Tattoo removal without laser – allowed or forbidden?
Background on why some believe tattoo removal without laser is allowed and some believe it is banned?
Where do the rumours come from?
The legal basis
The situation in France
The situation in Austria
The situation in the rest of the EU and the rest of the world
From time to time, one hears the rumour that tattoo removal without laser is allegedly forbidden in some countries. These rumours have been around since SKINIAL came into existence (2009). However, tattoo removal without laser has not yet been banned. Why do these rumours keep coming up and what is behind them? This is the question we will explore in this blog.
1. Where do the rumours come from?
The rumours usually come either from begrudging competitors or from people who have neither knowledge of the technology nor of SKINIAL itself. Many also uncritically spread rumours that they themselves claim to have heard somewhere but have never questioned. Some representatives of the authorities also confuse people with their statements and thus accept that rumours will be circulated.
2. The legal basis
Tattoo removal without laser is regulated in the European Cosmetics Directive, which is the law in every EU member state. SKINIAL meets all the requirements. Authorities are strictly forbidden to create their own laws with interpretations. According to the Basic Law, they may only enforce existing law. Some representatives of the authorities, however, exceed their competences and third parties parrot these FAKE NEWS unreflectively with reference to allegedly “competent” authorities. Hardly any authority representatives, however, know their way around this special, new area. The reason why this assessment is not easy even for authorities lies in the systematics of European legislation. While in medicine only what is explicitly approved is allowed, in cosmetics everything is allowed that is not explicitly prohibited.
The European legislator and thus all national laws are bound by this principle. If you do not adhere to it, you yourself violate higher-ranking European law. If an authority wants to ban a product or a method of treatment, it must give precise reasons on which legal basis it is referring. However, since there are EU laws that regulate exactly how tattoo removal without laser must be applied for it to be cosmetic, and since all EU states have ratified these laws, only those companies and methods that do not comply with the relevant EU laws are banned. SKINIAL meets all the requirements. An authority that makes a blanket judgement is therefore acting unlawfully in any case and may even be violating EU antitrust regulations, which can be very costly.
Every time we put our point of view in writing to an authority in response to such an action, we usually do not even receive a reply. This is because authorities may only sanction cosmetic products based on the law, but not approve them. However, you cannot invoke a legal basis for a ban on tattoo removal without laser. Authorities do not officially make favourable or even approving statements about cosmetic products or procedures at all, because these could be legally interpreted as official approval and would be the basis for possible liability of the authority. This is not easy for the public to understand and is therefore often the cause of misunderstandings, also on Facebook!
Medical representatives also occasionally claim, out of self-interest (laser doctors) or ignorance, that tattoo removal without lasers would be prohibited because it is a “medical product or procedure”. This is wrong for the simple reason that the Medical Devices Act does not legally permit SKINIAL as a medical device at all (source: TÜV SÜD). Moreover, SKINIAL has been legally recognised as a cosmetic product by several European health ministries.
3. The situation in France
The ARS and the REPRESSION DES FRAUD are control bodies of the French Ministry of Health. They are responsible for hygiene and compliance with legal regulations and check these regularly. Occasionally, they issue bans. One time they claim that SKINIAL tattoo removal serums are not tattoo ink, therefore they are not a tattooing product and should not be used for treatment. Another time it is not a cosmetic application but a medical one. Both assessments are easy to refute.
4. The situation in Austria
In Austria, some representatives of the authorities even claim that any kind of tattoo removal (without going into the method) is prohibited for cosmeticians and tattoo artists. The basis is supposedly the respective trade regulations, which, however, are subordinate if they conflict with EU laws. Fortunately, the authorities in Austria are alone in Europe with this opinion. This legal position is not lawful, not proportionate and additionally violates EU antitrust law and the right of free exercise of the profession, because it discriminates against entire professions (beauticians and tattooists) without reason and without legal basis and grants doctors an illegal advantage (exclusive privilege). Recently, however, this has only been stoically asserted by one district authority and even this authority has meanwhile rowed back and proposed alternative ways for beauticians.
5. The situation in the rest of the EU and the rest of the world
Of course, it is not possible to give an exact assessment for every country in the world now.
In the EU, the situation has eased considerably since 2009, because there are now several competitors and transparency has increased, many black sheep and free riders are no longer active on the market. Doubters but also ardent supporters still exist today, however, in national or regional authorities.
Outside the EU, there are no fundamental bans but occasional trade barriers as far as the import of distance products is concerned, which tries to protect the market in a protectionist way, especially through costly registrations or high customs duties. We know this from Brazil, Morocco, Turkey, South Africa, and China, but there are certainly other countries
6. Positive outlook
Do not let yourself be unsettled! Recent economic history is full of such protectionist agitations, discrediting new, disruptive technologies. In the long run, however, more advanced technology still prevails. The most important European cosmetics association is behind us. If you still have a problem with authorities, contact us and we will help you.
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