We see the prevention of sales of restricted products, including alcohol, tobacco and knives to young people as a priority. We follow the government's Code of Practice on Age Restricted Products in focusing our work, particularly carrying out advisory visits to businesses and test purchasing.
In keeping with the Code of Practice, a number of posters and guides are available for retailers of age restricted products. Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards has prepared a leaflet which details the law in relation to age restricted products and provides guidance on how to prevent underage sales. No ID no sale website has a selection of posters for free download by retailers.
Please note that for the A3 Statutory Notice, available from No ID no sale website, the law requires that this poster is of A3 size only. Please do not print in A4 or other sizes of paper.
It is an offence for e-cigarettes, cartridges and refills to be sold to anyone under 18 years of age. The owner of the business can be held responsible as well as the member of staff who made the sale.
Any adult who buys or attempts to buy these nicotine inhaling products - as well as tobacco and cigarette papers - on behalf of someone under the age of 18 years will be committing an offence. This is known as proxy purchasing.
For further advice please see business companion - quick guides on underage sales of tobacco and nicotine.
It is an offence for any person to sell to a person under 18 any knife, knife blade or razor blade. The prohibition does not include folding knives if the cutting edge of the blade is less than 7.62cm (3 inches), or replacement cartridges for razor blades, where less than 2mm of blade is exposed.
The Offensive Weapons Act 2019 makes it an offence to sell certain knives, known as bladed products, to a person under 18. In the case of certain bladed products, they may not be delivered to residential premises unless the seller has satisfied themselves that a business operates from that address. They must still not be delivered to someone under 18. It is also an offence to sell corrosive products to persons under 18 and to deliver them to persons under 18.
For sellers charged with such an offence but also in the case of remote (online) sales, to deliver a knife to a person under 18. For sellers charged with such an offence in order to rely on a defence, at a minimum all the specified conditions laid out in legislation must be met. More information can be found in the Offensive Weapons Act 2019 Statutory Guidance.
A Good Practice Guide to storing, displaying and selling knives can be found below. A Training Record and Refusals log can be found in the below Age Restricted products trader guidance. Additional free online training can be found in the Knife Crime Toolkit.
You can request from us, free of charge, posters regarding knife sales for the store frontage and for use within staff areas.
A good way to show that your staff have received appropriate training in prevention of underage sales is to have them complete a recognised training course.
Our Business Advice line is available Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm (Bank holidays excluded)
- Telephone: 0300 123 2329
- Email: email@example.com
- Textphone (via Text Relay): 18001 0808 223 1133
- SMS: 07860 053465
Files available to download
Age restricted sales - guidance for traders (PDF)
Guidance for traders about age restricted products
Knives good practice guide (PDF)
A guide to storing, displaying and selling knives