What are age restricted products?
Age restricted products are items which have a minimum legal age to buy them due to their potentially harmful nature. For most of these you need to be over 18 years old to buy them. Such items include, but are not limited to,:
- nicotine inhaling products
- explosives such as fireworks, sparklers, party poppers and caps
- offensive weapons (knives)
- lottery and
- videos, DVDs, video games.
It is an offence to sell these products to someone younger than the minimum legal age and for some products it is an offence for somebody below the legal age to try to buy them. There are also ‘proxy purchasing’ offences for those over the legal age buying these items for those underage.
Trading Standards have a duty to enforce the law on underage sales of these products. We carry out regular exercises and inspections to check that age restricted products are not sold to people below the legal age.
We also promote the Challenge 25 age verification scheme, which encourages traders to ask for proof of age for anyone buying age restricted products who appears to be under the age of 25. If you want more information about Challenge 25, please contact us.
How to prevent underage sales
Trading Standards suggest to businesses that they avoid making underage sales by:
- having an age verification policy of challenge 25 in place
- training all staff on this policy and acceptable forms of ID
- point of sale and shelf line notices and
- keeping a refusals log that is checked monthly by a senior staff member.