Understanding MoCRA: A Guide to Changes in Tattoo Regulation & Laws in the US

Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act MoCRA Federal Tattoo Regulation Tattoo Ink Laws Tattoo Laws on Tattoo Supplies

Unveiling MoCRA: A New Age in Tattoo Regulation

The Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act (MoCRA) has recently been signed into law and brings substantial implications for the US tattoo industry, especially related to tattoo regulation. As a tattoo artist or enthusiast, it's crucial to stay informed and collectively address this new tattoo legislation. In this blog post, we will delve into the details and potential impact of MoCRA on tattooing, while providing resources and information on how to participate and shield the body art industry.

Deciphering MoCRA: Changing Tattoo Laws and the Influence on Tattooing

MoCRA, a federal bill in progress since 2000 and enacted into law in 2022, redefines body art, including tattooing, piercing, and permanent makeup, as cosmetics under federal regulations. This significant shift in tattoo regulation means that all products used by body art practitioners, such as tattoo ink, ointments, machines, needles, etc. will now be subject to scrutiny by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The intention behind MoCRA is to enhance safety and standardization in the tattoo industry, yet these changes present potential challenges that artists need to understand.

Unity Amidst Tattoo Regulation: Steering the Impact of MoCRA

To effectively address the implications of MoCRA and tattoo regulation, the tattoo community must unify its efforts and actively engage in the regulatory processes. Promoting awareness and industry backing plays an essential role in avoiding the implementation of severe or unwarranted restrictions on professional tattoo artists. If left unchecked, the US tattoo industry could face restrictions similar to the European Union’s REACH program (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemical Substances), which has greatly limited tattoo ink and pigments in artists’ palettes. Fortunately, as of now, we still have time to come together as a united industry to positively impact the outcomes of the Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act.

Be the Change: Stand with the Alliance of Professional Tattooists Under New Tattoo Laws

As a tattoo artist or client, you have the power to enact change. The best step you can take to get involved is joining the Alliance of Professional Tattooists (APT). A non-profit trade organization that has been serving the tattoo industry for over 30 years, the APT is recognized by government officials as a reliable representative of professional tattoo artists. Currently, as FDA proceedings continue and the terms of MoCRA and tattoo laws are discussed, the APT will have the opportunity to provide recommendations based on technical expertise from artists and industry professionals. By supporting the APT, you’re contributing to the political advocacy for all tattoo artists, endorsing safe practices, and demonstrating the ability to organize and self regulate.

Staying Ahead: Keeping Informed About Tattoo Regulation Under MoCRA

Understanding the regulatory process of tattoo regulation may seem daunting, but staying up to date with MoCRA news doesn’t have to be difficult. Leaders in the tattoo community have rallied to produce accessible content that is easily understood. Most importantly, you should follow Ben Shaw on all social media channels for relevant facts and the latest updates on tattoo laws. Ben is a veteran tattoo artist, studio owner, APT board member, and an accomplished regulatory advocate in his home state of New Mexico

Ben has stepped up to the task of confronting MoCRA and is committed to uniting the tattoo industry. Alongside regularly sharing information on social media, Ben has been highlighted in various podcast interviews and news articles to raise awareness amongst the industry and public. Additionally, Ben has established a discord group titled the Body Art Regulation Support System to bridge the knowledge and communication gaps by collecting information across numerous advocacy organizations and compiling state and local tattoo regulation resources. With Ben’s efforts, it's simple to stay informed and help disseminate the message.

MoCRA's Potential Impact and the Call for Active Engagement in Tattoo Laws

The Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act (MoCRA) holds the potential to initiate substantial changes to the tattoo industry. Artists and enthusiasts shouldfeel compelled to stay informed about these changes in tattoo laws and actively engage in the regulation process. By endorsing organizations like the Alliance of Professional Tattooists (APT), you can influence the future of the industry in a positive manner. 

Remember, staying informed of tattoo regulations and taking action now is vital to safeguard the tattoo industry from unnecessary restrictions on supplies like tattoo ink and on professional practices. As artists, manufacturers, industry professionals, and tattoo collectors, let's unite to protect the creativity and safety of tattooing amidst evolving regulations under the Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act.


  • Join the Alliance of Professional Tattooists (APT)

    • Support the advocacy of tattooing by becoming a member APT, tattooing’s professional trade organization. 

    • Membership is available to Professional Tattooists, Associate Tattooists (fewer than three years of experience), Cosmetic Tattooists, Associate Non-Artists, and Corporate Sponsorships.

    • APT seeks State Representatives that wish to advocate for tattooing!

  • Join the Body Art Regulation Support System 

    • This Discord group is dedicated to safeguarding the tattoo industry by summarizing the efforts of various advocacy organizations and compiling comprehensive information on state-specific regulations.

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