The EU has finally Approved the Introduction of the Common Charger from 2024
The Council of the European Union has announced that it has given final approval to the new rules for the common charger.
This means that in 2024, the USB-C port will become mandatory for a whole range of electronic devices such as mobile phones, tablets and headphones. It will no longer be necessary to get a different charger every time you buy a new mobile phone or similar device - they will all be able to charge with the same charger.
The new rules
The new rules make it mandatory to use a USB-C charging port for many different electronic devices. This means that most devices will be able to charge with the same charger. To help consumers know exactly what they are buying, the directive introduces an icon indicating whether a charger comes with the new device, as well as a label indicating the charging characteristics.
The directive allows consumers to choose whether to buy a new device with or without a charger. This will not only save them money, but also reduce electronic equipment waste associated with the manufacture, transport and disposal of chargers, states the press release. The possibility of this untied sale becoming mandatory will be assessed by the European Commission four years after the entry into force of the directive.
“We all have at least three mobile phone chargers at home. Searching for a suitable charger, both at home and at work, can be quite tedious. In addition, each year these chargers lead to 11,000 tons of electronic equipment waste. Having a charger that is compatible with multiple devices will save money and time and help us reduce electronic waste,” said Jozef Sikela, Minister of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic.
Although it is becoming more popular, wireless charging is not yet harmonized for all devices. To make this technology available for more devices, the commission will work to harmonize wireless charging for electronic devices as well as interoperability based on technological developments.
Categories of affected devices
The new rules apply to a number of different portable devices, namely:
- mobile phones
- tablets and readers
- digital cameras and video game consoles
- headphones, wireless headphones and portable speakers
- wireless mice and keyboards
- portable navigation systems
All laptops will also be covered by these new rules 40 months after the directive comes into force.
How did we get here?
In 2020, consumers in the EU bought approximately 420 million electronic devices and owned an average of three chargers to charge these electronic devices, of which they regularly use two.
However, 38% reported experiencing problems charging their devices due to not having a compatible charger. To address these issues, on September 23, 2021, the European Commission presented a proposal for a common charger.
On 26 January 2022, less than six months after the start of negotiations in the Council, Member States unanimously agreed on the Council's position on the Common Charger Directive.
On 7 June 2022, the Council and the European Parliament reached a preliminary agreement on the Common Charger Directive, which was approved by the representatives of the EU Member States on 29 June 2022.
After the Council approved the position of the European Parliament today, the legislative act is considered adopted.
Once signed by the Presidents of the European Parliament and the Council, it will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and will enter into force 20 days after that publication. The new rules will start to apply 24 months after they come into force.
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