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EU body backs common charger move
Pic: Shutterstock

22 Apr 2022 / technology Print

EU body backs common charger move

A common charging standard for small electronic devices has moved closer after the European Parliament’s internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee backed the European Commission’s proposal (20 April).

There were 43 votes in favour and two against.

A full 84% of consumers experienced problems relating to phone chargers in the previous two years, according to a 2019 study by the European Commission.

MEPs have also proposed some improvements to the Commission’s proposal, namely including more devices.

The Commission proposal covers mobile phones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones, headsets, handheld videogame consoles, and portable speakers.

MEPs want to add e-readers, low-powered laptops, keyboards, mice, earbuds, smart watches and electronic toys.

MEPs also suggest that the Commission harmonise wireless charging solutions and incorporate the most appropriate technologies or relevant standards into the legislation. 

Under the new law, new devices no longer have to be sold with a charger included, so  consumers have the option to buy a new device either with or without a charging device.

MEPs want the default option to be without a charger, in addition to an indication of whether a charger is included.


Market surveillance should also include safeguards against non-compliant products or non-compliance with information obligations.

MEPs want to give EU countries one year to implement the new law instead of two years, as proposed by the Commission. 

The EU has been pushing for a common charger for portable devices for more than ten years.

Although some companies introduced voluntary initiatives that decreased the number of charger types, they were insufficient to meet the EU’s objectives on reducing e-waste.

The European Commission presented a proposal on the common charger in September 2021. After Parliament finalises its position, negotiations with EU countries can start on the final text of the legislation.

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