Minors will not be permitted to get tattooed even if they have parental consent, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said on Friday.
As minors are persons with little or no civil capacity, getting a tattoo is beyond their ability to understand, the ministry said in a response to an inquiry to its Children's Affairs Department.
According to the Law on the Protection of Minors, parents and guardians must protect the physical and mental health of their children. Thus, even when parental authorization is given, tattoo parlors may not serve minors, the ministry said.
Parents who run their own parlors are also forbidden from tattooing their children.
Last week, China issued a regulation prohibiting minors from getting tattooed, which took effect on June 6.
Released by a high-level task force established to coordinate efforts related to the protection of minors under the State Council, China's Cabinet, the guideline seeks to manage oversight on tattoo parlors to protect the rights of minors, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
State and society are responsible for helping minors understand the risks involved in getting tattooed, and parents and guardians should dissuade their wards, the guideline stated.
Businesses, organizations and individuals are banned from offering tattoo services to minors.
Signs displaying the ban must be displayed prominently at tattoo parlors and tattoo artists must ask for identification if they are unable to determine the age of a customer.
Advertisements promoting tattoos are not allowed to appear in schools or kindergartens.
Violations can be reported to civil affairs, business, health and market inspection departments. Punishment will be determined accordingly. Some careers such as the civil service, policing and the military do not welcome applicants with extensive tattoos.
The decision to get a tattoo should be important and irreversible, which requires a high level of maturity to make. Most tattoos cannot be removed, or cost pain, time and a fortune to be removed.