Common charger: Council and European Parliament reach provisional political agreement

(Source: Council of the EU and European Council)

Soon you will no longer need to have different chargers for frequently used devices. The Council and the European Parliament reached a provisional political agreement on the proposal for a directive establishing a common charger.

The aim of the directive is to introduce a common charging port for a whole range of electronic devices. Having a common charger will improve consumer convenience by harmonising charging interfaces and fast charging technology, and will reduce electronic waste.

The new rules

The directive will make a USB-C charging port mandatory for a whole range of electronic devices. As a result, all devices can be recharged using the same charger.

So that each consumer knows exactly what they are buying, the co-legislators have decided to include a pictogram specifying whether a new device comes with a charger, as well as a label indicating the charging performance.

Furthermore, the directive aims to leave the choice to purchase a new device with or without a charger up to the consumer. This will reduce the electronic waste associated with the production, transportation and disposal of chargers. Once the directive has entered into force, the Commission will evaluate after four years whether this unbundling of sales should be made mandatory .

For the majority of the devices, the new rules will have to be implemented 24 months after the entry into force of the directive.

Categories of equipment concerned

The new rules will apply to a wide range of electronic devices:

  • mobile phones
  • tablets and e-readers
  • digital cameras and video game consoles
  • headphones, earbuds, and portable loudspeakers
  • computer mice and wireless keyboards
  • portable navigation systems

In addition, all laptops will also be covered by the new rules 40 months after the entry into force of the directive.

Wireless charging

More and more consumers are using wireless charging, which is not yet harmonised for all devices. To enable this technology to develop on the market for more devices, the Commission will work on harmonising wireless charging for devices and on interoperability based on technological developments.

Next steps

The provisional agreement reached today is subject to approval by the Council and the European Parliament.

From the Council’s side, the provisional political agreement is subject to approval by the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper), before going through the formal steps of the adoption procedure.

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