Underage sales

Age restrictions

There are strict laws prohibiting the sale of certain items to young people. Traders and their staff can be prosecuted if they make an underage sale. Prosecution may result in:

  • fines
  • loss of licence
  • imprisonment

The following age restrictions apply:

Goods Age restriction in England
adult fireworks and sparklers - category F2 (outdoor use, confined areas) and category F3 (outdoor use, large open areas) fireworks 18 and over
aerosol paint 16 and over
alcohol 18 and over
Christmas crackers 12 and over
crossbows 18 and over
knives / axes / blades 18 and over
lighter refills containing butane 18 and over
lottery tickets and 'instant win' cards 16 and over
nicotine inhaling products 18 and over
party poppers and similar low-hazard low-noise fireworks (category F1), except Christmas crackers 16 and over
petrol 16 and over
solvents and volatile substances 18 and over - offence to supply or offer to supply to under 18s occurs only if the person knows or believes it is to be used for intoxication
sunbeds 18 and over
tobacco 18 and over
video recordings: U (universal) unrestricted
video recordings: PG (parental guidance) unrestricted
video recordings: classification 12 12 and over
video recordings: classification 15 15 and over
video recordings: classification 18 18 and over
video recordings: classification R18 18 years and over in a licensed sex shop
video games: PEGI rating 3 unrestricted
video games: PEGI rating 7 unrestricted
video games: PEGI rating 12 12 and over
video games: PEGI rating 16 16 and over
video games: PEGI rating 18 18 and over

Report underage sales

You can report suspected underage sales or adults who you think may be buying on behalf of those underage.

Report underage sales