The European Commission is expected to present a legislative proposal on Thursday to force manufacturers to use a common charger for electronic devices, according to a Commission official closely involved in the matter.
The proposal will force all manufacturers to harmonize charging points on devices – using a USB-C charging point – and make their software protocol for fast charging interoperable between brands and devices.
The main target of the new legislation is US tech giant Apple, which has opposed EU attempts to standardize chargers through binding requirements, arguing it would hamper innovation.
The new rules – which will also apply to tablets, headsets, cameras and speakers – will “not directly harmonize all chargers, but harmonize charging points across devices,” the official said. The rules will not apply to e-readers or wireless chargers.
The Commission aims to adopt the proposal next year and will give member countries a year to transpose it into domestic law, according to the official. Manufacturers will have another year to implement it, meaning “it should be in place by mid-2024”.
Manufacturers will also have to stop selling a charger with every new smartphone, instead giving consumers the choice to use their old charger. The proposal, aimed at reducing electronic waste, received support from the European Parliament last year.
The Commission expects the proposal to reduce the annual amount of e-waste produced in the EU by 980 tonnes.