One charger to rule them all - EU passes law on common charger
Following Parliament’s approval, EU consumers will soon be able to use a single charging solution for their electronic devices. How soon? By the end of 2024, all mobile phones, tablets and cameras sold in the EU will run on USB Type-C.
From spring 2026, the obligation will expand to include laptops. The new law is part of a broader EU effort to reduce e-waste and to empower consumers to make more sustainable choices.
In a press release, the Parliament explains that regardless of their manufacturer, all new mobile phones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, handheld videogame consoles and portable speakers, e-readers, keyboards, mice, portable navigation systems, earbuds and laptops that are rechargeable via a wired cable, operating with a power delivery of up to 100 Watts, will have to be equipped with a USB Type-C port.
As wireless charging becomes more prevalent, the European Commission will have to harmonise interoperability requirements by the end of 2024, to avoid having a negative impact on consumers and the environment. This will also get rid of the so-called technological “lock-in” effect, whereby a consumer becomes dependent on a single manufacturer.
These new obligations are aimed at reducing e-waste but also to encourage more re-use of chargers – something that the EU means will help consumers save up to EUR 250 million a year on unnecessary charger purchases. Disposed of and unused chargers account for about 11,000 tonnes of e-waste annually in the EU, the press release continues.