How is DSEAR affected by Brexit?

The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulation (DSEAR) is a UK Statutory Instrument (2002 No. 2776) and therefore embedded in UK law. DSEAR 2002 was made under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The regulations apply to workplaces in Great Britain. The Regulations implement the safety aspects of two European Directives

  • Chemical Agents Directive 98/24/EC (CAD)
  • Explosive Atmospheres Directive 99/92/EC (ATEX)

There is currently no UK equivalent to these EU Directives.

Owners and operators must use the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (DSEAR) 2002 to determine whether potentially explosive atmospheres are likely to occur in the workplace.

If it is found that there is a risk of a potentially explosive atmosphere forming in a workplace, only equipment that conforms to the UK ATEX Regulations can be used in that environment.

A copy of the current DSEAR regulations can be obtained here

Introducing ATEX

The ATEX directives consist of two EU directives specifying the minimum safety requirements of the workplace (99/92/EC) and the equipment to be used in explosive atmospheres (2014/34/EU).

With the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union, from January 1st, 2021 any products or systems placed on the market in the UK that would have previously been declared to conform with the EU ATEX Directive will now need to meet the UK Ex Regulations.

The official title of the UK Ex Regulations is 2002 No.2776 The Equipment and Protective Systems Intended for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2016.

How does the UK Ex Regulations differ from the EU ATEX Directive?

Initially, the technical requirements of the UK Ex Regulations will be identical to those of the EU ATEX Directive (2014/34/EU). Over time this may change.

The methods for demonstrating conformity for the UK Regulations and EU Directive are similar.

The UK Ex Regulations apply to any product that is placed on the market or brought into service in the UK and is intended for use in a potentially explosive atmosphere.

How manufacturers comply with the UK Ex Regulations

All equipment, protective system or component must comply with a list of Essential Health and Safety Requirements (EHSRs) as specified in UK Ex Regulations. The Regulations cover both electrical and non-electrical (mechanical) products that generate their own ignition source. To comply with the Regulations, the manufacturer shall do the following:

  • Demonstrate compliance with the EHSRs by designing equipment to comply with the applicable British designated standards or other suitable standards.
  • Produce a technical file which verifies compliance with the EHSRs and relevant standards.
  • Complete the relevant compliance procedure for the required Ex Category / Zone of use. In some cases, this may require employing an Ex UK Approved Body to provide a UK-Type Ex compliance Certificate.
  • Mark the product with the UKCA Mark and relevant explosion protection symbol, protection concept and associated scope of use marking.
  • Create and supply a UK Declaration of Conformity for each product placed on the market.

UKCA Marking

The UKCA mark replaces the CE mark and becomes the conformity assessment marking for Great Britain. The UK Ex Regulations form part of this conformity assessment.

From 1 January 2021 – 31 December 2021

Any new products launched onto the GB market and new notified body assessments must apply the UKCA mark. The UKCA can be used by self-certification or using a UK notified body. Existing stock of manufactured CE marked equipment can continue to be used until 31 December 2021.

From 1 January 2022

All products requiring conformity assessment must carry the UKCA mark for use in Great Britain.