EU approves a law to standardise charger connections for electronic devices

The European Union is responding to one of the most frequent requests from users of mobile phones, tablets, consoles and digital cameras and the measure will come into force in the autumn of 2024

FERNANDO MORALES RODRÍGUEZ Madrid

The European Union is responding to one of the most frequent requests from users of mobile phones, tablets, consoles and digital cameras. The 27 EU countries and MEPs have agreed that there will be a standardised charger connection for all these devices from the autumn of 2024. On average, people who use all these devices currently have an average of four different chargers.

The type C USB will become the charging port for all mobile phones, tablets and digital cameras in the EU. This is the type of connection that Android terminals have been fitted with in recent years. Apple devices, however, will have to change the Lightning connectors on their iPhones. In a second phase of the scheme, laptop computers will also have to be adapted to comply with the regulation, within 40 months of the new scheme coming into force.

A study carried out by the European Commission in 2019 showed that half of the chargers sold with mobile phones have a micro-B USB connector, and 21% a Lightning connector, resulting in unnecessary purchases and avoidable waste. It is estimated that discarded and unused chargers represent around 11,000 tonnes of electronic waste each year.

In a press release, the European Parliament said that the law which includes this measure is part of a wider effort by the EU to make products in European countries more sustainable and thereby reduce the amount of electronic waste as well as making life easier for consumers.