USB-type C to become the EU’s common charger from 2024

Parliament and EU countries have reached an agreement to make USB type-C the common charging standard for small electronic devices by autumn 2024. Find out what this means for you.

Having different chargers for different devices inconveniences consumers and produces tonnes of unnecessary e-waste. To help achieve its environmental objectives and lower costs, the EU wants to introduce one common charger.

That is a step closer after Parliament gave the green light to negotiations with EU countries on the European Commission’s proposal on introducing a single charger for mobile phones and other small electronic devices, such as tablets, e-book readers and smart cameras, at the beginning of May.

What will change


The devices included

The legislation covers mobile phones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones, headsets, handheld videogame consoles, portable speakers, e-readers, keyboards, mice, earbuds and portable navigation devices. Laptops will have to be adapted to the requirements 40 months after the law enters into force.

Adapting to new technologies

To keep up with newer technologies, the Commission can adapt the scope of the directive, particularly when it comes to wireless charging solutions.

No need to buy new device with charger

Under the new law, consumers have the option to buy a new device either with or without a charging device.

Monitoring new technologies

The application of the laws to new charging technologies should be regularly reviewed.

Background


The Parliament has been pushing for a common charger for portable devices for more than 10 years. Although some companies introduced voluntary initiatives that decreased the number of charger types, they were insufficient to meet the EU’s objectives on reducing e-waste. The European Commission presented a proposal on the common charger in September 2021.

Parliament and EU countries reached a provisional agreement on the legislation on 7 June 2022. After the proposal has been formally approved, which is expected to happen after the summer, EU countries will have two years to introduce the rules into national laws. It will not apply to products placed on the market before it comes into force.

Jason Davies

UK based technology professional, with an interest in computer security and telecoms.

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