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Equipment for Explosive Environments (SIEEE)

Background information and current status:

Explosions in offshore facilities, on vessels or in mines, refineries, chemical plants or mills entail high risks for individuals and the natural environment. Equipment used in explosive environments must therefore have a high level of safety.

The initiative to develop common regulations in this specific sector was based on the international model of Recommendation L. It was launched in 2006 with a view to developing Common Regulatory Objectives (CROs) covering the definition of area classification, verification of the equipment and its production, installation, inspection, maintenance, repair and the related conformity-assessment procedures for products, services and competency of personnel. The general goal of this sectoral initiative is to promote and enhance safety, while eliminating barriers against the free trade and use of equipment for explosive environments.

The Working Party finally approved the CROs in 2010. A questionnaire was distributed to participating member States to share information about the national norms regulating this industrial sector.

Meeting in Split, Croatia, on 7 and 8 September 2011, policymakers from Australia, Brazil, the European Union (EU), the Russian Federation and the United States declared that “global harmonisation promoted and adopted at UNECE is beneficial”, in particular because it “allows for reduced government liability without increasing risk to workers, and consequently enables authorities to allocate more resources to field work” and it is “fully consistent with international obligations under the WTO agreement”.

The latest development relating to this sectoral initiative will be the 2012 gathering of business and governmental representatives with a stake in the International Electrotechnical Commission System for Certification to Standards Relating to Equipment for Use in Explosive Atmosphere (IECEx). This international conference takes place in Dubai and is organized jointly by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA) and UNECE.

The UNECE could not have drawn up CROs in this sector without the partnership with IECEx and the support from the Government of Germany and the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB).


© United Nations Economic Commissions for Europe – 2013