The EU has taken the first steps toward mandating universal chargers for electronic devices. On Thursday, the European Parliament’s Internal Market Committee amended a draft law on radio equipment to include the universal charger provision to all mobile phones and tablets.
The EU mandated the micro USB ports for cell phones some time ago, affecting U.S. designs as well as European. Now the EU is advancing its quest for universality to include device chargers. "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," reports German MEP Barbara Weiler. The interoperability mandate will apply to all radio equipment devices and their accessories, and is expected to reduce costs and wastes. Ultimately, a universal charger could become as ubiquitous as a standard power cord, and even more universally accepted.
Additionally, Weiler says, "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 harmonizes rules for commercializing radio equipment, such as cellular phones, car door openers or modems. 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, Weiler adds.
MEPs also deleted a proposed obligation for companies to register certain categories of radio equipment before placing them on the market, saying the requirement placed a disproportionate burden on small firm. Instead, alternative product traceability provisions could ensure the same quality of market surveillance.