Electronic Products & Technology

EU Commission scripts ‘one-size-fits-all’ common charger requirements

EP&T Magazine   

Electronics Regulations & Standards Engineering

The European Commission has released new guidance to increase the understanding and application of new rules within the Common Charger Directive.

The Directive, approved by the EU Council in October 2022, is an update to the Radio Equipment Directive (RED), a CE marking that regulates the placement of radio equipment on the EU market. Its application will make it mandatory for all mobile phones, tablets and cameras sold in the EU to be equipped with a USB Type-C charging port in an aim to improve consumer convenience and reduce the environmental footprint associated with the production and disposal of chargers.

The guidance sets out the scope and rules on harmonized charging receptacles, harmonized charging technology and the unbundling of charging devices from the sale of electronic devices. In addition, it provides more detail on product labeling necessary to advise consumers if their current charging devices meet a new product’s specifications or help them select a compatible charger.

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“We wholeheartedly welcome this further clarity from the EU Commission on the application of its forward-looking Common Charger Directive,” said Keith Hutchinson, Deputy Head, Connectivity & Products Global Certification, SGS, an accredited notified body for the latest activated article of the Radio Equipment Directive (RED) (2014/53/EU).

Common Charger Directive will apply to many devices

From December 28, 2024, the Common Charger Directive will apply to handheld mobile phones, tablets, digital cameras, headphones, headsets, handheld videogame consoles, portable speakers, e-readers, keyboards, mice, portable navigation systems and earbuds sold in the EU. It will be applicable for laptops as of April 28, 2026.

RED applies to all electrical and electronic devices that intentionally emit and/or receive radio waves at frequencies below 3,000GHz. It establishes a regulatory framework for placing radio equipment on the market by setting essential requirements for safety and health, electromagnetic compatibility, and the efficient use of the radio spectrum.

 

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