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Press release

Bring in a universal mobile phone charger for all makes, say MEPs

Research and innovation - 26-09-2013 - 12:06
Committee : Internal Market and Consumer Protection
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A universal charger for all mobile phones should be introduced to cut costs and waste for users, proposed the Internal Market Committee on Thursday, in an amendment to a draft law on radio equipment. The committee also cut some red tape, by deleting a rule that would have required manufacturers to register certain categories of devices before placing them on the market.

"We urge member states and manufacturers finally to introduce a universal charger, to put an end to cable chaos for mobile phones and tablet computers", said rapporteur Barbara Weiler (S&D, DE), adding that "we have changed key points in the Commission draft to avoid interference between different radio equipment devices while ensuring that small firms will not face a heavier administrative burden".

The draft directive lays down harmonised rules for placing radio equipment, such as cellular telephones, car door openers or modems, on the market. These rules aim to keep pace with the growing number and variety of radio equipment devices and ensure that they do not interfere with each other. They also include essential health and safety requirements.

Universal charger

Radio equipment devices and their accessories, such as chargers, should be interoperable, say MEPs. For example, a universal phone charger would make mobile phones simpler to use and cut costs and waste for users. They therefore propose that the new radio equipment rules should oblige manufacturers to make mobile phones compatible with a universal charger.

Cutting red tape

MEPs deleted a proposed obligation for companies to register certain categories of radio equipment prior to placing them on the market. They saw this proposal as disproportionate, especially for small firms, and said that alternative product traceability provisions could ensure the same quality of market surveillance.

Next steps

The legislative resolution was adopted unanimously with 35 votes in favour. The committee will decide later whether to start informal negotiations with the Council in order to seek an early first-reading agreement.

In the chair: Committee Vice-Chair Sergio Gaetano Cofferati (S&D,IT)

REF.: 20130923IPR20617