Mr Leon Perera asked the Minister for Trade and Industry whether the Government will consider requiring USB-C to be adopted as the charging standard for portable electronics, as will be the case in the European Union (EU) and India.
The Minister of State for Trade and Industry (Mr Alvin Tan) (for the Minister for Trade and Industry): Mr Speaker, to reduce electronic waste or e-waste, the EU requires all mobile phones and other portable electronic devices sold in the EU to be equipped with a USB Type-C charging port by the end of 2024. The Indian government intends to implement a similar requirement. But most countries have not announced similar measures. We are monitoring developments in this space, including manufacturers’ response to the EU requirements. In the meantime, we have implemented other ways to manage e-waste, such as the Extended Producer Responsibility framework.
Mr Speaker: Mr Perera.
Mr Leon Perera (Aljunied): Thank you, Mr Speaker, Sir. I thank the Minister of State for his reply. I would just like to ask one supplementary question. What would be the triggers or key factors in determining a change in policy on this, given the developments in the EU and India that the Minister of State referred to? Reports state that the measure, when it comes into effect in the EU, will cut down e-waste by 11,000 tonnes a year and save consumers 250 million euros a year. So, in light of that, what would be the factors that would be the triggers that will bring about a change in policy on this point?
Before I finish, let me declare my interest as the chairman of a research and consulting company that does work in consumer tech, among other verticals.
Mr Alvin Tan: Thank you. The short answer is that we are still monitoring developments in this space.
Ministry of Trade and Industry
14 February 2023