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Hazardous Area and ATEX directives


There are two Directives of the European Parliament and Council, related to hazardous areas, where an explosive atmosphere may be present:

  • Directive 94/9/EC (ATEX 95) of the European Parliament and the Council of 23 March 1994 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States concerning equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres.
  • Directive 1999/92/EC (ATEX 137) of the European Parliament and the Council of 16 December 1999 on minimum requirements for improving the safety and health protection of workers potentially at risk from explosive atmospheres.


These two Directives are commonly called the АТЕХ Directives. АТЕХ is abbreviation from the French “АТmosphères ЕХplosives“. 


The Bulgarian Government published three ordinances which implement the АТЕХ Directives in Bulgaria even before joining EU:

  • Ordinance № Iз-1971 of 29.10.2009 for civil-technical rules and norms for fire safety
  • Ordinance, based on Directive 94/9/EC (ATEX 95) is Ordinance of the substantial requirements and assessment of conformity concerning equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres. EmExRatified on 21st September 2001
  • Ordinance, based on Directive 1999/92/EC (ATEX 137) is Ordinance No 11 of 27 December 2004 on minimum requirements for improving the safety and health protection of workers potentially at risk from explosive atmospheres. Ratified on 18th January 2005



Every one of these directives and ordinances is followed by a number of European standards providing guidance for the implementation of same.

  • БДС EN 60079-10-1: 2009 Explosive atmospheres. Part 10-1: Classification of areas.         Explosive gas atmospheres
  • БДС EN 60079-10-2: 2009 Explosive atmospheres. Part 10-2: Classification of areas.         Combustible dust atmospheres
  • БДС EN 61241-10:2006 Електрическа апаратура за използване при наличие на горим прах. Част 10: Класификация на зони при наличие на горими прахове или където могат да възникнат