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Acupuncturist Registration

Anyone carrying out skin piercing (acupuncture, tattooing, ear piercing and electrolysis) must be registered with the council under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982.

The aim of registering skin piercing activities is to protect members of the public from the transmission of blood borne viruses such as HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and other infections. The council has approved byelaws that set out the standards for the hygienic operation of skin piercing premises. Persons carrying out skin piercing must comply with these byelaws.


View the regulations relating to skin piercing

Registration consists of two elements: the person and the place where the skin piercing takes place. A separate fee is required for registration of the person and of the premises. This is a one-off payment as there is no annual renewal process. 

A person registered to carry out acupuncture, tattooing, ear piercing or electrolysis must display at the premises a copy of any certificates issued by the council, and a copy of the byelaws.

To summarise the procedure for registration, upon receipt, applications will be forwarded for consultation to the Environmental Health Technician (EHT) covering the area, who will carry out an inspection.  Following receipt of the EHT's approval to registration, the appropriate Certificate will be issued. 

It takes approximately four weeks to process a skin piercing application, and tacit authorisation does not apply to these applications.  This means you must wait until the application has been determined before any skin piercing activities can take place.

You can obtain an application form from licensing services or click on the links below to download forms. 

Alternatively, you can make the application online by clicking on the link below:

Apply online for a skin piercing registration (for both personal and premises)

Cornwall Council has adopted skin piercing byelaws which regulate the provision of skin piercing activities. 


Please view the current licensing fees and charges to find out how much you will need to pay

Redress for failed applications and licence holders

Please contact Licensing Services if you wish to discuss an application, decision or consent.

Consumer Complaints

Please contact Licensing Services if you wish to make a complaint about someone carrying out skin piercing activities.  You should also contact us if you suspect someone is carrying out skin piercing without the appropriate registrations.

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0300 1234 212