Before the end of 2024, all mobile phones, tablets and cameras sold in the 27 member countries of the European Union (EU) must incorporate a USB type C charging porta measure that will be extended to laptops starting in the spring of 2026.
This was decided this Tuesday by the European Parliament, which approved the new legislation with 602 votes in favor, 13 against and 8 abstentions.
“The single charger will finally be a reality in Europe. We have waited more than ten years for this law, but the plethora of current chargers will soon be a thing of the past”, said Maltese MEP Alex Agius Saliba.
The legislator added that “the regulations allow the development of innovative charging solutions and will benefit everyone, from consumers, who are fed up with changing chargers, to the environment.”
This initiative is part of a broader EU strategy aimed at reducing electronic waste and inform consumers so they can make more sustainable choices.
No longer will a different charger be required for each new device. Thanks to the approved legislation, consumers will be able to use a single charger for a variety of newly acquired small and medium format portable electronic devices, which must have an integrated USB type C port.
Regardless of the manufacturerthe obligation will apply to all mobile phones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones, e-books, keyboards and mice, as well as video game consoles, speakers, navigation systems and laptops.
All devices that support fast charging will have the same charging speed, allowing users to charge them at the same speed with any compatible charger.
As reported, this measure will also eradicate the ‘technology lock’, by which a consumer becomes captive of a specific manufacturer when purchasing one of their devices.
Currently, the absolute majority of smartphones and tablets use three charging ports: micro-USB, which most phones have, the USB-C port, a newer connection, and Apple’s Lightning system.
This measure will make the technological giant Apple have to abandon the specific port for charging its iPhone models, called Lightning.
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In the EU Devices must have explanatory labels on their charging characteristics, to allow consumers to easily check if the chargers they already have are compatible and decide whether, when purchasing a new product, they want a charger or not.
Thanks to the increased reuse of chargers driven by the new regulations, consumers will save up to 250 million euros per year in unnecessary purchases of these devices, reported the EU.
Chargers that end up in the rubbish bin or drawer are worth about 11,000 tons of electronic waste per year in the EU.
Member States will have twelve months to reflect the new rules in their legislation and a further twelve months to start applying them. Products marketed before the application date will not be subject to the new rules. (YO)