|Author (Corporate)||European Commission: DG Internal Market Industry Entrepreneurship and SMEs|
|Series Details||COM (2021) 547|
|Content Type||Blog & Commentary, News, Policy-making|
Legislative initiative tabled by the European Commission on 23 September 2021, introducing amendments to Directive 2014/53/EU concerning the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States of the European Union (EU) relating to the making available on the market of radio equipment. This is a text with EEA relevance.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed in 2009 by major producers of mobile telephones on harmonising chargers for data-enabled mobile phones sold in the EU. It led to a reduction in market fragmentation and attracted almost global alignment. Its implementation led to an effective reduction in the number of charging solutions for mobiles charges from 30 to 3. However, the MoU allowed for the use of proprietary charging interfaces, and one such solution continued to be used by a major mobile phone manufacturer, thus preventing full interoperability. In addition, the MoU never addressed the environmental issues arising from the continued existence of those different charging interfaces and charging communication protocols.
Ever since the MoU expired in 2014 - after two letters of renewal - the Commission sought to encourage the adoption of a new voluntary agreement. Following several rounds of discussion, the industry proposed a new MoU in March 2018 on a future common charging solution for smartphones. However, the Commission did not consider this new MoU to be satisfactory and not in line with the EU's harmonisation objectives. Instead, it launched an impact assessment study for a potential proposal aimed at implementing a common solution for charging mobile phones (and possibly other similar categories or classes of radio equipment). In 2020, two complementary studies were launched. In the same year, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on a common charger for mobile radio equipment.
The Commission's adjusted 2020 work programme signalled a new proposal on these matters. The design of radio equipment falls within the scope of Directive 2014/53/EU - also known as Radio Equipment Directive - relating to the harmonisation of laws across Member States on the availability on the market of radio equipment. On the other hand, the characteristics of the external power supply are falling within the scope of the Directive 2009/125/EC.
The draft law was tabled by the Commission on 23 September 2021, aiming to prevent the fragmentation of the market. It proposes to harmonise the charging interface for mobile phones and similar categories or classes of radio equipment that are recharged via a wired charging; guarantee that such devices, where they support fast charging, incorporate at least the same charging communication protocol; allow for future harmonisation in this area in response to technological developments; introduce requirements so that end-users are not obliged to purchase a new charging device whenever they purchase a new mobile phone or similar item of radio equipment and; introduce requirements so that end-users receive the necessary information on its charging performance characteristics and the charging device that can be used with it.
The Council of the European Union adopted a general approach concerning this file on 26 January 2022. The plenary of the European Parliament adopted its negotiating position on 4 May. An informal agreement between the co-legislators on a compromise text for this file was reached on 7 June.
|Subject Categories||Business and Industry, Internal Markets|
|Subject Tags||Telecommunications, Waste|
|Keywords||Electrical | Electronic Equipment, Harmonisation | Standardisation
|International Organisations||European Union [EU]|