Monday February 21, 2022
EU Report Explains Common Charger – Safety Link
Unsafe counterfeit electronic equipment, especially chargers, should be better addressed in the EU Radio Equipment Directive. That is according to a February review done for the European Parliament. Interoperability limitations exacerbate the problem – need for multiple chargers creates "additional consumer expenses that might incite consumers to buy counterfeit products," write (bit.ly/3oWSHeF) the authors.
The focus of the review is a 2021 impact assessment on the EU common charger initiative. That work raises other related objectives such as better information for consumers and expanding the "pool of devices" being addressed.
In any event, although the earlier document leaves direct work against counterfeits for other initiatives, the reviewers deem the understanding of the problem to be comprehensive. That earlier document (bit.ly/3540OPM) explained:
"Based on the consumer survey, it is assumed that 5-10% of all [chargers] bought separately in the EU, and approximately 10-15% of cables, are counterfeit. As regards product safety issues, 1% of survey respondents who had bought a non-bundled EPS or cable in the last 24 months reported it had caused safety issues (e.g. electrical shock, fire…), while 3% reported it had damaged their mobile phone. 5% of those who had bought an EPS, and 7% of those who had bought a cable, reported that it broke/became unusable shortly after it was bought. Existence of such risks has been documented by an analysis of the number of risk alerts for mobile phone chargers in the RAPEX and ICSMS systems. Overall, the RAPEX and ICSMS data, supported by feedback from authorities, suggest that there are problems with chargers and that these are increasing, although data in 2017-2018 does not confirm a clear trend. There appears to be a substantial market for counterfeit EPS and cables, which bring significant losses to intellectual property rights (IPR) holders, and could also constitute serious safety threats to users, and negatively impact the environment."