When electronic or electrical equipment or even a Mechanical equipment of any type is intended for use in a hazardous area, the equipment must be ATEX certified as required by the EU directive 2014/34/EU. This directive is more commonly known as the ATEX directive (from the word of French origin: ATmospheresEXplosives). Within Europe, ATEX certification of products for use in potentially hazardous atmospheres is compulsory. Internationally IECEX certification is given for compliance with IECEX standards
Hazardous areas exist where a potentially explosive mix of air and flammable gasses or air and dust or air, dust and gasses may occur.
While the ATEX and IECEX certification system are similar, and based on same standards, the North American approach is different; .
ATEX certification of products for use in potentially hazardous atmospheres is compulsory by legal requirements of Europe
Choice of equipment is governed by Classification of an area where the equipment is going to be installed
Hazardous areas are divided into Zones (European and IECEX method) or Classes and Divisions (North American method) according to the likelihood of a potentially explosive atmosphere being present.