The European Parliament ruled in favor of the proposal of the European Commission (EC) for there to be a single universal charger in the European Union (EU), USB-C type, for mobile phones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones and game consoles.
“The objective of the legislative project is to prevent consumers from needing a new charger and cables every time they buy an electronic device. In this way, they will be able to use a single charger for all their small and medium-sized devices,” Parliament said in a statement.
The Commission, Parliament and Council of the EU will now be able to start the final negotiation on the regulations that would leave out laptops and also small devices such as smart watches or devices that measure physical activity.
In addition to making life easier for users, the initiative also seeks to reduce the 11,000 tons of electronic waste generated by obsolete chargers.
MEPs also want new devices to include clear information and labeling about charging options, as well as whether the product comes with a charger.
“In this way, confusion would be avoided and the purchase would be made easier for consumers, who often have several different devices and do not always need another charger,” the European Parliament said in a statement.
In addition, the MEPs also want the Commission to present a strategy by the end of 2026 on wireless charging systems, so that any device is compatible with any manufacturer and thus avoid “a new fragmentation of the market”.
Brussels has been promoting this measure since 2009 and a voluntary agreement with the main mobile device manufacturers allowed that year to reduce the existing chargers on the market from 30 to three, USB 2.0 Micro B, USB-C and Lightning, exclusive to Manzana.
That pact, however, expired in 2014 and since then the goal of having a single universal charger has not been achieved, so the Commission launched a new legislative proposal in September 2021.