The product directive 94/9/EC, known as the ATEX 95 Directive, concentrates on the manufacturer’s duties, giving the safety requirements to be fulfilled by all equipment, both electrical and non-electrical, installed in hazardous areas within the European Union. It describes the Essential Healthy and Safety Requirements (EHSRs) of the products regarding their design, manufacturing process, testing, documentation and maintainability.

The requirements are divided into three categories: Technical requirements from harmonised European standards; health and safety aspects; and production quality requirements.

Voluntary since 1994, the requirements of the Directive will be mandatory from 1 July 2003. The Directive covers any electrical or mechanical product that contains or constitutes a potential ignition source and which requires a special design or installation procedure to prevent an explosion. Regulated equipment includes control and communication devices, monitoring and detection equipment. It also includes safety or control devices installed outside hazardous areas that have an explosion protection function, such as pressure-relief panels and fast-acting shutoff valves.