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Age Restricted sales

It is a criminal offence to sell age restricted products to any underage person. Trading Standards frequently enforce and carry out inspections in partnership with Staffordshire Police and conduct regular test purchases to enforce this.

Age restricted products

Restricted to 16+ years old

  • Caffeinated drinks (voluntary age restriction, recommended minimum 16 years)
  • Lotteries and scratch cards
  • Party poppers
  • Spray paints

Restricted to 18+ years old

  • Alcohol
  • BB guns
  • Butane
  • Corrosive substances (New law currently in consultation, best practice is to apply restriction)
  • Fireworks
  • Knives and blades
  • Nicotine inhaling products
  • Tobacco
  • Volatile Substances (If reasonable cause to believe product will be used for causing intoxication) 

Other restrictions

  • Video games may be restricted to 12+, 16+ or 18+ years old depending on the age classification of the product.
  • DVDs/videos may be restricted to 12+, 15+ or 18+ years old depending on the age classification of the product.

Guidance for businesses

Staffordshire Trading Standards has produced guidance to help retailers understand their legal and social responsibilities.

Download or purchase online: Age restricted guidance packs

Alternatively call us on 01782 297522 and pay over the phone.  

Business Companion has launched an in-depth guide on underage sales providing details of the different types of restricted products and the legislation surrounding them.

Knife Retailers Toolkit

The Metropolitan Police Service has produced a good working practice guide for knife retailers to help eradicate illegal knife sales and reduce the number of dangerous weapons on UK streets.

Please visit: Knife retailers toolkit

Underage sales operations

Staffordshire Trading Standards routinely carry out underage sales operations in premises that sell age restricted products. To report underage sales or for further advice and information on age restricted sales please contact Staffordshire Trading Standards.

Want to volunteer? If you are aged between 14 ½ and 16 ½ years old and would like to become an Underage Sales Volunteer more information and details of how to apply can be located on our underage sale volunteer webpage

Business advice and primary authority partnership

Staffordshire County Council provides advice, support and training to help Staffordshire businesses follow Trading Standards requirements. We offer all businesses free advice on legislation. Further primary authority partnership is also available at a competitive rate. New businesses will receive extra help.

Please visit our Business Support page

Other guidance for businesses

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