Trading standards

Under age sales

It is illegal for age restricted products to be sold to those who are below the specified age.

If an age restricted product is sold to someone underage, both the retailer and the person who sold the product can be found guilty of an offence.

Report it

If you have information about a retailer selling an age restricted product to a person under the legal age, you can report it to us for further investigation. This can be done anonymously.

Volunteer for test purchasing

We recruit volunteers aged 13 - 16 to help carry out test purchases.

Volunteers work under close supervision and in accordance with best practice procedures. We will visit volunteers and their parents first to discuss and explain matters fully.

To become a volunteer, complete an application form.

For further information, please contact us.

Products which are age restricted

You need to be 18 or over to buy:

  • tobacco and tobacco products
  • alcohol
  • cigarette lighter refills
  • fireworks
  • knives, knife blades, razor blades, axes and swords
  • solvents
  • butane gas

You need to be 16 or over to buy:

  • spray paint devices (aerosol paints)
  • national lottery and instant tickets
  • petrol
  • petroleum spirit
  • party poppers/caps/novelty candles
  • liqueur chocolates
  • serpents

There are also age restrictions for buying certain videos, DVDs, computer and video games - you must be over 12, 15, or 18 - check the packaging for the relevant age.