By Adedapo Adesanya Europe is set to force manufacturers to create a universal charging solution under a new rule proposed by the European Commission (EC) that will see all devices use only USB-C chargers by 2024. All smartphones sold in the EU must have USB-C chargers, the proposal said. The aim is to reduce waste by encouraging consumers to re-use existing chargers when buying a new device. The proposed rules will apply to smartphones, tablets, cameras, headphones, portable speakers, and handheld video game consoles. Other products including earbuds, smart-watches and fitness trackers were not considered for technical reasons linked to the sizes and use conditions. The proposal also standardises fast charging speeds - meaning devices capable of fast charging will be charged at the same speeds. Most Android phones come with USB micro-B charging ports but only a small percentage have moved to the more modern USB-C standard. New models of the iPad and MacBook use USB-C charging ports, as do high-end phone models from popular Android manufacturers such as Samsung and Huawei. The changes would apply to the charging port on the device body, whereas the end of the cable connecting to a plug could be USB-C or USB-A. According to data, around half of chargers sold with mobile phones in the European Union in 2018 had a USB micro-B connector, while 29 per cent had a USB C connector and 21 per cent a Lightning connector. The legislative proposal, known as a Directive, will be debated by the European Parliament and national governments. MEPs and member states may suggest amendments to the proposal. Only once the EC has agreed on these amendments will the directive be enacted. The EC hopes that will happen in 2022 - after which member states usually have two years to enact the rules into national law, and manufacturers will have 24 months to change their charging ports. "We gave industry plenty of time to come up with their own solutions, now time is ripe for legislative action for a common charger. \u201cThis is an important win for our consumers and environment and in line with our green and digital ambitions," Commission Vice President Margrethe Vestager said.