Underage sales

How businesses can prevent underage sales

It is very important that businesses have systems in place to prevent the sale of age-restricted products to children.

These systems are known as 'due diligence'.

System Approach
Identification Only accept a valid passport, driving licence or Proof of Age card bearing the PASS hologram. Ensure you check the date of birth, the card has not been tampered with and the photo relates to the customer you are serving.
Staff training Staff training should cover the relevant age-restricted products, including age limits, acceptable forms of ID, Challenge 25, refusals books, signage, proxy sales and criminal offences. Keep written training records and provide refresher training on a regular basis.
Challenge 25 A 'Challenge 25' policy means you will require any person who appears to be under the age of 25 to show valid ID before they can be served an age restricted product. This should be combined with staff training and clear signage
Refusals book A record of all refused sales including the date, time, product, description of the purchaser and reason for refusal. All staff should be trained how to use it and the manager should inspect and sign it on a regular basis.
Till prompts An electronic till prompt which reminds staff they are selling an age-restricted product and to verify the age of the purchaser.
CCTV A CCTV system which covers both the inside and outside of the shop acts as a deterrent to children

What we do

We carry out regular test purchasing operations using 14 to 16 year old volunteers, in conjunction with Essex Police.

We also provide free advice and resources to retailers selling age-restricted products.

Trading Standards
Thurrock Council, Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, RM17 6SL

: 01375 652 955

: trading.standards@thurrock.gov.uk

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