The Malta Independent 24 October 2021, Sunday

'Common European charger is finally a reality' - MEP Alex Agius Saliba

Friday, 24 September 2021, 12:21 Last update: about 30 days ago

The European Commission has presented a legislative proposal to establish a single charger for smartphones, tablets, and other devices in two years.

The proposal will require all manufacturers to harmonize the charging points on devices — using a USB-C charging point — and to make their software protocol for fast charging interoperable between brands and devices.

In its resolution from January 2020, the European Parliament called on the Commission to introduce the common charger through the radio equipment directive by July 2020.

MEP Alex Agius Saliba, a key negotiator of the Parliament resolution and a standing rapporteur on the Radio Equipment Directive, commented shortly after the Commission's announcement that the proposal is long overdue but a step in the right direction. 

"I welcome the Commission's proposal. For more than a decade, the European Parliament has been calling on binding requirements for European Universal Charger. Until now, the transition to a common charger was left to the goodwill and self-regulation of private companies and US tech giants. Needless to say, this is no longer acceptable," said the MEP.

MEP Alex Agius Saliba explained that having legal requirements for a common charger is an important step against e-waste and consumer inconvenience, caused by the prevalence of different, incompatible chargers for electronic devices. He said that this will further help re-use old electronics, save money, and reduce unnecessary costs to the consumer and the environment.

"The new proposal should be complemented with rules on harmonising the external power supply with the review of the eco-design rules to be published later this year. We should also consider all kinds of electronic devices and wireless charging systems in the scope of the new rules, as many smartphones now use such systems. The EU legislation should be developed with future technological developments in mind; otherwise, we might risk being obsolete in a few years." 

The proposal will now need to be adopted by the European Parliament and the Council by ordinary legislative procedure. A transition period of 24 months from the date of adoption will give the industry ample time to adapt before the entry into application.

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