Czech President Vaclav Klaus on Monday vetoed a law placing the country's chemical industry under tougher European Union rules, calling it bureaucratic and bad for business, dpa reported.
"Neither we nor the whole EU needs such regulation," Klaus said in a statement. "There is no reason to further toughen legislation in this field. People are not endangered by chemicals."
The bill, passed by parliament last month, implements an EU directive that requires manufacturers and importers to register chemicals with the new Helsinki-based European Chemicals Agency.
Klaus, a free-market proponent and longtime EU sceptic, says the new system is too costly, depriving Europe's chemical industry of competitiveness.
The law is "an unprecedented step" that would place the Czech chemical industry "under the direct control of European bureaucrats," he said.
"It amounts to full subjugation of the whole chemical industry," Klaus said.
Both chambers of the Czech parliament have passed the law. At least 101 votes in the 200-seat lower house are needed to override Klaus' veto.
The new EU agency's tasks are to collect information and run a public database on chemicals as well as to evaluate, authorize and restrict use of substances, so they pose no hazard to humans and the environment.
The European Parliament approved the regulation in 2006. It entered into force in 2007.