Age Restricted Sales

Age restricted sales
It is generally well known that the sale of alcohol cannot be made to anyone under 18.  However, there are many other age restricted products on sale that retailers and their staff need to be aware of.  Examples of these products are:

Solvents (ie, superglue)              18
Petrol                                                    16
National Lottery                            16
Gas lighter refills                           18
Knives/razor blades                     18
DVDs/Videos/computer games   12/15/18

It is simply not good enough for a retailer or staff member to say that they were not aware that the buyer was underage.  If there is any doubt at all about a purchaser’s age ID should always be requested.

The law says that you must take “reasonable steps” to ensure that a purchaser is not under age.  Reasonable steps would include asking for photographic ID such as a valid passport, photocard driving licence or PASS approved proof of age card.

PASS approved proof of age cards are one of the best forms of ID as the holder of the card will have had to complete an application form, provide endorsed photographs and a copy of their full birth certificate.  PASS approved cards are recognised as an industry standard for proof of age. The card is endorsed with the holder’s date of birth, signature and a unique PASS hologram which therefore makes the card difficult to forge.  Examples of these approved cards are CitizenCard, Validate UK and Young Scot.

Trading Standards Officers and/or Police can carry out test purchases and a failure to pass such a test purchase could result in a fine or prosecution through the Courts.  It a retailer falls foul of a failed test purchase the retailer or seller may be able to show that he has taken all due diligence to avoid committing the offence.  Due diligence can involve a number of steps including evidence of suitable training and record keeping within the premises.  It is recommended that all staff are trained to a high standard and Hills Licensing recommends BIIAB approved training courses for all retailers including regular refresher training on a 3-6 month basis.

For further information and advice contact Hills Licensing by email,