Insights Council of EU adopts position on draft legislation proposing a common charger for electronic devices

In September 2021 the Commission adopted a proposal to amend the Radio Equipment Directive (2014/53/EU) to harmonise the charging port and fast charging technology for electronic devices. The Commission said at the time that years of working with industry on a voluntary basis had brought down the number of mobile phone chargers from 30 to three but could not deliver a complete solution. Accordingly, it decided to legislate to establish a common charging solution for all smartphones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones, portable speakers and video game consoles.

Member States, via their ambassadors in the Council’s Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper), have now agreed on a negotiating mandate for the common charger proposal to ensure that consumers no longer need to buy a new charger for every new device purchased as all devices will be able to be charged using the same charger.

Under the proposal, the sale of chargers will be unbundled from the sale of electronic devices, so that a new charger will not necessarily be included when buying a new device. This will reduce the electronic waste associated with the production, transportation and disposal of chargers.

The Council added an annex to the proposal with a universal pictogram to be used indicating whether a charging device is offered with a device, as well as a label indicating charging specifications. The Council text also clarifies the technical specifications for a common charger.

Coreper’s agreement allows the Council presidency to start negotiations with the European Parliament once the European Parliament agrees its position. To read the Council’s press release in full, click here.