The Commission advances on the universal charger for smartphones and small portable electro

Sylvie Claire / September 23, 2021

The European Commission unveiled Thursday its legislative proposal to impose a universal charger for smartphones and other small portable multimedia electronics (tablets, cameras, headphones, speakers and video game consoles) on the technology sector. The USB Type-C port would become the standard port, and it would be mandatory to offer the device and charger separately if the consumer wants it, to prevent them from accumulating unnecessary chargers.
 
Apple, which currently uses its own Lightning technology, will also have to comply. Its devices should thus, in a few years, include another charging port (possibly in addition to the current one). There has been talk of a universal charger for over 10 years. In the meantime, voluntary commitments by the industry have limited the number of different types of chargers to three (for cell phones). To further harmonize and limit e-waste, the Commission is now proposing to define a single charging port, USB-C, and a single charging protocol (USB Power Delivery) for fast charging.
 
The proposal also includes obligations in terms of consumer information. The Parliament and the Council (Member States) will now have to study the proposal and take a position. If the future obligations could inflate somewhat the price of some products, they should at the same time avoid unnecessary costs of purchasing additional chargers, and reduce the mountain of electronic waste.
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