EU, Parliament approves law on universal charger

The new law is part of a wider effort to reduce e-waste and enable consumers to make more sustainable choices. The legislative text was approved with 602 votes in favor, 13 against and 8 abstentions.

“Future proof law” –

As stated by the law’s rapporteur, Alex Agius Saliba (S&D), “the common charger will finally become a reality in Europe. We have waited more than ten years for these rules, but we can finally leave the current plethora of chargers in the past. This law future-proof enables the development of innovative charging solutions and will benefit everyone from frustrated consumers to our vulnerable environment. These are difficult times for politics, but we have shown that the EU is not short of ideas or solutions to to improve the lives of millions of people and to inspire other parts of the world to follow suit. “

Fast charging devices will all have the same speed –

With the new rules, regardless of manufacturer, all new mobile phones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones and earphones, portable video game consoles and portable speakers, e-readers, keyboards, mice, portable navigation systems, headsets and rechargeable laptops via cable, with a maximum power of 100 Watts, must be equipped with a USB-C port. All devices that support fast charging will need to have the same charging speed, allowing users to charge their devices at the same speed and with any compatible charger.

Objective to eliminate the technological “lock-in” effect –

Under the law, with the growing popularity of wireless charging, the European Commission will also have to harmonize interoperability requirements by the end of 2024, to avoid a negative impact on consumers and the environment. In this way, the so-called technological “lock-in” effect should also be eliminated, to prevent the consumer from becoming dependent on a single producer.

New labels –

Change also for the dedicated labels, which will have to inform consumers about the charging characteristics of the new devices, facilitating the verification of the compatibility of existing chargers. Buyers will also be able to make an informed choice whether or not to purchase a new charging device with a new product.

Savings estimated at 250 million euros per year –

According to EU estimates, these new obligations will lead to greater reuse of chargers and help consumers save up to € 250 million per year on the purchase of unnecessary chargers. Disposed and unused chargers represent around 11,000 tonnes of electronic waste per year in the EU.

The process of the directive –

The EU Council will now have to approve the directive before its publication in the EU Official Journal. The rule will take effect 20 days after publication. Member States will have 12 months to transpose the rules and a further 12 months, after the end of the transposition period, to apply them. The new rules will not apply to products placed on the market before the date of application.

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About Eric Wilson

The variety offered by video games never ceases to amaze him. He loves OutRun's drifting as well as the contemplative walks of Dear Esther. Immersing himself in other worlds is an incomparable feeling for him: he understood it by playing for the first time in Shenmue.

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