Best Practice

Preventing under age sales and keeping your business licence safe and secure means keeping up-to-date with and implementing best practice. This section provides the essential tools that you need to consider in your business.

Reasonable Precautions and Due Diligence

What is meant by "exercising all reasonable precautions and exercising all due diligence to avoid commission of an offence"? This is a common term (or variations of it) in Trading Standards legislation. This section provides an overview of what you may need to do to demonstrate that you have a due diligence defence.

Can you answer the following questions with yes?

Do you train your staff in preventing under age sales, regularly refresh this training and keep good records of your training?

Do you have an age verification policy?

Have you got the layout and signage in your store right?

Have you introduced appropriate technology?

Do you have appropriate record keeping systems?

Do you check that your systems and procedures are working properly?

Age Restricted Products and Services Framework and Code of Practice

In December 2011, the Government published a new framework (PDF 0.3MB) on the responsibilities and expectations of key stakeholders in ensuring effective age restrictions of products and services. This was followed by a Code of Practice (PDF 0.5MB) which as updated in December 2014.

Powers of Trading Standards and the Police

Age Restrictions are usually enforced by Trading Standards or the Police. Their powers of enforcement differ from product-to-product under investigation. You can find out more about their specific powers by visiting here.

In January 2013, the government published a new code of practice (PDF 0.5MB) relating to the enforcement of age restricted sales. In addition, the government have published a toolkit (PDF 1.6MB) for trading standards and other law enforcement professionals on how to approach age restricted sales enforcement.

We provide a broad range of support services to law enforcement officers including:

Around the World

Almost every country in the world has a form of age restricted sales legislation. Find out about the rules and regulations that apply throughout the world.