Mercato interno, industria, imprenditoria e PMI

One mobile phone charger for all

One mobile phone charger for all

Full title

Activities aiming the introduction of common charging solution for mobile phones and other small electronic portable devices.

Aim

To promote common use of mobile phone chargers.

Background

In the past, mobile telephones were only compatible with specific mobile telephone chargers. An estimated 500 million mobile phones were in use on 2009 in all EU countries.

The chargers used often varied according to the manufacturer and model; and more than 30 different types of charger were on the market. Apart from causing inconvenience to the consumer, this created unnecessary electronic waste.

What the Commission is doing

The European Commission facilitated an agreement among major handset manufacturers to adopt a common charger for data-enabled mobile phones sold in the EU.

In June 2009, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed in which mobile phone manufacturers agreed to harmonise chargers for new models of data-enabled handsets, coming onto the market as of 2011.

As a result, Europe's major mobile phone manufacturers agreed to adopt a universal charger for data-enabled mobile phones sold in the EU. The MoU committed the industry to provide charger compatibility on the basis of the micro-USB connector.

Outcome of the Common Charger MoU

The MoU expired at the end of 2012 but it has effectively been extended by a number of its signatories through two subsequent ‘letters of intent’, signed in 2013 and 2014.

Previous analysis

A study was concluded in August 2014 to evaluate the results achieved by the MoU and specifically

  • to analyse how the stated objectives of delivering benefits for consumers and for industry were met
  • to analyse results concerning reduction of electronic waste
  • to provide all information relevant to consider options for appropriate follow-up

Next Steps

The Commission authorised a study to consider an appropriate legislative approach. It will analyse the impact of a common charger solution on consumers, the industry and the environment with assessment and guidance for possible implementation of different policy options.

Impact assessment study: common chargers of portable devices - December 2019