Trading Standards

Underage Sales

The sale, supply, or offer to supply any of the following types of age restricted products to underage persons is prohibited:

  • Tobacco
  • E-cigarettes & e-liquid
  • Knives
  • Fireworks
  • Age restricted video recordings and games
  • Intoxicating substances such as solvents, nitrous oxide canisters
  • Lottery tickets
  • Alcohol
  • Petrol
  • Aerosol spray paint

If you sell an age restricted product to someone underage then you could face a large fine or even a prison sentence. At the very least you may receive a fixed penalty. This applies to the business, but also to the person who makes the sale.

If you do commit an offence by selling to someone under-age, some legislation allows you to defend yourself if you are able show that you took all reasonable precautions and exercised all due diligence to avoid committing the offence.

Southend Trading Standards Officers regularly carry out test purchase operations to check whether shops in the Borough are complying with the law.

Proxy sales

If you think that an adult is buying age restricted products for someone under 18, you should refuse to sell to them and contact us for advice. Anyone who buys alcohol for a person under 18 may be committing an offence by doing so.

Challenge 25 means that if you think someone looks under 25, then ask for their proof of age. When asking for proof of age, it is important that you only accept legitimate identification such as a driving licence or passport or other forms of approved ID schemes.

If you suspect a shop is selling age restricted products to young persons, please contact Citizens Advice.

For all consumer and complaints, enquiries and advice, please call the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03456 04 05 06 or visit their website at www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer.

Page last updated: 05/06/2017