As a tattoo artist, you have an obligation to protect yourself and your customers. And even more, if you are self-employed or own your own shop.
Ensuring that you comply with the tattoo laws of your country is one of the first things an artist should consider before tattooing a guest. Regardless of your qualifications, everyone must follow the same rules.
Health and Safety
In the UK, for example, the licensing and procedures of tattoo and piercing studios are strictly regulated. Local councils often conduct regular inspections of places to ensure they comply with health and safety laws. Every tattoo artist must obtain permission from his local council. Unauthorized tattoos or tattoo certificates are illegal.
However, certain requirements do differ. For example, some people insist that every artist has their own sink, while others allow shared facilities. Therefore, it is best to contact your local council first to ensure that you have not violated any regulations.
There are good reasons for such legislation and inspections to protect employees, artists, and customers from infections and more dangerous blood-borne diseases (such as HIV, AIDS, and hepatitis).
If you plan to work abroad, it is important to ensure that the store you work in also meets the requirements. Not only for your reputation but also for the safety of customers. Some countries have different laws than the UK, so you should always check before you start monitoring.
The United Kingdom
The United Kingdom prohibits any person under the age of 18 from getting tattoos. Any artist who discovers the tattoo will be prosecuted and fined. Therefore, you must obtain proof of age and attach a copy to the consent form. The UK is actually the only EU country that does not allow young people under 18 to get tattoos. Even with parental consent. In fact, in the UK, you need to obtain a wide range of permanent surgical procedures, including tattoos, semi-permanent skin coloring, cosmetic piercing, electrolysis, and acupuncture.
Greek and Netherlands
By the way, there are two more special countries. Greek tattoo law only covers tattoos and not permanent make-up. Other key provisions, in a non-exhaustive summary.Only tattoo persons who are at least 18 years of age. Persons under the age of 18 may only tattoo in the presence of a guardian who has given the required written consent. Not advise on the customer’s state of physical health or offer any medical opinion. And not affect any medical procedure, be it on the recommendation, under the guidance, or with the help of any form of medical specialist. Not proceed in any manner whatsoever to remove a tattoo.
In the Netherlands, the age at which persons may decide for themselves to have a tattoo and piercing is 16 years. This age limit is suspended for earlobe piercing but pertains to all other areas. Informed consent forms, with information concerning health (including allergies), must be available and must be signed by the client. In the case of young adults under 16 years, a parent or guardian must sign. If they have signed but are not present with the client, the tattooist or piercer must verify their consent by telephone. Signed consent forms must be kept by the studio in a locked file for ten years.
The other parts of Europe
Interestingly, in other parts of Europe, the legal age for tattoos does vary. For example, there is no age limit in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, or Hungary, while in Spain, customers as young as 14 can get tattoos. France’s age requirement is 16. While Austria, Denmark, and Germany are the few countries that have the same minimum age of 18 as the United Kingdom.
So, before you get a tattoo, please make sure you (or the client) meet the required age to avoid unnecessary risks. Pay attention to the sterilization of the tattoo machine.