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Tattoos in Europe: Soon to be forbidden?

By January 2022 the EU regulations (REACH) on tattoo ink will come into force, which according to experts will place the entire industry in jeopardy. At Tattoodo, we believe that the right ink regulation could be great for the tattoo industry. Unfortunately, the new EU regulations create more problems than they solve. Below you will find our understanding of the new regulations and the problems they cause.

Timeline

How did we end up in this situation?

  1. December 2006

    REACH regulation established

    EU Parliament approves “REACH” which is a new very strict regulation on a long range of chemical substances. No impact on tattoo-ink yet

  2. March 2015

    Assessment of tattoo-ink requested

    EU Commission requests an assessment to regulate use of chemicals in tattoo-ink (called Annex XV) Tattoo-ink is to be regulated under “REACH” legislation which means only the singular components will be regulated – not the purity and production of each batch of ink. I.e. only solving half the problem

  3. October 2017

    Proposal for legislating tattoo-ink finalized incl. pigments blue/green

    Annex XV is finalized and will later become a central part of the regulation of ink. It consolidates / copies lists of existing hazardous substances as well as cosmetic substances. The latter include 21 hair-dye colorants including pigments blue and green

  4. December 2020

    Confirm legislation to ban tattoo-ink

    EU Commission vote and confirm the proposal to ban 4000 chemical substances in the EU

  5. January 2022

    Ban of 4000 substances take effect incl. tattoo-ink components

    Due to the fact that tattoo-ink is made up of many different substances which are on the list of banned substances, all ink is illegal

  6. January 2023

    Pigment Blue 15 and Pigment Green 7 also banned

    Blue and green pigments were given a longer lead-time to find alternatives however since other components included in tattoo-ink is already illegal from Jan 2022, it has no real impact

All you need to know about the new EU regulation

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