Tattoo: What are the rules?

Verified 09 December 2022 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

A tattoo is a coloring substance or preparation intended, by breaking into the skin, to create a mark on the superficial parts of the human body. This practice is regulated to avoid health risks. It is advisable to discuss this with the professional and your treating doctor beforehand. You can report any serious or non-serious side effects. It may be a harmful and unwanted reaction: reaction around the tattoo area, allergy, adverse health consequences beyond the tattoo area...

The practice of a tattoo is prohibited on a minor without the written consent of a person in charge of parental authority: parent or guardian.


The tattoo artist must be able to present proof of this consent to the supervisory authorities for 3 years.

The professional who performs the tattoo must respect the following rules:

  • Have been trained in hygiene and sanitary conditions
  • Report to the Director General of the Regional Health Agency (RHA)
  • Inform you before tattooing the risks you face
  • Inform you after tattooing precautions to be observed.

This information shall be visibly displayed in the premises where the techniques are practiced and shall be provided in writing to the customers.

The content of the information to be provided orally by the trader shall include:

  • The irreversibility of tattoos involving permanent body modification
  • Whether the acts are painful
  • The risk of infections
  • Allergic risks in particular related to tattoo inks
  • Research for contraindications to the movement related to the field or ongoing treatments
  • The healing time adapted to the technique that has been implemented and the cicatricial risks
  • The precautions to be observed after the techniques have been carried out, in particular to allow rapid healing.

These risks and precautionsTattoos: what risks, what precautions? are detailed by the Ministry of Health.

The professional must perform the tattoo exclusively in a room dedicated to this operation.

This room cannot therefore be used for any other activity (e.g. sales space).

This room needs to be cleaned every day. The surfaces used must be cleaned and disinfected between each customer.

The professional should remove jewelry prior to hand disinfection and wear disposable gloves.

Gloves are changed between 2 clients, and at least every 2 hours during a single operation.

They should prepare the tattoo area using an antiseptic.

A procedure for sterilization of equipment must be followed.


In particular, tattoo products must be rendered sterile.

People who have been tattooed are encouraged to report it to a health care practitioner, or directly on the portal, any side effects they suspect may be related to their tattoo.

In concrete terms, this is a harmful and unwanted reaction: reaction around the tattoo area, allergy, adverse health consequences beyond the tattoo area...

The lack of efficacy of the product is not affected by this reporting approach.

A form template can help you fill out this report.

Health reporting

Please note

Products for temporary tattoos (henna, ink...) are to be mentioned in the Cosmetics section.