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Universal chargers for phones and electronic devices; legislation is under consideration by EU

DUBLIN: The introduction of universal chargers for phones and electronic devices in throughout the European Union is being considered. Universal chargers are expected to be launched as early as 2021. There are currently no laws in place to encourage manufacturers to provide a common charger for all devices sold.

Earlier this year, the European Parliament passed a resolution calling on the European Commission to adopt a standard for common charger. Legislation in this regard was to take place in July 2020. Legislation in this regard was supposed to take place in July 2020, but it did not happen due to COVID-19. However, Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune said he expects legislation to be enacted in the first quarter of 2021.

Ms. Clune has revealed that the EU is actively considering legislation to introduce common chargers for mobile phones and other devices to make it more convenient for consumers and to help reduce electronic waste.

In 2009, at the request of the Commission, the major manufacturers voluntarily signed a memorandum of understanding guaranteeing the similarity between chargers and mobile phones in the EU market. This memorandum of understanding expired in 2014 and has not been signed since.

Ms. Clune said: “This is an issue when it comes to waste but also convenience for consumers. This matter has been on the radar at the European Parliament for some time now and they have strongly supported the harmonisation of mobile phone and device chargers.

A European Commission study has confirmed that the use and inactivity of chargers can cause significant carbon emissions. The commission reports that phone chargers cause 13,000 tonnes of e-waste per year.

Common chargers; more convenient for customers

The need to use separate chargers for different electronics devices has always been a problem for customers. With the advent of the universal charger system, users will be more comfortable. Apple phones, headphones, and tablets have special connections. There are other phones like Samsung that use different USB C connections. Using different chargers for different devices is an inconvenience that persists for a long time.

There are also older model devices that still charge from USB A chargers. At the same time, different models of laptops have completely different chargers. It potentially costs consumers hundreds of euro to have all types of connections on hand to power their tablets, smartphones, headphones, and other gadgets.

The market share of mobile phone chargers with USB Type-C connectors increased from 2% to 29% between 2016 and 2018. According to the commission, the market share of USB micro B phones has dropped from 77% to 50%.

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