The Chamber of Deputies overrode a veto of President Vaclav Klaus on an amended law on chemical substances that concerns compatibility with the European directive REACH, CTK has learnt.
Klaus vetoed the amendment according to which companies in the Czech Republic would have to register the chemicals they use in August. He said the concept was wrong and that it was too costly with respect to potential benefits.
Klaus said earlier REACH was the most terrible thing that had emerged in the EU. "The link with the protection of people's health and safety is at least very doubtful," said Klaus.
As many as 133 deputies voted for the amendment, while 101 votes in the 200-member Chamber of Deputies were needed.
Environment Minister Martin Bursik welcomed the law's passage. "The veto was a nonsense - the system of handling chemical substances known as REACH is directly valid in the entire EU, given by a resolution, and the amendment only makes Czech legislation part of the REACH reality," Bursik said.
The directive aims to gather available information on around 30,000 chemical substances on the European market. The Association of the Czech Chemical Industry said earlier that domestic companies will have to spend up to Kc11bn to meet the requirements of the EU directive.
Shadow industry minister Milan Urban Tuesday criticised the amendment which, according to him, will raise costs of Czech companies whose competitiveness will be reduced as a result.
Under the law, citizens will have the right to information about chemical substances in consumer goods and their impact on the environment and health, said Bursik. Dangerous substances will be substituted with a less hazardous alternative and chemicals which are proven or suspect human carcinogens will be liable to authorisation.