MEPs vote to expand the scope of common charger rules – TechCrunch

MEPs vote to expand the scope of common charger rules – TechCrunch

European Union lawmakers have taken a step closer to agreeing rules to standardize how a variety of mobile devices are billed.

Today, MEPs from the European Parliament’s Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) adopted their position on a Commission proposal announced last autumn, ahead of a full vote by parliament next month to confirm how it will negotiate with Member State governments on the details of the legislation.

The Council adopted its position on the common shipper proposal in January.

The IMCO committee voted 43:2 in favor of a negotiating position that will push to standardize charger ports for a variety of mobile devices on USB Type-C, including smartphones, tablets, handheld game consoles, e-readers, cameras digital devices, electronic toys and more — with MPs voting to expand the original proposal to cover laptops, among other additional products.

The committee supported exemptions for devices when they are too small to house this type of port – such as smart watches, health trackers and some sports equipment. Although larger devices in these categories were still in the scope of this amended version of the proposal.

MEPs also voted to pressure the Commission to address the growing use of wireless charging – a development that could allow device makers to circumvent charger port rules – by putting forward a strategy that allows “minimal interoperability” of any new charging solutions. loading until the end of 2026.

“The goal is to avoid further fragmentation in the market, continue to reduce environmental waste, ensure consumer convenience and avoid the so-called “lock-in” effects created by proprietary billing solutions,” he said in a press release.

MEPs also focused on labelling, saying they want to see clear information on new devices about charging options and whether or not a product includes a charger to support consumers in making more sustainable purchasing decisions to reduce the amount of new waste. electronic generated.

Lawmakers have been pushing the bloc’s executive body to legislate to fight e-waste for years. However, the Commission preferred to follow an industry engagement approach to voluntarily obtain a common charger.

And while there’s been a decline in proprietary chargers over the years, there’s still not a single charger that’s compatible with all devices in scope. So the EU’s executive body finally presented a legislative proposal last year.

Commenting on the IMCO vote in a statement, Rapporteur Alex Agius Saliba said: “With half a billion chargers for handheld devices shipped in Europe each year, generating 11,000 to 13,000 tonnes of e-waste, a single charger for cell phones and other small and medium electronic devices would benefit everyone. It will help the environment, further help reuse old electronics, save money and reduce unnecessary costs and inconvenience for businesses and consumers.

“We are proposing a truly comprehensive policy intervention, building on the Commission’s proposal, calling for the interoperability of wireless charging technologies by 2026 and improving the information provided to consumers with dedicated labels. We are also expanding the scope of the proposal by adding more products, such as laptops, that will need to comply with the new rules.”

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