The European Parliament and the Council of Europe have announced the introduction of a universal charger for mobile devices is to be taken to use. The preliminary agreement on the reform of the Radio Equipment Directive means that certain electronic devices will in future be charged with the same charger. By autumn 2024, USB Type-C will become the common charging port for all mobile phones, tablets and cameras in the EU, Parliament and Council negotiators agree: “Today we have made the common charger a reality in Europe!”
The reform is part of the EU’s efforts to improve the recycling of products, especially electronics, and to make life easier for consumers through a standard solution. The new rules are intended to ensure that consumers no longer have to buy a new charger and cord every time they buy a new device, and that all small and medium-sized devices can be charged with the same USB-C charger.
The new EU standard for charging will be USB-C connection in the EU. The speed of fast charging will also be harmonized in the near future, promises the European Parliament. Although the charge interface proposal is already certain, it will have to be formally approved by the European Parliament and the Council after the summer recess. The directive will then be published in the Official Journal of the EU, after which, after a two-year transition period, all new devices will have to use a USB-C connection.
This means that in Europe, by 2024, a USB-C connection will be required as a charging connector for portable electronics. All Mobile Phones, Tablets and Cameras sold from Fall 2024 must be able to be charged with USB-C chargers. Mobile phones, tablets, e-readers, in-ear headphones, digital cameras, headphones, handheld video game consoles and portable speakers that can be charged with a wired cable must be equipped with a USB-C port, regardless of the manufacturer, ”the release said.
Laptops must also comply with the new rules more than three years after the rules come into force. At the same time, the speed of fast charging would be harmonized for devices that support it, so that charging is equally fast on all compatible devices.
The new regulation does not apply to devices that cannot include a USB-C port due to the size of the device. These include, for example, smart watches and activity bracelets.
Or unless wireless charging then makes the whole connection unnecessary. The EU’s press release specifically says the rules apply to devices “that are rechargeable via a wired cable,” meaning a device that only charges wirelessly would not need to be fitted with a USB-C port. Wireless charging is also expected to become more common. The European Commission can therefore regulate the compatibility of wireless charging solutions with the so-called delegated regulations.
Pushing for common charger has been a long process. The European Commission announced the current plans for the legislation last September, but the bloc’s efforts to force manufacturers to use a common charging standard go back over a decade. Parliament and its Committee on the Internal Market have been pushing for a decision on universal chargers for portable electronics for ten years (first tried with microUSB). The whole time Apple has considered the EU’s move to a universal charger unnecessary. These new obligations will lead to more re-use of chargers and will help consumers save up to 250 million euro a year on unnecessary charger purchases. Disposed of and unused chargers are estimated to represent about 11,000 tonnes of e-waste annually.