the European Commission will force manufacturers to make universal chargers

A draft directive should force manufacturers to equip devices with at least one USB-C port. They will also have to make the chargers interoperable.

The European Commission will present, on Thursday, a legislative proposal targeting the chargers of our phones, tablets, cameras, etc. The aim of the draft directive is to force manufacturers to adopt a universal and interoperable charger. The text carried by Thierry Breton’s teams will be examined by the European Parliament and Council, it should enter into force in 2024 according to The echoes .

The first injunction provides for the mandatory adoption of the USB-C port. It will not be possible to provide a simple adapter, but devices can still be equipped with a second port. The other point of constraint is the interchangeability of chargers, each cable having to be able to be used optimally from one product to another.

Reduce electronic waste

The text wants to help consumers, who will see their drawers emptied of unnecessary cables. But the progress is also ecological, since the project will prohibit systematically putting a charger in the boxes of new devices. Which should reduce the electronic waste generated.

On this point the political action comes a little after the battle. Manufacturers like Apple and Samsung have already announced that they are removing the equipment from their boxes a few months ago. Lisa Jackson, the vice president of sustainability at Apple, explained in October that it was no longer worth supplying these products. For them, consumers are already well equipped. “More than 2 billion chargers are already in circulation around the world, she had explained. By not producing them, we will save 2 million tonnes of CO emissions2 ».

If the Cupertino company has made its own advances, it is today it who is in the political viewfinder. Android smartphones have already moved to USB-C, while Apple is hanging on to its own technology. For several years the American manufacturer has rejected outright any project for a universal charger that would oppose innovation “rather than encouraging it». «The legislation would have a direct negative impact by disrupting the functioning of the hundreds of millions of active devices and accessories used by our European customers“, Explained a spokesperson in 2020.

This project could be the first to succeed in regulating the sector, while attempts have been carried out regularly since 2009. Unlike previous times, the binding approach is adopted this time. In Brussels, there is no question of once again leaving the file suspended from an agreement between the manufacturers.


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