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Mon - Fri: 9:00 - 17:30
Sat-Sun Closed
55/1 Giuseppe Calì Street XBX1425 Ta' Xbiex Malta
+356 21244895


The inspectorate within the Healthcare Standards Directorate monitors, inspects and regulates tattooing services to make sure that these studios meet fundamental standards of quality and safety. The names of licensed studios are published on the website so that the public is aware as to which establishments are licensed and thus have reinforced procedures for patient safety. This list can be accessed through click here.The Directorate puts the health of the public at the centre of its work and strives to be rigorous, fair and consistent in its approach. The aim of this document is to provide basic information to any person applying for a license to operate a tattoo studio.

2. General information

  1. In Malta, tattooing is regulated by – The Control of Tattooing Act (Chapter 270);
  2. Tattooing is to be performed ONLY by licensed tattooists;
  3. It is illegal for a person to have in his possession or under his control any instrument, equipment, material or other object used for the purpose of tattooing, unless such person is in possession of a valid license;
  4. A valid tattooing license must be displayed in a conspicuous place within the waiting room of the tattoo studio where it may be easily observed by the public upon entering the establishment;
  5. The licensing office for tattoo studios is at the Health Care Standards Directorate (HCSD) within the Health Regulation Department;
  6. Opening Hours are from 7am till 2.45 pm Monday to Friday


Ms Simone Schembri
Tel: 25953330 | email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(Inspection schedule, payment, collection of license)

Ms Silvana Attard
Tel: 25953324 | email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(Payment of licenses)

Mr Mark Tonna
Tel: 25953343 | email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(Procedure to apply/documents required to apply)

3. Applying for a license

  1. A person interested in providing tattooing services, must apply for a license as stipulated in The Control of Tattooing Act (Chapter 270);
  2. New applicants must be at least eighteen (18) years of age;
  3. One can apply for a license either by completing the application form or through the online application available at:
  4. When applying for a tattoo studio license, the following documents must be submitted:
    A filled in application form;
    A certificate of competency in tattooing with special emphasis to knowledge on safe infection control practices which are in line with the requirements issued by the Health Care Standards Directorate. A Planning Authority (PA) permit showing the proposed premises including the site plan or a declaration by an architect, certifying that the premises carries a PA permit and that the premises can be used to provide tattooing services;
    A Hepatitis B Vaccination record and an Anti HBs titre result;
    • A photocopy of the applicant’s identity card;
    If applying on behalf of a company, a copy of the Memorandum of Articles together with a declaration by the Director/s of the same company indicating that license is to be issued on the applicant’s name;
    For a third-country national to practice as a tattooist in Malta, one must apply for a work permit through Jobs Plus which can be reached on telephone number 22201290 or e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;
  5. Upon receiving the filled in application together with all the relevant documents, the licensing officer will vet the application accordingly;
  6. At this stage an onsite inspection is organised and the applicant is informed;
  7. An inspection team holding an authorisation badge will visit the premises. In case of a new establishment, a pre licensing visit may be requested by the applicant (recommended);
  8. A self-assessment check-list indicating the requirements to operate a tattoo studio will be sent to the applicant ten days prior to the inspection. This self-assessment will guide the applicant on what the inspection team will be expecting to find during the planned visit;
  9. During the inspection, the inspection team will verify if all conditions for licensing are satisfactory and will decide whether to recommend licensing or not;
  10. In cases where deficiencies are identified, a meeting with the applicant to advise and highlight the deficiencies needing attention will be held, this may necessitate a follow up visit;
  11. Once all conditions for licensing are satisfactory a license reflecting both the tattoo artist and the tattoo studio will be issued;
  12. The license includes a set of conditions. The tattooist must understand and comply with these conditions;
  13. Once licensing is recommended, the applicant is advised to pay an annual license fee of €12.90. The applicant may opt to collect the license from the HCSD licensing office or receive it by registered post.

4. The licensing process

The following flow chart outlines the procedure followed by the client and the inspectorate during the licensing process.


5. The tattoo studio

  1. The premises must have a Planning Authority permit;
  2. The studio must be kept clean and well maintained;
  3. A tattoo studio must have a separate waiting room and when the studio is being planned, the work station should only have access through the waiting room;
  4. Any plans for additional services MUST be included in the site plan submitted with the initial application;
  5. The studio must have adequate lighting and ventilation (mechanical or natural);
  6. The actual tattooing area must provide total privacy for the client;
  7. The studio walls must be painted with water repellent paint for easy cleaning;
  8. Toilet facilities must be available;
  9. Premises must have an efficient drainage system;
  10. Fire-fighting equipment must at least consist of a fire extinguisher bearing a valid expiry date.

6. The work station

  1. Work surfaces must be kept clean and well maintained and must be regularly washed with warm soapy water and wiped with a 70% alcohol solution. Work tops should be made of an impervious material for easy cleaning;
  2. Paper towels must always be available;
  3. There should be sufficient bench space to accommodate all the equipment used for tattooing procedures;
  4. A wash hand basin must be avilable within easy reach of the workstation/s and must be kept clean, well maintained and connected to the main drainage system. Single lever taps must have a supply of hot and cold water;
  5. Soap/suitable detergent and adequate drying facilities must be available near each wash hand basin;
  6. Client couches must be upholstered with an impervious type of material, which can be easily cleaned. Multiple couches must have a fixed partition between them for adequate client privacy;
  7. A proper sharps container must be available within each work station;
  8. A foot operated pedal bin lined with a disposable garbage bag must be available in each working station.

7. Lavatory facilities

  1. Lavatory facilities must be connected with the main drainage system and must always be kept clean and well maintained;
  2. There must be a proper functioning flushing apparatus;
  3. The wash hand basin within the lavatory room must have a supply of hot and cold water;
  4. Adequate hand washing/drying facilities must always be available;
  5. Proper ventilation must be present within the lavatory facilities (natural or mechanical);
  6. The lavatory facilities must have adequate lighting;
  7. Where possible lavatory facilities are to be accessible from the waiting room.

8. Tattooing instruments and other equipment

  1. While not in use, all clean and ready-to-use instruments, dyes, carbons and stencils must be kept in a closed container, or clean storage cabinet. Sterile instruments must be kept in sterile packages or containers. Tattooing needles should be kept in their original box and all product information must be retained;
  2. New disposable tattooing needles must be used for each client. It must be ensured that all disposables/consumables carry a brand, batch number, lot number and expiry date. Such information must be found both on the outer box and on the wrapping of each individual item;
  3. If an autoclave is in use, a vacuum type B autoclave must be available, and the efficiency of the autoclave must be regularly tested. Results of such tests must be recorded for review during inspection;
  4. Sterilized items must have an expiry date on each wrapper;
  5. All sharps must be disposed of in special sharps containers that are rigid, punctureresistant, and leak-proof and must be kept upright. Clinical waste must be collected by an approved Class D waste collector;
  6. Any licensed tattooist selling any products related to tattooing must be in compliant with the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority regulations.

9. The Tattooist

  1. A licensed tattooist must attend for all seminars delivered by the Health Care Standards Directorate;
  2. The tattooist must be free from infectious diseases;
  3. While practicing, a tattooist cannot be under the influence of any alcohol and/or drugs;
  4. Additionally, tattooing cannot be performed on clients who are seen to be under the influence of alcohol and /or drugs thus unable to sign an informed consent;
  5. New disposable latex gloves must be worn during the whole procedure and must be changed with each client, gloves must be disposed of in an appropriate manner after use. Nitrile gloves are also to be made available to be used for clients who are allergic to latex. Gloves must never be washed and re-used;
  6. The tattooist must sign a declaration that he/she has read and understood the conditions of the license.

10. Aftercare

  1. Once the tattooing procedure is complete, the skin of the client is to be treated with a suitable disinfectant and completely covered with a sterile dressing;
  2. Each client must be given written aftercare information. This information should include: tattooing aftercare; prevention and identification of infections; general care recommendations; information regarding the healing process; advice when to consult a doctor, signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction or any other factors delaying the healing process. Once the tattooing aftercare advice is provided and explained, each client has to sign on the client records sheet.

11. Additional guidelines

  1. Record keeping: records of each client must be kept in a secure place and are to be made available during an inspection. Information must include the name, age, and Identification number, address of client and date when the tattooing was carried out. Additionally, the tattooing site and notes taken regarding any old tattooing must also be recorded. These records must be signed and kept in total confidentiality for a period of at least 10 years; client record sheet templates Tattooing supplies are to be purchased from reputable suppliers and each item must be adequately labeled. Unbranded supplies are not to be used. All supplies must have a clear expiry date;
  2. Any leftover creams or any other solutions, which have been used on a client, must not be returned to the original container and must not be used on another client. Any applicator used for the dispensing of creams or any other solutions, must not be redipped into the original container and must be disposed of immediately after use;
  3. A tattoo studio must have a fully equipped first aid box;
  4. All practicing tattooists must be familiar with blood and body fluids spillage precautions;
  5. The client must be advised that any anesthetic cream containing medicinals such as Adrenaline and Lignocaine must be purchased, by means of a doctor’s prescription, from a pharmacy before a tattooing procedure.


Employment-Agency-LicenceTo get an Employment Agency License, please read the following:
1. Publish a “Notice of intention” for just one day in two different daily newspapers.
Display another copy of such “Notice of intention” in a prominent place onto the door of your premises where the business is intended to be carried out.
The “Notice of intention” should be displayed for at least for 21 calendar days before making the application. 
The "Notice of intention" should state the name, ID and address of applicant. If the applicant is a Company or Joint Venture, the Company Number/s, Company Name/s, registered address and the operating address. When applying as a Partnership, the names, IDs and addresses of each partners together with the address of the premises at which the employment agency or employment business is to be carried out are to be included. 
It is also important that the published Notice of Intention is to state that it is in accordance with section 23 of the Employment and Training Service Act 1990 (Act XXVII of 1990).

You are also to mention the class of activities to be carried out such as:

· Recruitment Consultancy.
· Interviewing, selection and placements of candidates in employment.
· Recruitment persons abroad for employment in Malta or in any E.U. Member State.
· Recruitment persons in Malta for employment in Malta or in any E.U. Member State.
· Advertising of the filling of vacancies.
· Keeping a register of applicants for employment.

The Competent person (the person managing the Employment Agency) is to be:

- not less than twenty-five years of age;
- be of good moral character; and
- have not less than six years’ experience in any activity which includes the management of human resources; or
- not less than three years’ experience in any activity which includes the management of human resources and be in possession of a University degree or diploma in a field which, in the opinion of the Director, is relevant to the management of an employment agency or employment business

2. A signed “Declaration letter” confirming that you are going to operate from an office that:

- is accessible to persons with special needs. (if not state where you are going to interview these persons);
- have a waiting room were candidates can wait before being interviewed;
- have an interview room where a candidate is interviewed away from other candidates
This letter is to be originally signed by the Competent Person/Director and should include your Letter Head.

3. After twenty one (21) calendar days from the last published letter of intention you should fill in an application form.
With reference to the application form “Item 9 Method of financing of the services” you are to make it clear that “no fees will be collected from any Candidate”.

Together with the application (ensure it is completely filled) you must provide the following:

- The Competent Person’s recent Police conduct certificate which is to be collected from the Police Headquarters in Floriana. (The competent person is the official person managing the Employment Agency which could be the Director himself).
- CV showing Competent Person's qualifications and experience.
- An annual license fee of Euro 349.41 payable to D.I.E.R. (Department Of Industrial & Employment Relations) and addressed to 121, Melita Street, Valletta;
- Your payment has to be made by Cheque or Bank Transfer (on the back of the Cheque please write your Name and Surname or your Employment Agency Name);
- List of all Directors with all their identity number and contact details.

4. Additional information which needs to be submitted with the application would be the following:

- A copy of the registration certificate if the Employment Agency has been registered as a Company.
- The copy of the deed if the Employment Agency is a Partnership or a Joint Venture.
- A copy of the Jobsplus Employment record sheet showing that the Competent Person is employed with this New Employment Agency.

5. Please ensure that you also abide with these requirements:

- The Competent Person should at all times be available in office for inspection by our Inspectors. Contact us if you want to appoint a substitute.
- All renewal payments are to reach our office before the Employment Agency License expires.
- The Competent Person is to inform us with any changes especially when changing the address of the business office.

Kindly note that all correspondence including the application are to be either in English or Maltese.

Street-hawkerA Street Hawker is licensed to sell by retail from any street by means of a vehicle or render a service as the Minister may specify, other than an open-air market.
A Licence issued by the Trade Licensing Unit shall indicate the Street Hawker as a non-food licence Hawker or as a food-related items licence Hawker.

In the case that the activity concerns the selling of food items prior approval by the Health Authorities must be obtained. The Environmental Health Directorate can be contacted on 21337333 or by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
To obtain a Street Hawker Licence, an individual should make an application on the appropriate Form (A) to the Trade Licensing Unit. The application form can be downloaded from here:
A Street Hawker using a motor vehicle to carry on the commercial activity shall have premises available where to garage the motor vehicle.
The Registration Number of the vehicle used for hawking and the address of the premises used for the purpose of garaging the vehicle used by the Hawker must be clearly indicated on the application.
Any change in the vehicle or garage must be notified to the Trade Licensing Unit within ten (10) working days after the change occurs.
An application cannot be accepted and processed by the Trade Licensing Unit if the address of the garage or any other address for the Store where goods are stored are not given.
The Trade Licensing Unit has the right to inspect such premises and to demand any documentation that proves the ownership of the premises when the application indicates the use of such premises by more than one applicant.
A licence issued for a Street Hawker is a personal licence which is not transferable and does not permit anybody else to act instead of the Licensee.


A Street Hawker may carry out his commercial activity from any place, in any street, by hawking (that is, by parking his vehicle according to the traffic regulations in any street where he stops to sell till he serves his customers and then after serving his costumers moves to another place), subject to the following conditions:

- that while the Street Hawker stops to sell to his clients, no nuisance or inconvenience is caused to the inhabitants or passers-by in the street;
- that the vehicle is parked within a permitted parking space and no inconvenience is caused to the flow of traffic;
- that when a Street Hawker stops his vehicle to sell to his clients, the vehicle must not be parked within fifty (50) metres of walking distance from the next open air market;
- that in Valletta, only street hawking of vegetables, bread, milk, flowers, kerosene and gas cylinders shall be permitted;
- that no commercial activities by street hawkers shall be carried out in Valletta in Castille Square, in St. George’s Square or in St. John’s Square and in the City Gate area of Valletta including Freedom Square the arches included, the bridge and the Bus Terminus including Saint James Ditch;
- that no commercial activity by Street Hawkers offering for sale agricultural produce shall be permitted within 500 metres of an agricultural marketing centre or a Farmers’ Market.

A Street Hawker may also carry out his commercial activity from a fixed place by parking his vehicle to sell to his customers, subject to the following conditions:

- that no nuisance or inconvenience is caused to the inhabitants or passers-by in the street, by the use of a generator or whatsoever;
- that he will park his vehicle, within a permitted parking space as permitted by traffic regulations;
- that the place where he parks his vehicle is not within: 

- 50 metres of walking distance from the next open air market; or
- 50 metres of walking distance of from the entrance of any commercial premises (provided that for such purpose, a fixed kiosk shall be deemed to be a commercial premises;
- that no objects are placed on the pavement;

- that street hawkers shall park their vehicles to sell at least 50 metres away from each other (except in respect of street hawkers selling flowers and the like in the vicinity of a cemetery);

- that selling from a fixed place in Valletta shall only be permitted for the selling of vegetables, bread, milk, flowers, kerosene and gas cylinders; and
- the use and the provision of public utilities to a street hawker selling from a fixed place, in a public place or public land, shall be prohibited.

No commercial activity from fixed places by hawking or selling from fixed places or by any other means shall be carried out:
- in the precincts of the Malta International Airport in Gudja;
- in the precincts of Sea Passenger Terminal in the Grand Harbour;
- in the precincts of a Hotel subject to a written permission being granted by the Hotel Management,
- in the vicinity of not less than 50 metres of walking distance away from any archaeological site, and
- in the precincts of any school except for the sale of ice cream or catering units.

The licence issued to the Street Hawker shall, together with the last receipt of the paid licence, be displayed in a conspicuous place by the Licensee when conducting his or her commercial activity. 

Cessation of commercial activity

Where a Street Hawker decides to cease carrying out his commercial activity, he should immediately notify the Trade Licensing Unit on the appropriate form. 


Where an applicant feels aggrieved by the decision of the Trade Licensing Unit or from any Local Council in respect of a refusal of issuing of a licence, he may file an appeal in writing to the Licensing Appeals Board within ten (10) working days from the date when the applicant or any other person has been notified by the Trade Licensing Unit, in accordance with the provisions of Part VI of Subsidiary Legislation 441.07 - Trading Licences Regulations. The appeal can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or to Commerce Department, Lascaris Bastions, Daħlet Ġnien is-Sultan, Valletta, VLT1933, Malta. 

Licence fees:

- Street Hawker using a motor vehicle or any other means of transport: €40 every three (3) years;
- Street Hawker selling bread using any means of transport: €20 every three (3) years;
- Street Hawker selling fruit and, or vegetables or fish using any means of transport: €30 every three (3) years;
- Street Hawker selling traditional Maltese nougat (qubbajt): €40 every three (3) years.

Link to important legislation:

Subsidiary Legislation 441.07 - Trading Licences Regulations

Enquiries can be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by telephone on 25690313, 25690289, 25690310, 25690312 and 25690315 during the normal working hours.


General traders no longer require trading licences.

The activities that do not require a trading license are listed in the L.N. 40 of 2016 First Schedule Part I (reference page B 5957).

Such specific activities shall still remain subject to the relevant obligations under the Act and regulations made there under as well as any obligations, authorisations, approvals and clearances from the Commissioner of Police or other entities as may be approved and applicable by other relevant legislation in force at the time.

The application forms of the activities requiring a trading license are found in thislink.

marketing agentt engA Licensee of a principal commercial activity shall make an application on the appropriate Form for a Marketing Agent licence.
This licence will permit the use of the commercial vehicle for the sale of goods by retail, food or non-food items, by an employee or agent on behalf of the Licensee, from any street or other place, other than commercial premises or a kiosk.
Such Licence shall be required for each and every vehicle used for the exercising of such retail sale. In the case of food items, prior approval by the Health Authorities must be obtained.
The licence issued to the Marketing Agent shall, together with the last receipt of the paid licence, be displayed in a conspicuous place by the Licensee when conducting his or her commercial activity.
€40 per every vehicle licensed every 3 years.

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