IECEx, which stands for International Electrotechnical Commission Explosive, is a voluntary system providing an internationally accepted means of proving compliance with IEC standards. As IEC standards are used in many national approval schemes, IECEx certification can be used to support national compliance. The objective of IECEx standards is fostering international confidence in the product assessment process and maintaining the required level of safety.

While ATEX is a mandatory application limited to the European Union, IECEx is an international certification recognized and accepted in several countries to help build confidence in the safety of Ex equipment. It also facilitates international trade of equipment and services for use in explosive atmospheres and reduces testing and certification costs and time to market for instrument manufacturers.

Both IECEx and ATEX align with the same standards (IEC-EN 60079), so in terms of technical content are very similar. As with ATEX, IECEx provides assurance that everything from equipment manufacturing and installation through to the operation and maintenance of the certified products comply with IEC international standards.