Underage sales

Our Trading Standards team is responsible for ensuring retailers don't sell products to children under the legal age.

It's a criminal offence to sell alcohol to a child or to buy alcohol on behalf of a child

The list of restricted products includes:

Minimum age for purchase

18 or over

16 or over

12 or over


Butane lighter fuel

Cigarettes, tobacco

Fireworks (category F2/F3)

Knives, blades and axes

Nicotine inhaling products

Crossbows, replica and lookalike guns

Aerosol paints

Lottery tickets



Category F1 fireworks

Christmas crackers

DVDs, videos, games
(as marked 12, 15, or 18)

If you believe someone is selling age restricted products to underage people, contact us in confidence

We're working in partnership with the police, health promotion, community safety and local schools to reduce the number of illegal underage sales. 

We do this by:

  • offering retailers free advice, information leaflets and agecheck point of sale materials
  • offering free acredited training sessions for managers and retail staff
  • undertaking educational work with young people to raise awareness of the law and the health reasoning behind it
  • offering our own multi-function Proof of Age London (PAL) card (we were the first London borough to do this)
  • prosecuting and issuing fixed penalty notices or cautioning those who make illegal sales
  • instigating reviews of alcohol premises licenses, resulting in suspension or revocation of licences 
  • seeking voluntary closure of licensed premises for 48 hours to two weeks following two illegal sales in two months
  • seeking a court order banning certain persons or premises from selling tobacco products where illegal sales have occured repeatedly
  • running a knife charter for retailers
If you need information or advice on selling age restricted products, see our information for businesses section

Page last updated: 18 June 2018