Back in June of this year, members of the European Parliament and the Council discussed the creation of a common port for charging all electronics and reached a preliminary agreement on the implementation of a single charger policy starting in 2024.

Last night, the European Parliament voted for the implementation of the directive. Of the voting members of the EU Parliament, a majority of 602 MPs voted in favor of the proposal, with 13 members voting against it. 8 votes also abstained.

In effect, this means that starting in autumn 2024, all mobile phones, tablets and cameras will have to have a USB-C port capable of providing electricity if they are sold in the EU. Notebook manufacturers have been given the opportunity to adapt to this new recommendation until the spring of 2026.

The next step is for the European Council to approve the new directive before it officially enters into force.

The new law also covers a wide range of other small and medium-sized electronics. This includes headphones, portable speakers, portable game consoles, e-readers, keyboards, mice and portable navigation systems.

Devices such as health trackers and sports equipment that are too small to have a physical USB-C port will be exempt from the new regulation for now.

The long term goal of the new law is to help consumers reduce e-waste and make their electronics more sustainable. In the coming years, wireless and fast charging standards will also be standardized for products sold in the EU. The EU hopes that when the policy takes effect reduce approximately 11,000 tons of e-waste.

This legislation was clearly aimed at tech companies like Apple, who insist on having a different charging standard and protocol for their devices. It will be interesting to see if Apple tries to find a loophole they can exploit and find a way around this legislation.