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European Parliament backs common mobile phone charger

Consumers in the 28-nation EU may soon benefit from a standardized charger and socket for their mobile devices. Compliance among manufacturers by 2017 will be required in a draft law passed by the European Parliament.

The European Parliament on Thursday approved by 550 votes to 12 an

amendment to the bloc's radio equipment law.

That paves the way for a common charger for mobile devices to be made available to consumers by 2017.

Ending clutter

Rapporteur Barbara Weiler said she was particularly glad the modernized Radio Equipment Directive now included details on the introduction of such a charger for mobile phones, tablets and other mobile devices from producers such as Nokia, Sony, Apple, Motorola and Samsung.

"This serves the interests both of consumers and the environment," Weiler said in a statement. "It will put an end to

charger clutter

and 51,000 tons of electronic waste annually."

Greater monitoring powers

European lawmakers also backed provisions that would give authorities

additional market surveillance tools

to detect radio equipment products which failed to comply with new safety and non-interference rules.

The draft law only has to be formally approved by the European Council, comprising the EU's heads of state.

The EU's executive commission will negotiate the optimal design with device manufacturers over the coming months.

The bloc's 28 member states will be given two years to incorporate the changes into national legislation, while manufacturers of mobile devices will have an additional year to comply.

hg/ipj (dpa, Reuters, AFP)

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