Insights Council of European Union adopts Common Charger Directive

The Council has given its final approval to the Common Charger Directive, meaning that in 2024 a USB-C charging port will become mandatory for a whole range of electronic devices, such as mobile phones, tablets, and headphones. Therefore, consumers will no longer have to buy a different charger every time they purchase a new phone or device as the same charger can be used for most devices.

The Directive also introduces a pictogram that specifies whether a new device comes with a charger and a label indicating the charging performance.

The Directive also allows consumers to choose whether to purchase a new device with or without a charger. The Council says that this will not only save consumers money, but will also reduce the electronic waste associated with the production, transportation and disposal of chargers. Four years after the Directive enters into force, the Commission will assess whether this unbundling of sales should be made mandatory.

The Council notes that wireless charging has not yet been harmonised across devices. To enable this technology to become available for more devices, the Commission will work on harmonising wireless charging for electronic devices and on interoperability based on technological developments.

The new rules will apply to the following portable devices:

  • mobile phones;
  • tablets and e-readers;
  • digital cameras and video game consoles;
  • headphones, earbuds and portable loudspeakers;
  • wireless mice and keyboards; and
  • portable navigation systems.

The Directive will also cover all laptops 40 months after its entry into force.

The Directive will be published in the Official Journal in due course and will enter into force 20 days after publication. The new rules will start to apply 24 months after entry into force. To read the Council’s press release in full and for a link to the Commission’s proposal, click here.