EU set to standardise mobile phone chargers


A new standard for mobile phone and other portable device chargers is set to be introduced by the European Union.

Under a measure in the proposed revised Radio and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment directive that has been backed by the European Parliament, manufacturers of mobile phones would need to use a common charger standard in the European Union so that chargers can be used and reused in all mobiles. This would therefore lead to less waste of mobile phone chargers and allow manufacturers and retailers to sell mobile phones without a new charge, unless the consumer needed one.


The EU said that 51,000 tonnes of electronic waste would be saved annually as a result of the move.

Although a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the EU and manufacturers in 2009, this only applied to smartphones. The revised directive would include not just mobile phones, but tablet computers and any other device that uses radio waves for communications purposes.

While most manufacturers adopted a standard USB connection, Apple and Nokia used their own proprietary connection, which can then be turned into a standard charger with an adaptor.

Under the revised directive, it is believed these manufacturers will need to meet the common USB standard without an adaptor, but this will be confirmed by the European Commission ahead of the directive becoming law.

European Commission vice president Antonio Tajani said: “The new rules enable us to introduce a common charger for mobile phones and similar devices. This is very good news for our citizens and for the environment.”