When will universal phone and tablet charger be obligatory in France?

New electronic devices will have the same charging port, meaning one cable can charge all

Soon, one cable will be sufficient to charger most of your electronic devices
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All new smartphones, tablets, and many other small electronic devices will soon need to have the same charging port, due to new EU-wide regulations.

The devices will need to be equipped with a ‘USB-C’ charging port, making the cables that charge them universal, and able to be used across all devices with the USB-C charging port installed.

Many devices already use these ports, but some companies, most notably Apple, use a different, sometimes unique, charging port and cable for their products.

However, a decree posted in the Journal Officiel on December 28 states that France will conform with the European regulations by no later than December 28, 2024.

The European decree says products will have to conform by ‘autumn’ of 2024, however.

MEPs originally voted for the changes in October 2022.

How will the new law work?

Companies selling applicable electronic devices will need to ensure that the products are fitted with the universal charging port.

This means that in theory, any of these devices could be charged with the same cable instead of requiring different ones for different devices.

"Companies will also have to offer consumers the option of selling the device and charger separately, and indicate this by means of a pictogram [on the product],” said the French Economy Ministry.

The law will not make any changes to plug sockets or mains cables, but just to the ports on the side of the devices.

The Agence nationale des fréquences will be responsible for monitoring "the marketing of radio equipment compatible with the requirements of the universal charger,” said the decree in the Journal Officiel.

What products will be included?

The law will apply to:

  • mobile phones

  • tablets

  • e-readers

  • headphones and wireless headphones

  • digital cameras

  • portable video game consoles

  • GPS devices

  • computer keyboards and mice

  • portable speakers

It will also apply to laptops, but not until April 2026.

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