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Why are some products age restricted?
Certain products present genuine risks to the health and welfare
of children and teenagers. Legislation has been put in place to
restrict the sale of these products because of the growing concern
To report the underage sale of alcohol by a shop or
public house or restaurant please call 01634
Traders must comply with the law. Failure to do so can result in
prosecution and substantial fines. In most cases the maximum fine
for making an illegal sale of an age-restricted product is
How should traders protect themselves?
There are several checks and measures that you can put into
place to protect yourself from prosecution if you are a trader.
- If you are not sure of your customer's age, ask.
- You should always ask them to produce a reliable form of proof
of age, such as a passport or a driving licence with a
- Never accept a birth certificate or a National Insurance card
as proof of age. National Insurance cards are issued before a
person has reached their sixteenth birthday.
- Keep a refusals register. This is a record of all of the times
that you refuse to sell an age restricted product. Details kept in
the register should be a description of the person, their name and
address (if you know it), their age, the date and time of the
attempted purchase and the type of product that was requested.
- Display all age restriction notices prominently. You can get
these from the Trading Standards Team. Train all of your staff on
the law and hand out written instructions on the checks that should
be carried out.
- Keep a training register for each member of staff and keep it
up to date. Ask staff to sign a copy of the instructions that they
receive, to show that they have understood them. Ask them to sign
their training register as well.
Age for legal purchase (18):
- cigarettes and tobacco, including cigarette papers;
- fireworks (excluding party poppers);
- offensive weapons.
Age for legal purchase (16):
- liqueur chocolates;
- lottery tickets and scratch cards.
Age for legal purchase (12, 15, 18):
For more information contact Trading Standards by
telephone: 01634 333333 or by email: email@example.com
Write to: Trading Standards, Medway Council, Gun Wharf, Dock
Road, Chatham, Kent ME4 4TR