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What is the EU Common Charger?

The European Union (EU) has standardized and harmonized charging technology for many personal electronics. New gadgets must use USB-C charging technology for portable batteries. The proposed changes involve several significant amendments to existing legislation. Producers who target the internal market must abide by these new EU Common Charger guidelines.

The EU Common Charger Proposal

Concerns about waste and costs started over a decade ago when charging technology was proprietary for each device. Since then, the European Commission has worked alongside industry leaders with a mission: consolidating charging technology across devices. Indeed, the EU Common Charger proposal represents the culmination of efforts from several parties. The move comes with widespread impacts over many sectors:

EU common charger
  • Consumers save more than 10% of the money spent on charging accessories.
  • Electronic waste generated by disposed chargers decreases by almost 10%.
  • Clearly, this proposal does not support proprietary charging solutions. Devices must use the protocols defined in IEC Standard 62680, the USB Power Delivery specification.
  • Similarly, fast-charging technologies must also standardize the rate of power supplied.
  • Other charging methods (e.g., wireless) can expect very similar regulations. This proactive strategy allows the commission to monitor any loopholes that develop. Therefore, it is harder for manufacturers to gain an unfair market advantage.
  • Suppliers must now provide devices with and without a packaged charger. This “unbundling” reduces waste at the point of sale. Importantly, consumers now have a choice of whether to add another charging accessory to their collection.
  • Since the Common Charger is mandatory for many popular types of devices, external power supplies and cords are interchangeable for almost every piece of personal electronics you own. Now you can start to recycle all those outdated charger cords!

Changes to the Legislation

Of course, these effects accompany some critical activity in ecodesign regulations. Significantly, the Radio Equipment Directive 2014/53/EU is receiving its most important amendment since 2018. In fact, many individual product classes have received new, planned, or updated directives alongside the Common Charger proposal. Finally, an overarching document encapsulates the proposal as its own entity while supporting all other changes.

EU common charger - Different connectors
USB-C charger

EU Common Charger: Things to Know

The new EU Common Charger legislation lays out some important dates that affect different product classes. As a supplier, be aware of these dates and plan well for your response. For example, you may need to rethink the charging circuitry for devices sold in the EU. Your products will require new labeling and “unbundled” versions for sale. Finally, remember that wired charging is only the beginning of new regulations for power technology. Be sure and anticipate similar guidelines for wireless charging and other methods.

Product Classes Targeted under Amendments to 2014/53/EU, the Radio Equipment Directive


Mobile Phones

Portable Speakers



Digital Cameras





Portable Navigation Systems



Handheld Game Consoles


The USB-C legislation affects all of us, but producers carry the bulk of the responsibility with respect to product requirements. Among these exciting developments, Enviropass can help you determine what your new electronics should bring to the market.