Comply with EU regulations. Provide safety information. Protect EU consumers.
Ensuring consumer safety is a priority of the European Commission's consumer policy. This year, the European Commission conducted an accelerated collaboration project with the market surveillance authorities from 29 countries, in order to assess the risks associated with chargers placed on the European market. The CASP programme (Coordinated Activities on the Safety of Products) involves coordinated product sampling and testing in member states.
Chargers were selected for CASP 2019, as these are a common products, and analysis from various sources, including research conducted by member states, reports of accidents and incidents and RAPEX, demonstrate that they present several risks to consumers. When selecting the tests to which the chargers would be subjected, the focus was mainly on the risk of electric shock and of overheating and fire.
The CASP inspection campaign revealed that unsafe chargers are still being supplied on the market. Based on the results of the European campaign, and the technical inspection, 20 out of the 23 universal battery chargers, 13 out of the 25 laptop and tablet chargers and 23 out of the 38 USB chargers were found to be non-compliant. In addition to the markings and instructions, we consider leakage paths and air distances to be the main defects of the different types of charger.
What must manufacturers look out for?
- Only produce chargers that are safe and that comply with the relevant legislation and present no risks to consumers.
- Make sure that the chargers bear the CE marking, and understand its meaning. The CE mark is a sign that the manufacturer declares that the chargers comply with the safety requirements under the relevant European legislation.
- Make sure that the chargers do not overheat.
- Make sure that the primary and secondary circuits are sufficiently separated.
Charger manufacturers and importers in the EU are required to ensure that the products are safe for consumers. Manufacturers must ensure that their chargers fully comply with the European harmonisation legislation. In addition to establishing the EU declaration of conformity, affixing the CE marking and drafting technical documentation, they must also ensure that the chargers are provided with instructions for safe use and warnings about the possible risks.