By the end of 2024, all electronic mobile devices sold in the EU will have to be equipped with USB Type-C charging port, and this will be extended to laptops in the spring of 2026, a requirement that is made in the context of a regional law, which has been voted for by 602 parliamentarians, as stated in the statement of the European Parliament.
According to the law, European consumers no longer need to buy a new charger together with another gadget: all small and medium-sized electronics will receive a single port. The standard applies to phones, smartphones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones and gadgets, portable consoles and columns, electronic books, keyboards, mice, portable navigators and laptops — if the device is charged through the cable and it has a capacity of 100 W, it should be used by USB Type-C.
Moreover, all fast charging gadgets must also be standardized so that chargers are fully compatible; the characteristics of chargers will receive special symbols, thus facilitating consumer choice.
The European Commission will agree by the end of 2024 on the common interoperability requirements for such devices, which will help to avoid negative environmental impacts and eliminate the so-called technological "confinement" effect when the consumer is dependent on one producer.
In the European Parliament, it is confident that the new law will help consumers save up to $250 million a year on the purchase of unnecessary chargers — they alone produce 11,000 tons of electronic waste annually in the region — a law that will soon be formally approved and published in the Official Journal of the EU and will enter into force 20 days after its publication, and then EU member countries will be given 12 months to bring local legislation into line with the document, and another 12 months will take a transitional period.
Half of all mobile phone chargers in 2018 were equipped with USB micro-B, 29% with USB Type-C and 21% with Proprietary Apple Lightning, a study conducted by the European Commission in 2019, reminded Reuters.
In the main, the new law will affect Apple, a company that resists the adoption of a single USB Type-C standard in its iPhone — it still uses proprietary Lightning, which debuted as early as 2012 with iPhone 5. All other major smartphone manufacturers have long been using USB Type-C. Except for the most budget models.