Single charger, historic EU decision: USB-C mandatory from autumn 2024

USB-Chere is the twist on the single charger: the Parliament and the European Council have decided that this will be the only format for charging smartphones, tablets and cameras by autumn 2024. The one defined today is a “provisional agreement“on the Radio Equipment Directive, and falls under the”wider EU effort to make products in the European Union more sustainable, reduce e-waste and make life easier for consumers“.

It must not be considered as a definitive go-ahead, therefore (the agreement will be formally approved before publication in the Official Journal of the EU), but the decision taken today by the EU institutions is in any case historical. It is a milestone on a journey that began in September last year, when Europe de facto established that USB-C should have been the standard for electronic equipment. An acceleration in this direction was recorded last April, when the Committee for the Internal Market and Consumer Protection of the Strasbourg Parliament voted in favor of the amendment of the directive.

A decision was also made on the charging speedthat

has been harmonized for devices that support fast charging, allowing users to charge their devices at the same rate with any compatible charger.

Here are the electronic devices that will have to be equipped with a USB-C port for charging by autumn 2024:

  • smartphones and mobile phones
  • Tablet
  • e-reader
  • earphones
  • digital cameras
  • headphones
  • console
  • portable speakers
  • keyboards
  • mouse
  • portable navigation systems
  • laptop (within 40 months from the entry into force of the directive)

Parliament and the Council have also agreed that consumers will have it available information detailed on the charging characteristics of the new devices, “making it easier for them to understand if their existing chargers are compatibleIn addition you will have the option of purchase of new devices with or without charger. This is a very important aspect, which will affect the choices of various manufacturers – Apple and Samsung in the first place – who have been selling their smartphones without charger included for some time now.

The EU estimates the savings on the purchase of unnecessary chargers at € 250 million, while 11,000 tons of chargers are disposed of and not used every year. The USB-C standard is interpreted as a necessary step in anticipation of the definitive charging systemthat is the wireless one.

The formal approval of the agreement will take place immediately before the publication of the directive in the Official Journal of the European Union. Following:

  • entered into force 20 days after publication in the Official Journal
  • effective application 24 months later

Credits opening image: Pixabay

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