USB-C standard connector

Following the provisional agreement reached last June between the European Commission and the 27 member states of the European Union for make USB-C the standard connector in up to 15 categories of electronic devicesOn Tuesday, October 4, the decisive step was taken in the European Parliament to make the USB-C standard mandatory as of autumn 2024. The commission takes an important step against e-waste and the inconvenience consumers experience due to the prevalence of differences and incompatibilities between chargers for electronic devices. The Commission is introducing legislation to establish a common charging solution for all relevant devices.

What electronic devices are affected?

Cell phones, tablets, digital cameras, headsets, headphones, portable video game consoles and portable speakers.  

What benefits will a common USB-C charging solution bring?

MEPs have argued that adopting a single charger model will reduce consumer saturation and frustration with incompatible charging solutions and the mountain of obsolete chargers discarded each year and reduce costs for consumers. Also note that USB-C can function as a cable to transfer data and power, but we have to add another use. The new USB Type-C is perfectly equipped to transmit audio and video signals, which means that devices could dispense with the classic HDMI port. It is a technology that can unify all these uses and thus facilitate the user experience. The committee has proposed:
  • A harmonized charging port for electronic devices: USB-C to be the common port
  • Harmonization of fast charging technology. It will help ensure that the charging speed is the same when using a compatible charger for a device.
  • Separate sales of chargers and electronic devices.  This will limit the number of unwanted chargers. It is estimated that the amount of electronic waste will decrease by almost 1,000 tons per year.
  • Improved information for consumers: manufacturers will have to provide information on charging performance, power required by the device and whether it supports fast charging. This will make it easier to check whether users' existing chargers meet the requirements of their new device or help them select a compatible charger.
The USB-C connector offers:
  • Versatility: it can be used in a reversible way, which means that you will be able to insert it faster as you will not have to make a thousand turns to find the right side.
  • Speed:  The transfer speed also increases, we are talking about up to 10 Gbps, and it will be able to charge more than twice as fast, reaching up to 240 watts.
  • Transversality: We have indicated that the Type-C connector supports data, power, audio and video transfer.

What will happen to the old chargers?

In the case of chargers that already meet the new interoperability requirements, users will of course be able to reuse them. In the case of chargers that are not interoperable, they must be disposed of and recycled when the corresponding devices are replaced. Users will have sufficient time to adapt thanks to the transition period foreseen before the new requirements come into force.

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