IEC welcomes MEPs' support for its universal mobile charger standard

Geneva, (PresseBox) - IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission), the international standards and conformity assessment body for all fields of electrotechnology, today welcomed last week's near-unanimous vote by the European Parliament to embed the IEC's universal phone charger standard for data-enabled mobile telephones into law in the EU by 2017. Published in 2011, the globally relevant IEC International Standard IEC 62684, Interoperability specifications of common external power supply (EPS) for use with data-enabled mobile telephones covers all aspects of the charger, connector and plug. It also sets the standards for safety, interoperability and environmental considerations (see:

The International Standard was the product of a cooperative effort within a group lead by the IEC, which included the USB-IF (Implementers Forum), CEN-CENELEC and ITU-T.

IEC General Secretary and CEO Frans Vreeswijk commented, "We are pleased that our voluntary, consensus-driven International Standard for mobile phone chargers was backed by the European Parliament.

"When industry comes up with a good solution to an environmental and consumer issue, as it has in the case of this Standard, it is pleasing to see it being rolled out broadly.

“The proposed regulation will cut complexity for consumers by making smartphone chargers interoperable with a majority of handsets. It will also be good news for the environment.

“For instance, the GSM Association estimates that mobile phone standardization will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 13.6 million tons [1] per year. Furthermore, the GSMA [2] claims there are around 51 000 tons of redundant chargers manufactured every year. Not least, it will reduce production, packaging and shipping costs.”

As part of the process, leading phone-makers participated in the development of the International Standard via the IEC National Committees participating in IEC TC (Technical Committee) 100: Audio, video and multimedia systems and equipment.

The firms that participated included Apple, Nokia, Research in Motion, Emblaze Mobile, Huawei Technologies, LGE, Motorola Mobility, NEC, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, TCT Mobile (ALCATEL), Texas Instruments and Atmel. These same firms also signed a MoU with the European Commission to underline their commitment to implementing it within the EU.

In the hope that a universal charger for laptops will also soon become a reality and significantly reduce e-waste, in December 2013 the IEC announced the publication of IEC Technical Specification 62700: DC Power supply for notebook computers. This is the first globally relevant technical specification for a single external charger for a wide range of notebook computers and laptops and it comprises the input of industry experts from many countries around the world. IEC TS 62700 has been accepted by the National Committees participating in IEC TC (Technical Committee) 100: Audio, video and multimedia systems and equipment.

[1] GSM Association: The GSMA represents the interests of the worldwide mobile communications industry.
[2] GSM Association

IEC International Electrotechnical Commission

The IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) is the world's leading organization that prepares and publishes International Standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies and administers Conformity Assessment Systems that certify that components, equipment and systems conform to them.

The IEC brings together 165 countries, and close to 14 000 experts cooperate on the global IEC platform to ensure that products work everywhere safely with each other. IEC work enables global value chains; allows industry and companies of all sizes to access global markets faster and at less cost, and permits nations to better protect their citizens.

IEC work covers a vast range of technologies: power generation (including all renewable energy sources), transmission, distribution, Smart Grid, batteries, home appliances, office and medical equipment, all public and private transportation, semiconductors, fibre optics, nanotechnology, multimedia, information technology, and more. It also addresses safety, EMC, performance and the environment.

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