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Tattoos, Piercings and Electrolysis

Anybody carrying out acupuncture or tattooing, semi-permanent skin colouring (micro pigmentation), body and ear piercing or electrolysis must register both the people and premises involved.




Licensing Team, Vale of Glamorgan Council, Civic Office, Holton Road, Barry, CF63 4RU


Application Process 

For a registration (personal or premises) an application form and relevant fee must be submitted.


The premises must not be used until the premises registration certificate has been received.


Following the issuing of a registration an inspection will carried out. An inspector will check compliance with the Vale of Glamorgan by-law requirements as well as ensuring that general health and safety requirements are being met. The inspector will be pleased to offer any advice or give any help if you are unsure as to how to meet these obligations.


A person must not operate until their personal registration certificate has been received.


If a certificate of registration is issued for either yourself or your premises it will last indefinitely and you are not required to renew your certificate at any stage.


An application to change details on the approval must be submitted with the relevant fee.


A person is obliged to tell the Licensing Authority which registered premises they work from.


Tacit Consent

No. It is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from the local authority within a reasonable period, please contact us.


The target time is 28 calendar days


Background and Eligibility Criteria

The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 Part VIII requires the following types of skin piercing need be registered with the Council.

  • Acupuncture
  • Tattooing
  • Semi - Permanent Skin Colouring
  • Cosmetic Piercing
  • Electrolysis

The Act requires registration to cover both the person carrying on the practice and the premises used for that purpose. There are no powers to refuse registration, but the practice is controlled through compliance with byelaws in each case.


The applicant must ensure that the procedures, equipment and facilities used are safe, hygienic, prevent the spread of disease and comply fully with the general duty of care required by the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.


It is illegal to conduct ear piercing, tattooing, acupuncture, semi-permanent skin colouring or electrolysis unless the registration has been formally approved.



Please view the Vale of Glamorgan Council byelaws and the further information page.


It is illegal to conduct ear piercing, tattooing, acupuncture, semi-permanent skin colouring or electrolysis unless the registration has been formally approved.


The Tattooing of Minors Act 1969 makes it illegal for anyone to tattoo a person who is under the age of 18.


From 1st February 2018 the intimate piercing of persons under the age of 18 was prohibited in Wales.  Part 5 of the Public Health (Wales) Act 2017 also made it an offence to ‘make arrangements’ to perform an intimate piercing on a child or young person under the age of 18 in Wales.


An intimate piercing includes piercings to the tongue, breast and genitalia areas.
Further information can be obtained via the following links.





Premises Registration - £132.00


Personal Registration - £66.00


Change personal or premises registration - £12.00


Supplementary Information  


  • All surfaces in any part of the premises used by clients must be kept clean and in good repair
  • All furniture and fittings in the treatment area must be kept clean and in good repair
  • Tables, couches, seats etc used in the treatment area must have a smooth, impervious surface which is regularly wiped down with disinfectant and covered by a disposable paper sheet, changed after each client
  • A 'No Smoking' sign must be prominently displayed


Cleanliness of operatives

  • Any overall worn by the operative should be clean and in good repair
  • The operative's hands and nails must be kept clean
  • Any open cut, wound, sore or boil must be suitably covered by an impermeable dressing
  • The operative should not smoke nor drink in the treatment area
  • The operative should have sole use of the washing facilities which must provide hot and cold running water, soap (or a similar cleanser) and a nail brush



Any needle, metal instrument or other item of equipment used in the treatment must be in a sterile condition and kept sterile until it is used.

If pre-sterilised items are not used then adequate facilities must be provided for the purpose of sterilisation.


A personal registration issued by the Vale of Glamorgan Council only allows the person to work from a registered premise within the Vale of Glamorgan.


Complaint and Other Redress

  •  Failed Application Redress

    Please contact the Licensing Team in the first instance:


    Tel: 01446 709105



  •  Licence Holder Redress
    Please contact the Licensing Team in the first instance:


    Tel: 01446 709105



  •  Consumer Complaint
    We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you, preferably in the form of a letter with proof of delivery. 


    If that has not worked and you are located in the UK Consumer Direct will be able to give you advice.    


    If you have a complaint from across Europe contact the UK European Consumer Centre.



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