Bega Valley Shire CouncilBega Valley Shire Council

Tattooing Shows and Interstate or International Visitors

Environment & Health / Health & Safety / Skin Penetration Regulation

Tattooing Shows and Interstate or International Visitors

Individuals or organisations wishing to hold tattooing shows where body art tattooing procedures will be performed, must apply for a permit from the Department of Fair Trading. A tattooing show permit may be issued for a maximum of 7 days with a maximum of two permits  per person per year. To apply for a tattooing show permit you must:

  1. Be at least 18 years of age and an Australian citizen or resident
  2. Not be a controlled member of a declared organisation
  3. Complete a tattooing show permit application providing information about yourself and the purposed show including;
  • Your name, residential and postal addresses, date and place of birth.
  • The address at which you purpose to conduct the show.
  • Details of any licence you may hold or have held under the Act.
  • the tattooist who will perform at the show (if known at the time of making the application but no later that 14 days prior to the date of the show).
  • A declaration ensuring that all participants will comply with legislative requirements in relation to body art tattooing, including helath and local government requirements.
  • Provide details of the organisation and evidence that you have been nominated by the organisation to be the event manager, if you are applying on behalf of an organisation.
  • Lodge your application and pay the prescribed fee.

Note: You are required to provide the Secretary, Department of Fair Trading, with the personal details of the body art tattooist who will be performing at the show no later than 14 days prior to the date of the show.  The permit holder is required to maintain a written list of the details of the authorised participants performing at the show at all times the show is open to the public.  The written list must be produced to an authorised officer on demand.  The permit holder must ensure that no body art tattooing procedures are carried out by persons who are not authorised participants as heavy penalities apply.

Authorised Participants

Body art tattooists who live in NSW or in another Australian jurisdiction, or normally reside in another country do not need a license under the Act to be able to carry out body art tattooing at a show, provided these requirements are met.

The body art tattooists who perform at the show are known as "authorized participants". An individual is an "authorized participant" of the show if:

  1. The personal details of the individuals have been provided to the Secretary by the permit holder for the show at least 14 days before the commencement of the show, and
  2. The individual is not an unsuitable individual, and
  3. The individual has not, in the previous 12 months, been an authorised participant of more than one other show.

An individual ceases to be an authorised participant of a show if:

  1. The Secretary gives written notice to the permit holder stating that the individual is not to be an authorised participant of the show, or
  2. The individual becomes an unsuitable individual, or
  3. The individual notifies the Secretary that they are no longer an authorised participant, or
  4. The individual has performed body art tattoowing procedures at premises in respect of which an operator license is in force on more than 31 days in total.

Visiting overseas body art tattooists

If you live outside of Australia and wish to visit NSW to perform body art tattooing procedures for a fee or reward at a show, then you can do so provided you do it as an authorised participant of a show. As an authorized participant, you can also carry out body art tattooing procedures at the premises of a licensed tattoo parlor operator for a period of up to 31 days a year. However, to do so, a person must ensure that they:

  1. Are not an Australian citizen or Australian resident, and
  2. The performance of a body art tattooing procedure for fee or reward is not breach of any visa condition of the individual, and
  3. They have not, in the previous 12 months, performed body art tattooing procedures at premises in respect of which an operator license is in force on more than 31 days, and
  4. When performing body art tattooing procedures at any such premises, they carry the following documents and promptly produces them if requested to do so by an authorised officer:
  • The individual's passport.
  • Written evidence that the individual is an authorised participant in a show upon request.

License conditions

Under the Act, a license is granted subject to specific conditions. However, Fair Trading may impose additional conditions on a license. All licensees must not sell, rent out or lend their license to anyone. Operators must also:

  1. Make business financial records available for inspection by an authorised officer upon written request.
  2. Notify NSW Fair Trading of any changes in relation to their staffe members, close associates or any other license details, including if a licence has been lost, stolen or destroyed.
  3. Display the certificate of license at the licensed premises in a visible location.
  4. Include their license number in any advertising.
  5. Keep a log book of all procedures performed on the premises.  The log book must include the:
  • date/s when the procedure was performed
  • full name and license number of the tattooist who performed  the procedure
  • amount charged, method of payment and receipt number (if any)

6. Keep all records in English at the licensed premises at all times, which must be readily accessible by an authorised officer upon written notice.  

7. The maximum penalty for not complying with a licence condition is $2,200. 


Anyone operating a body art tattooing business or performing body art tattooing procedures without a license or permit, or not covered by the transitional arrangements that apply will be breaking the law and may be subject to penalities.

The maximum penalities for operators are:

  • $11,000 in the case of a corporation and in the case of a continuing offence, $11,000 for each day of the offence continues
  • $5,500 in any other case and in the case of a continuing offence, $5,500 for each day the offence continues.

The maximum penalities for tattooists are:

  • $5,500 for a first offence.
  • $11,000 for a second of subsequent offence.

Related information

Hygiene Procedures

  1. The premises must be kept in a clean and hygienic condition at all times.
  2. Treatment areas such as benches should be cleaned between each client and/or a clean covering placed over the treatment surface.
  3. To prevent cross contamination, all liquids, creams, inks and pigments must be decanted into single use containers, and a single use applicator must be used for each person undergoing the procedure (no double dipping).
  4. Sterile packaging should be opened just prior to starting the treatment.
  5. Sterile parts of the equipment that will penetrate the skin should not be handled. (If handling sterile equipment is necessary, a sterile insertion tube, a pre-packed sterile alcohol swab, a sterile dry swab, or sterile single use gloves should be used).
  6. The area to be tattooed should be cleaned with a skin antiseptic.


  1. Any equipment at the premises must be in good working order, be cleaned and dried after use and be kept in a clean and dry condition.
  2. If reusable articles are sterilized on site, they must be sterilized using a bench-top sterilizer which complies with AS 2182-1998 Sterilizers - Steam - Benchtop. (There must be at least Ione person present at the time the sterilizer is used who is adequately trained in the operation of the bench-top sterilizer).
  3. Sterilization must be carried out in accordance with AS/NZS 4815:2006 Office-based health care facilities - Reprocessing of reusable medical and surgical instruments and equipment, and maintenance of the associated environment.
  4. Equipment must be thoroughly cleaned (i.e. via scrubbing, using an instrument washer, and/or ultra-sonic cleaner) before processing through a bench-top sterilizer (see How to Sterilize your instruments and comply with the Public Health Regulation 2012).
  5. All instruments must be wrapped and packaged prior to processing through a bench-top sterilizer. This will maintain sterility and permit aseptic removal of the contents of the pack at the time of use. An exception to this requirement is if items are used immediately after processing through a bench-top sterilizer.
  6. The bench-top sterilizer must have a printout facility to record the cycle parameters (i.e. temp, pressure, time), otherwise a Class 4, 5 or 6 chemical indicator must be placed in one instrument pack (in every load) or there must be direct observation and recording of cycle parameters.
  7. Where on-site technical support is not available to achieve calibration or validation, a Class 5 or 6 indicators must be placed in every instrument package (in every load) or a process challenge device must be used in every load.
  8. Equipment that is difficult to clean and sterilize, should only be used once and then thrown away (single-use only) .
  9. If needles are used in any skin penetration procedure, they must be single use and disposed into an appropriate sharps container which complies with AS/NZS 4261:1994 Reusable containers for the collection of sharp items used in human and animal medical applications, or AS 4031 - 1992 Non-reusable containers for the collection of sharp medical items used in health care areas.
  10. Articles that are used in a skin penetration procedure but do not penetrate the skin must be cleaned and kept in a clean condition.
  11. Towels or other types of linen used for covering or protection during the procedure must be clean at the start of each treatment. Linen should be washed in detergent and hot water.


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