In June of this year, the European Parliament and Council members deliberated on having a standard port for charging all electronics and reached a provisional agreement to implement a standard charger policy, starting from 2024.
Last night, the EU Parliament voted in favor of implementing the directive. Of the members who had the right to vote at the EU parliament, 602 voted in favor of the motion, while 13 were against it. There were eight abstentions as well.
This effectively means that starting from the Autumn of 2024, all mobile phones, tablets, and cameras will require a USB-C port capable of power delivery if sold in the EU. Laptop manufacturers have been given the leeway to adapt to this new guideline by Spring 2026.
The next step is for the European Council to approve the new directive before it officially goes into effect.
The new law also covers many other small and medium-sized electronics. This includes headphones, portable speakers, handheld videogame consoles, e-readers, keyboards, mice, and mobile navigation systems.
Devices such as health trackers and sports equipment that are too small to have a physical USB-C port will be exempt from the new ruling for the time being.
The long-term goal of the new law is to help consumers cut down on e-waste and make their electronics more sustainable. Wireless and fast charging standards will also be standardized across products sold in the EU in the coming years. Once the policy goes into effect, the EU hopes to cut down an estimated 11,000 tons of e-waste.
This legislation was aimed at tech companies like Apple, who insist on having a different charging standard and protocol for their devices. It will be interesting to see if Apple tries to find a loophole that they can exploit and find a way around this legislation.