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Tattoo Safety - Berlin 18-19 November 2021- where we are in Belgium today

Hi dear followers,

Let's take stock of today's and yesterday's Conference.

Lots of technical information of high quality, greats scientific researchers and a lot of data to understand and remember. It would be reductive to summarize here 2 days of scientists taking stock of the situation on inks.

I suppose the majority who read the blog want to know one thing, but what will happen in January?

According to the representative of the European Commission, the law will come into force with its pre-established parameters.

Several participants, people who have helped create the current stability and security over the years, have clearly stated, nowadays, only 2 brands of black inks are ready. Another small number of brands with colors have promised to market colors that meet the new parameters. In practice, the uncertainty is real.

A doctor gave a very clear thought, two trains running against each other, despite the approaching accident no one pulls the brake. This is where we are. Europe is certainly right to demand standards but at the same time the parameters of the substances must be realistic. Because we must keep in mind that banning the European territory without a solution of continuity means feeding the black market of tattoos, and this is a scourge that the European Union pretends not to see, like all national governments.

When the sage points to the moon the fool looks at the finger. In the same way we say attention, for every legal tattoo artist there are 4 or 5 who work illegally, for the latter the ink is not a problem, like taxes and public health.

Why is Europe aiming for producers' money instead of working on this pending law?

If Europe really tries to protect our health, why doesn't it stop avoiding demanding from different nations equal training, hygiene and control regulations? Inks are the finger dear MEPs of Europe, we are warning you that you are about to favor our common enemies, those who violate the law and that you are absolutely underestimating, like the different governments like ours in Belgium.

Our minister believes that a 2005 law is still capable of controlling a profession that is not the same in 2021. 500,000 tattoos in 2017 in Belgium, with only a dozen controls and only to legal tattoo artists.

We as an association are not entitled to any listening or help from the Belgian state to follow and advise our clients and members.

For twenty years in Belgium the same people continue to cut tongues, burn skin and all this with advertising on social networks, on public internet sites, yes illegal but not right controlled. Actually we have anyone without hygiene training passes through and stays tattooing in Belgium without controls.

How do you want inks to be a problem in our Belgium?

Here we are at the basis of legality. We have hundreds, thousands of people exercising illegally without any fear, only who work legally are at constant risk of controls, bankruptcy, threats, unfair competition and harassment on the internet. Being illegall tattooist is the new Eldorado, Europe and Belgium closes its eyes.

Take off the legal material, we will shut down, people will continue to get tattooed by illegals, the state will lose taxes and spend a lot of money on treating the sick customers of illegal tattooist.

Here is the current situation, raw, served cold, without any make-up to pretend it's okay. The Germans, the Austrians, the Danes and the Italians have a dialogue with their institutions, in Belgium we are as in Eastern Europe, we are nowhere. Forgotten in a drawer from the state. We hope to recover a dialogue with the state, because it's one of the purposes of our association, we are open to the government, we are a true legal association, we have been waiting for them for 3 years.

Help us to protect the trade and the customers, public health is in your hands ministers, we are on the side of the doctors and scientists, we want to protect the Belgian customers.

The ink law cannot be applied in Belgium if we do not have the support and real interlocuteure of the Belgian government because we will follow the decisions but all the illegals do not, they are stocking up while we are trying to prevent you from the government.

The ministry of health answered only one question, they told us to obey.

We have asked other questions to which we await answers...

The ban that started in January 2022 concerns 4,000 substances, how do you manage to control?

Illegal tattoo artists benefited from the pandemic because the current control system is largely inadequate, are you going to make changes that can protect us better? How is it possible that all these people who are without hygiene training work in Belgium, are you going to intervene?

Can you give us a referral person instead of referring to different services for 3 years?

From the 4th January 2022 we lost the majority of legal inks, not only colored also blacks, please can you say to us where we have to buy supply and where we can find more information about te substances?

So many problems without answers is the sign that something has not worked, we are the only active association in the wallone side we know that you are extremely attentive and prepared, we are waiting for you.

Ad maiora

Bruno Menei

Chairman ATB

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