Legal status of tattooing in the European Union

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There is no law in the European Union requiring all countries to have a set age to be tattooed, therefore it differs from country to country. Even though there is not a set law on the actual tattooing, there are set laws for EU states to follow that affect the working environment of tattoo/piercing shops and regulations.

Austria[edit]

You may get a tattoo at the age of 16 with parental consent (this can be written) and without parental consent from the age of 18 upwards.[1]

Belgium[edit]

In Belgium, there is not a specific implementation decree regulating the sector of piercing and tattooing practices.[2]

Bulgaria[edit]

No legislation exists.

Croatia[edit]

You may get a tattoo or piercing at the age of 16 with parental consent (parents must be present) and without parental consent from the age of 18 upwards. (tattooing or piercing of minors may vary depending on studios policy, some refuse to tattoo or pierce minors completely)

Cyprus[edit]

The legal age to get a tattoo in Cyprus is 18.

Czech Republic[edit]

No legislation found.[by whom?]

Denmark[edit]

The Danish tattoo law was valid from June 15, 1966. It is unlawful to tattoo someone under the age of 18. In addition to this it is unlawful to tattoo someone on the head, neck and hands.[2][3]

Estonia[edit]

No legislation found.

Finland[edit]

You need to be 18+ to get a tattoo in Finland, however, you may be able to get a permit to get a tattoo under the age of 18.

France[edit]

The legal minimum age is 18 in France.

Germany[edit]

You must be over 18 years of age to get a tattoo freely without parental consent. You need to have parental or guardian consent at the ages of 16 and 17. [4]

Greece[edit]

The minimum age is 18.

Greek tattoo law only covers tattoos and not permanent make-up.

Other key provisions (non exhaustive summary):[2]

  • Only tattoo persons who are at least 18 years of age. Persons under the age of 18 may only be tattooed 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.
  • Not effect 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.

Hungary[edit]

No legislation found.

Ireland[edit]

"There is no legislation regulating body piercing and tattooing. As a result there is no legal minimum age at which you can get a body piercing or tattoo."[5] However, many tattoo shops will refuse to tattoo anyone under the age of 18, or anyone 16+ who does not have a parent or guardian with them. Children who are 14 can get tattoos or piercings with parental consent.

Italy[edit]

In Italy a specific legislation concerning tattoos and piercing practices does not exist.[2]

Latvia[edit]

The legal age is 16.

Lithuania[edit]

The age is 18 or 16 with consent of parents.

Luxembourg[edit]

No legislation found.

Malta[edit]

The minimum age is 18.

Netherlands[edit]

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 children 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.[6]

Poland[edit]

No regulation.

Portugal[edit]

Reportedly the age limit is 18. .

Romania[edit]

The minimum age is 18

Slovakia[edit]

No legislation found.

Slovenia[edit]

No legislation found.

Spain[edit]

16 with consent of parents or 14 in some regions

Sweden[edit]

The minimum age is 18.

United Kingdom[edit]

The minimum age is 18. There is no such thing as parental consent for under 18 and any studio doing this is breaking the law. [7]

References[edit]