Monitoring the safety of sunbeds and tanning booths

A sunbed ready for use.Using a sunbed (or tanning booth) is never recommended. Sunbeds expose users to higher levels of dangerous UV radiation than the sun. They increase your risk of melanoma and other skin cancers. They are not a safe way to tan or boost your vitamin D.

You’re more at risk of skin cancer the more often you use sunbeds, and the younger you start using them. Your skin will also age more quickly.

Community and Public Health surveys businesses offering sunbed services twice a year, to ensure that they are meeting the necessary Standard (AS/NZS 2635:2008 Solaria for cosmetic purposes).

Community and Public Health provides the following documents to assist sun-bed operators comply with the Standard:

Updated regulations on use of sunbeds and tanning booths

An amendment to the Health Act and further regulations from the Ministry of Health on sunbeds means that a fine of up to $10,000 can be imposed for providing sunbed services to those under 18 years of age.

If in doubt, sunbed operators should ask to see evidence of age. Acceptable forms of identification are a passport, driver’s licence or a Hospitality New Zealand ID.

Sunbed or tanning booth operators should consider:

  • discouraging sunbed services to persons with particular skin types or that are at increased risk of skin cancer;
  • gaining informed consent of users before they artificially tan;
  • having controls on supplying sunbed services, including requiring a 48-hour gap between sessions, and limiting the length of sessions;
  • ensuring those operating sunbeds are well trained.
  • having procedures around not providing sunbed services to those aged under 18 years. This may include taking copies of supplied client identification supplied or recording information on the client’s card (such as passport or drivers licence number).

More information for sunbed operators is available on the Ministry of Health website.


For sunbed operators

For users of sunbeds and solaria


For further information on sunbeds, contact:

Jimmy Wong
Ph: +64 3 364 1777

Page last updated: 05/09/2021

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