Members' Research Service By / November 29, 2021

A common charger for electronic devices: Revision of the Radio Equipment Directive [EU Legislation in Progress][Policy Podcast]

On 23 September 2021, the European Commission put forward a proposal amending the Radio Equipment Directive, thereby taking a first step towards introducing mandatory requirements for a common charger for mobile phones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones, headsets, handheld videogame consoles and portable speakers.

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Written by Nikolina Šajn (1st edition).

On 23 September 2021, the European Commission adopted a legislative proposal to amend the 2014 Radio Equipment Directive, as a first step towards mandating a common charger for mobile phones and other small portable devices. Under the proposal, these devices would have to be equipped with a USB Type-C receptacle that can be charged with cables compatible with USB Type‑C, and to incorporate the USB Power Delivery communication protocol. The proposal would go hand in hand with an initiative on the eco-design of external power supplies, so that the receptacle and the communication protocol for both ends of charger cables would be harmonised.

The European Parliament has long been in favour of harmonising chargers for mobile phones and other small portable devices, and has in recent years called on the Commission to act urgently. Associations representing consumers have welcomed the Commission proposal and called for the final act to also include wireless charging, while organisations representing businesses are more likely to favour a voluntary approach, warning that harmonisation would stifle innovation.

Versions

Proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2014/53/EU on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to the making available on the market of radio equipment
Committee responsible:Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO)COM(2021) 547
23.9.2021
Rapporteur:Alex Agius Saliba (S&D, Malta)2021/0291(COD)
Shadow rapporteurs:Andrey Kovatchev (EPP, Bulgaria)
Liesje Schreinemacher (Renew, The Netherlands)
Anna Cavazzini (Greens/EFA, Germany)
Marco Campomenosi (ID, Italy)
Evžen Tošenovský (ECR, Czechia)
Kateřina Konečná (The Left, Czechia)
Ordinary legislative procedure (COD)
(Parliament and Council on equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’)
Next steps expected: Publication of draft report

Listen to policy podcast ‘A common charger for electronic devices: Revision of the Radio Equipment Directive’ on YouTube.


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