used by the end user as justification to accept equipment which does not have IECEx certification.

As a result, each CAD needs to specify the end user and application. A CAD cannot be used in place of acceptable certification for blanket sale into the Australian market.

Requirements for a Conformity Assessment Document (CAD)

A compliant CAD needs to prove that the equipment and its certification offer an equivalent level of safety to equipment certified under IECEx. To achieve this, two main elements are required:

  1. The equipment needs to have a certificate which is:
    1. issued by a certification body who are accredited to certify Ex Equipment;
    2. based on testing by an accredited test laboratory, and;
    3. testing is to standards which offer an equivalent level of safety to the AS/NZS 60079 series.
  2. And either:
    1. the manufacturer needs to be operating a quality system which is equivalent to ISO 80079-34 and audited by an accredited certification body, or;
    2. the equipment needs to be individually assessed by a certification body, with specific serial numbers identified.

2.1 above can satisfied by a certificate or notification to Annex IV or VII of the ATEX Directive, or by a NRTL factory surveillance scheme. 2.2 can be satisfied by product verification to Annex V or unit verification to Annex IX of the ATEX Directive, or by a NRTL field certification.

ATEX Category 3 electrical equipment

Most electrical equipment which satisfies the ATEX directive for Categories 1 or 2 (Zones 0, 1, 20, and 21) will be able to have a CAD successfully prepared.

Electrical equipment for Category 3 (Zones 2 and 22) however, can be used in Europe with only a manufacturer's first-party declaration.

If the manufacturer does not have suitable third party certification and a quality system to satisfy the requirements above, then a CAD will not be fully compliant and might not be accepted by an end user.