A common charger for electronic devices: Revision of the Radio Equipment Directive

Briefing 29-11-2021

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. First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.