Solution for consumers and the environment: a common charger in the EU for all electronic devices

Solution for consumers and the environment: a common charger in the EU for all electronic devices

It has been a decade since European policymakers asked for a single common charger for all electronic devices. After years of long discussions at European level, now it seems that the current parliamentary term (2019 – 2024) will be the one to achieve this goal!


A sustainable and environmentally friendly solution

The call for a common charger for electronic devices has its roots in the need of more environmentally friendly solutions regarding electronic waste. In fact, according to several data, e-waste is one of the most dangerous for the environment and electronic waste is one of the fastest growing kinds of waste in the EU.

For this reason, the European Commission (EC) proposed a revision of the Radio Equipment Directive 2014/53/EU in order to introduce a common charger for electronic devices and reduce waste. You can find information regarding the EC’s proposal in our previous article The advantages of a common charger for the EU market.


The proposal

The Council and the European Parliament analysed the EC’s proposal, with the Council adopting its negotiating position on January 26, 2022. Then, on April 22, 2022, the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection adopted its position.

Specifically, European policymakers established that consumers no longer would need a new charger and cable when purchasing a new device and could decide to use only one charger for all devices.

In particular, the new legislation should apply to mobile phones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, handheld videogame consoles and portable speakers, rechargeable via a wired cable. All these devices, in fact, will have to be equipped with a USB Type-C port.


Labelling and Charging

Members of the European Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (MEPs) agreed that the new legislation shall require clearer information and labelling on charging options for new devices. EU policymakers want IT companies to make clear to consumers whether a product they are selling includes a charger or not. This is because some customers might want to use only one charger for all their devices at home.


What is next?

The Parliament’s negotiating position is going to be adopted at the next Plenary session. Once adopted, MEPs will start talks with other EU Institutions in order to reach the final deal on the new legislation.

Only few steps missing for an EU common charger!


Alberto Venditti        
Regulatory Affairs Department          
17/05/2022


References:

European Parliament (2020). E-waste in the EU: facts and figures (infographic). Retrieved on 17/05/2022 from          ttps://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/headlines/society/20201208STO93325/e-waste-in-the-eu-facts-and-figures-infographic

Obelis Group (2021). The advantages for a common charger for the EU market. Retrieved on 17/05/2022 from https://www.obelis.net/news/the-advantages-of-a-common-charger-for-the-eu-market/.

European Parliament (2022). Common charger: MEPs agree on proposal to reduce electronic waste. Retrieved on 17/05/2022 from https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20220412IPR27115/common-charger-meps-agree-on-proposal-to-reduce-electronic-waste