EU votes into law new ‘common charger’ rules

European lawmakers have finally approved the EU’s so-called ‘common charger law,’ forcing Apple and other tech companies to adopt USB-C as the universal charging standard.

EU member states voted on Monday to approve the legislation, which analysts say is likely to spell an end to Apple’s proprietary Lightning charger.

The first of its kind anywhere in the world, the new law mandates a universal charging port for all smartphones, tablets, digital cameras, portable speakers and a wide array of other small devices sold in the EU. The new law will come in to effect in late 2024.

The common charger law is part of a wider push by the EU to make electronics more sustainable by cutting down on e-waste.

The directive also allows consumers to choose whether to purchase a new device with or without a charger. 

“Having a charger that fits multiple devices will save money and time and also helps us reduce electronic waste,”  Czech Minister for Industry and Trade Jozef Síkela said in a statement. 

The new rules are widely seen as targeting Apple, which for years has refused to adopt USB-C. However, testing is reportedly already underway at Apple to replace Lightning with USB-C in future iPhones.