HomeBBC NEWSTechUK will not copy EU demand for common charging cable

    UK will not copy EU demand for common charging cable


    The UK government says it is “not currently considering” replicating the EU’s universal charging cable scheme.

    The European Union has tentatively agreed that all new portable electronic devices must use USB Type-C chargers by fall 2024, saying the move will benefit consumers.

    Critics say it will stifle innovation.

    Under current post-Brexit arrangements, the regulation would apply to Northern Ireland, according to EU and British officials.

    “The new requirements may also apply to devices sold in Northern Ireland under the terms of the Northern Ireland Agreement in the UK’s Brexit deal, which could trigger divergence in product standards from the rest of the UK,” according to a December 2021 parliamentary report.

    The treaty works by keeping Northern Ireland within the EU’s single goods market, while the rest of the U.K. is outside the EU.

    The debate between the U.K. and the EU over how to reform the Northern Ireland protocol remains unresolved.

    “We are not currently considering replicating this requirement,” a British government spokesman said.

    ‘Stifles innovation’

    Apple products such as the iPhone and iPad must comply with the new regulations, and eventually laptops will as well. Existing devices will be exempt.

    The agreement will go to the European Parliament and Council of Ministers after the summer recess, where it will be formally approved and then published.

    Apple told the BBC that it had no new comments to make.

    It opposed the proposal when it was first presented in September 2021, with one representative telling BBC News: “Strict regulation that mandates only one type of connector would stifle rather than encourage innovation, which in turn would harm consumers in Europe and the surrounding world.”

    Apple is the largest manufacturer to use custom charging ports unique to some of its products – its iPhone line uses Apple-made Lightning connectors.

    According to the EU, the new rules will cover a range of “small and medium-sized portable electronics”, including

    Cell phones
    Headphones and earphones
    Handheld video game consoles
    Portable speakers
    Any device that uses a wired cable for charging must have a USB Type-C port, regardless of who makes those devices.

    Laptops must also comply with the ruling, but manufacturers will have 40 months from the effective date of the ruling to make changes.

    The agreement also includes a program that allows customers to choose whether they want charging cables with their new electronics.

    The law is part of a broader EU effort to make EU products more sustainable, reduce e-waste and make consumers’ lives easier,” the EU said in a statement. “

    It will save consumers “up to €250 million [£213 million] a year in unnecessary charger purchases” and reduce waste by 11,000 tons a year, the EU added.

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