Common chargers: CEN and CENELEC are ready to work with the European Commission

By the end of 2024, USB-C chargers will become the standard charger for the most commonly used electronics in the EU after an agreement was reached between the European Parliament and the Council. CEN and CENELEC welcome this agreement and look forward to further collaboration on this matter.

Announced by Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market, and Alex Agius Saliba (S&D, Malta), Rapporteur for the European Parliament on the matter, this directive will not only apply to smartphones but a wide range of products. Tablets, e-readers, earbuds, digital cameras, headphones and headsets, handheld videogame consoles, portable speakers and portable navigation devices will also have to use USB-C ports with laptops having to conform in 2026.


In its communication, the European Commission presents the common charging solution as a win for consumers and the environment: it is expected to contribute to potential consumer savings of 250 million euro a year and a reduction in e-waste related to mobile charging devices (estimated as 11.000 tonnes per year).


The Commission also recognised the need to ensure that innovation in wireless charging continues and does not become stifled by the common charger solution. This is where standardization organisations like CEN and CENELEC can play a key role also on future developments: the Commission has pledged to issue a mandate to develop harmonised standards in wireless charging within 24 months after the new rules enter into force.


CEN and CENELEC have an already established tradition of standards contributing to the twin (digital and green) transitions: we are committed to building on the work already done to help the European Commission achieve its policy objectives, to the benefit of all consumers. The work of CLC/TC 100X ‘Audio, video and multimedia systems and equipment and related subsystems’ stands as a good example: the same TC will be further involved in the definition of the ecosystem supporting common chargers. We hope that our further collaboration with the Commission will help this directive achieve a greener and more consumer-friendly future whilst still encouraging innovation.


A position paper summarising CEN and CENELEC’s thoughts on the directive and clarifying the points of future collaboration between CENELEC and the Commission in implementing the common charging solution will be published shortly.  




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