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The common charger

Disclaimer: This document provides guidance and is not a legally binding interpretation and shall therefore not be relied upon as legal advice.


The common charger is a reality

For more than 10 years, there were many initiatives and efforts to bring about a common charger. 
The common charger has an universal connector (port) to charge many electronic devices regardless of their brand, it is convenient for consumers and reduces waste.

With the publication of Directive (EU) 2022/2380, an amendment the Radio Equipment Directive (RED) 2014/53/EU, the common charger with USB Type-C is now a reality. It was already one of the essential requirements for radio equipment that they interwork with accessories, and the common charger in particular was mentioned. With the publication of amending Directive (EU) 2022/2380, the specifications and deadlines are now known.

Which products are affected?

The common charger requirement applies to the following radio equipment listed in Part I of Annex Ia: handheld mobile phones; tablets; digital (photo, video and action) cameras; headphones and headsets; handheld videogame consoles; portable speakers; e-readers; keyboards and mice; portable navigation systems; earbuds (including their charging case); and laptops.

The rules are mandatory from 28 December 2024; except for laptops where the effective date is 28 April 2026.

What is changing for these products?

Chargers must comply with USB-C or USB PD (optional).
Consumers and other end-users must have the choice whether or not they want to buy a charger.
Information about charging capabilities and the compatible charging devices must be available.

Chargers must comply with the standards for USB-C and USB PD:

  • EN IEC 62680-1-3:2022 (USB for data and power - Part 1-3: Common components - USB Type-C cable and connector specification); or 
  • EN IEC 62680-1-2:2022 (USB for data and power - Part 1-2: Common components - USB Power Delivery specification) for products above 5 Volt, 3 Amp or 15 Watt.

Shall a charger be included in the package?

A manufacturer, authorised representative, importer or distributor can still offer consumers the option to buy a product with a wired charger, but is now also the obliged to offer the product without charger. The consumer must be informed by using a user-friendly and easily visible pictogram whether or not a charger is included in the product. The pictogram shall be printed on the packaging or affixed to the packaging as a sticker. The exact format of the pictograms is given in Part III of Annex Ia to Directive (EU) 2022/2380. The pictogram may vary in appearance (e.g. as to its colour, solid or hollow, line thickness), provided that it remains visible and legible. High resolution version of the pictures can be downloaded here.


Consumer information

If a charger is not included, consumers need to know what specifications a charger must have to safely charge the product.  This includes the minimum power to operate and to start charging; and the maximum power to achieve the maximum charging speed. The following text: “the power delivered by the charger must be between min [xx] Watts required by the radio equipment, and max [yy] Watts in order to achieve the maximum charging speed” shall be added / displayed.
If a product requires a charger with USB Power Delivery, higher than 5 V, 3 A or 15 W, the following text should be added “USB PD fast charging”.

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