As if it were The Lord of the Rings, with one ring to rule them allthe plenary session of the European Parliament has given this week green light to the agreement between institutions to impose the single USB-C charger from autumn 2024 on fifteen portable electronic devices, including phones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones and video game consoles so that it becomes the industry standard, thus ending a market saturated with charging connections such as Apple’s Lightning or micro USB, as the most widespread.
The new norm endorsed with 602 votes in favor, 13 against and 8 abstentionswill apply regardless of manufacturer to all mobile phones, tablets, digital cameras, headsets, e-books, keyboards and mice, as well as video game consoles, speakers, navigation systems and laptops.
In fact, during the negotiations, products were added to the list that were not considered by the European Commission in its initial proposal, such as eReaders, wireless mini-headsets, keyboards or navigation devices.
Also the universal charger for laptops will be mandatory, although in this case the European institutions have provided for an additional period of 18 months from the entry into force of the standard to give the sector sufficient time to adapt.
One of the objectives of the new legislation is to reduce electronic waste in the European Union and prevent consumers from having to purchase new cables and chargers with each purchase of a device, since as of the reform the user will be able to choose with each purchase whether whether or not to include a cargo item.
According to EU data, Every year between 11,000 and 13,000 tons of electronic waste are generated In the community space and with the generalization of the single charger, Europeans will be able to save some 250 million euros in unnecessary charging solutions.
However, exceptions are foreseen so that items that, because they are too small, would not be compatible with that port model, such as smart watches and activity monitors and other devices for sports practice, are exempted. The mini-earphones that were part of the exception in the Brussels proposal will finally not be exempt and must be compatible with the universal charger.
The novelties also include the obligation to clearly inform and label the charging options, as well as indicate whether the product comes with a charger, in order to avoid confusion and facilitate the choice.
In addition, the charging speed is also harmonized for devices that support fast charging, which will allow users to charge their devices at the same speed with any compatible charger. Aware of the increasingly frequent use of wireless charging in devices marketed in the EU, the European Parliament and the Twenty-seven call on the Commission to update the regulation when there are charging solutions compatible with various manufacturers.