EU approves phone charger mandate

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The Euro parliament voted for a universal phone charger Thursday afternoon, that will compel manufacturers to include a standardized charger with their phones. The measure will reduce unnecessary pollution, costs and inconvenience to the user.

It may still take up to 2017 for the measure to take effect, since the European member states need time to change their legislation accordingly, and then the manufacturers need time to adapt their phones. The discussion has been going on since 2009, when the EU signed an agreement with major manufacturers about including a universal micro USB plug with their phones. Many manufacturers complied, but the agreement was never renewed and expired in 2012. Several companies, such as Apple, have opposed the proposal from the start, but if the new regulations are applied by the EU, the companies will have no other alternative but to comply, or they will be banned from selling phones in the EU member states. The European Commission has to implement the guideline and determine what kind of plug to use for the universal charger.