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The European Parliament approves the introduction of the universal charger by the end of 2024

An overwhelming majority in the European Parliament on Tuesday approved the introduction of a universal charger for smartphones and other small electronic devices. By the end of 2024, these devices will have to be equipped with a USB-C port, so that consumers have the option of buying a new device with or without a charger.

The vote – 602 votes for, 13 against and 8 abstentions – validates the agreement reached before the summer by the negotiators of the Parliament and the Council (Member States), on a proposal from the Commission. It will still have to be formally approved by the Council. For most devices, the new rules will take effect within 24 months.

These new obligations will allow consumers to reuse chargers more and thus save up to 250 million euros per year by avoiding the purchase of unnecessary chargers. Discarded or no longer used chargers represent around 11,000 tonnes of electronic waste per year in the EU, according to Parliament’s services.

The obligation of a single charging port has been a long fight in Parliament. The diversity of charger types had already been reduced in recent years thanks to voluntary commitments from the technology sector, but the single model did not happen, in particular due to pressure from Apple, which continued to defend its Lightning technology.

By the end of 2024, all mobile phones, tablets and cameras sold in the EU will therefore have to be equipped with a USB Type-C charging port. From spring 2026, this obligation will also apply to laptops.

“After almost ten years of fighting, binding legislation will therefore see the light of day. Whether they like it or not, the big producers will have to submit to the law”, rejoiced MEP Marc Tarabella (PS, S&D). Like Hilde Vautmans (Open Vld, RE) or Tom Vandekendelaere (CD&V, PPE), he emphasizes the interest in consumer comfort, his wallet and the environment.

“The agreement also asks the European Organization for Standardization to develop harmonized standards for wireless technologies within 24 months, while this technology is booming,” observes Saskia Bricmont (Ecolo, Vert/ALE ).

The European Commission is also invited to regularly check whether the list of devices to be equipped with the USB-C charging port should be extended.

The vote – 602 votes for, 13 against and 8 abstentions – validates the agreement reached before the summer by the negotiators of the Parliament and the Council (Member States), on a proposal from the Commission. It will still have to be formally approved by the Council. For most devices, the new rules will come into force within 24 months.These new obligations will allow consumers to reuse chargers more and thus save up to 250 million euros per year by avoiding the purchase of chargers unnecessary. Discarded or no longer used chargers account for around 11,000 tonnes of e-waste a year in the EU, according to Parliament’s services. The single charging port requirement has been a long Parliament fight. The diversity of charger types had already been reduced in recent years thanks to voluntary commitments from the technology sector, but the single model did not happen, in particular due to pressure from Apple, which continued to defend its Lightning technology.D By the end of 2024, all mobile phones, tablets and cameras sold in the EU will therefore have to be equipped with a USB Type-C charging port. From spring 2026, this obligation will also apply to laptop computers. “After almost ten years of struggle, binding legislation will therefore see the light of day. Whether they like it or not, the large producers will have to submit to the law”, s’ is delighted the MEP Marc Tarabella (PS, S&D). Like Hilde Vautmans (Open Vld, RE) or Tom Vandekendelaere (CD&V, PPE), he underlines the interest in consumer comfort, his wallet and the environment.”The agreement also asks the European Organization for Standardization to develop harmonized standards for wireless technologies within 24 months, while this technology is booming”, observes Saskia Bricmont (Ecolo, Green / ALE). The European Commission is also invited to regularly check whether the list of devices to be equipped with the USB-C charging port must be extended.