Cyprus Mail

Tattoo studios ‘out of control’, MPs hear

By Evie Andreou

MPs on Thursday called on the state legal services to speed up procedures concerning a bill proposal regulating the operation of tattoo and body piercing studios, which has been pending since 2012, arguing that the current situation as regards these businesses was uncontrollable.

The issue was discussed at the House health committee, where MPs heard that currently a very large number of tattoo and body piercing parlours operate in Cyprus, many without the necessary permits.

According to committee member, Stella Kyriakides, it was the Tattoo and Piercing Artist Cyprus Association that asked for the issue to be discussed in parliament, as the group worry of the uncontrollable opening of new workshops which do not first obtain any permits and without any control from state services.

MPs heard that there are 200 licenced tattoo and body piercing studios in London, while there are 300 in Cyprus.

Regulating the operation of these workshops, she said, is a matter of public health safety. She added that, contrary to EU regulations that provide that only persons over 18 can have tattoos or body piercing, in Cyprus, the age threshold is 16 but a written consent of parents or guardians is required.

She added that there are no sufficient checks to make sure that younger children do not get tattoos or body piercing and there is no study on possible health risks for minors.

The issue, Kyriakides said, was initially discussed 12 years ago and in 2012 the health ministry prepared a bill which was sent to the legal services for vetting. No progress has been recorded since.

“There is no doubt that legal regulation in order to protect both members of the public and of professionals,” Kyriakides said.

She said that the committee decided to ask the legal services in writing to send to them the bill the soonest possible.

As the bill has been with the legal services for six years, she said, amendments to update some provisions may be in order.

Kyriakides expressed hope that the whole issue would be sorted out within the next few months.

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