On 1st January 2020 the UK and EU legal systems separated, the UK went in to a transition period and for that year it was business as normal as all EU directives were still valid in the UK i.e. the 2014/34/EU Atex directives was still being implemented up until the end of 2020.
The hazardous area changes are not backdated so all equipment either installed or within the supply chain can still be used.
The manufacturer has an obligation
To draw up a declaration of conformity, or a written attestation of conformity (for components of products), ensure that declaration or attestation accompanies the product, where applicable affix the UKCA marking and the specific marking of explosion protection followed by the symbol of the equipment group and category to the product.
Using Atex labelled equipment, by inference temporarily accepts the EU Type certificate but what is not clear is whether the EU DoC, as EU legal document is valid. or must an UK DoC be issued to include relevant to Atex labeling.
Either way in practice it will me little difference to the user as, by either option, they will have fulfilled their duty of care.
Update: The exception to allow CE (Atex) marking in place of UKCA (UKEX) has been extended until the end of 2022.
Update 2: In June 2022 the UK government proposed another measure to potentially postpone the full 'acceptance only' of UKCA certification, possibly up to 5 years for manufacturers outside the UK.
Although, only a proposal, it involves allowing the manufacturer to assess an imported Atex product and add an UKCA 'sticker' then write a UK Declaration of Conformity.
Subject to parliamentary approval, this easement of the regulations, may not be the panacea for those who have not addressed UKEX as the following conditions are being considered:
It is of course possible these measures will not pass through parliament. For further information please refer to the relevant government guidelines.
Update 3: In November 2022 it was decided not to implement the above, so manufactures cannot do their own assesment. However, the UK acceptance of CE marking and consequently Atex Type Certificates has been extended another 2 years until the end of 2024.
Update 4: August 2023 - the shambles continues. As the government has announced it will indefinately accept CE marking which includes Atex certification. Why would any manufacturer bother to get UKCA certification. Rightly or wrongly this will effectively kill the UKCA mark, why would you bother? A lot of time and money wasted by UK industry on the instruction of the government.
Via The Product Safety and Metrology etc. (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 section 25 amendments to Equipment and Protective Systems Intended for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2016 ↩
All the former UK Notified bodies have arrangements via group companies within the EU to issue Atex certification. ↩