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 (3rd edition, updated on 23.05.2022).

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. Consumers would have an option to buy devices with or without a charger (unbundling). 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.

Negotiations between Parliament and the Council started in May 2022. The Council negotiating mandate, adopted on 26 January 2022, would introduce a pictogram indicating unbundling and a label specifying charging capabilities of a device. The mandate for negotiations adopted by the European Parliament on 4 May 2022, also proposes improving consumer information through an unbundling graphic and a label on charging characteristics of a device, as well as extending the scope of the directive to a wider range of devices and requiring the Commission to harmonise wireless chargers by 2026.

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)
Róża Thun und Hohenstein (Renew, Poland)
Anna Cavazzini (Greens/EFA, Germany)
Marco Campomenosi (ID, Italy)
Kosma Złotowski (ECR, Poland)
Kateřina Konečná (The Left, Czechia)
Ordinary legislative
procedure (COD)
(Parliament and Council on
equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’)
Next steps expected: Continuing trilogue negotiations
EU Legislation in progress timeline

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

Figure 1 – Charger components
Figure 1 – Charger components

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