Shared Regulatory Services
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Underage Sales and Age Restricted Goods

A wide range of consumer products are age restricted to ensure that they are only sold to consumers who are old enough to purchase them on health and safety grounds.


Alcohol BottlesThese include tobacco, alcohol, videos, knives and fireworks, all of which have the potential to cause damage to the health and safety of the user. The purpose of this legislation is to protect young people from any mental or physical injury that access to these products can cause.

The Trading Standards Service is responsible for enforcing underage sales, which is addressed by trader education, a programme of inspection and test purchasing using underage volunteers in controlled conditions.

ProductMinimum Sales Age
Alcohol  18 years
Cigarettes and Tobacco  18 years
Butane Gas Cigarette Lighter Refills  18 years
Solvents    18 years
Fireworks   18 years
Adult Magazines  18 years
Tattooing  18 years
Knives  18 years
Axes and Crossbows  18 years
Air Gun and Pellets  18 years
DVD's Cinema & Some Computer Games  12, 15 & 18 years
Pets 16 years 
Lottery Tickets  16 years
Scratch Cards  16 years
Petrol  16 years
Aerosol Paint Containers  16 years
Party Poppers and Caps  16 years

Shared Regulatory Services is committed to reducing the sale of age restricted products, and does this by offering advice and guidance to businesses, investigating complaints, and by conducting test purchase exercises with young volunteers in order to assess the level of compliance, in partnership with the Police.

Report Underage Sales of Age Restricted Goods

If you believe that underage sales are occurring you can report the matter to us quickly and anonymously. By providing the necessary information (ie shop name, location, when the sale took place, etc) the information will then be passed to the Shared Regulatory Services for consideration.

You can report online on the Citizens Advice website or by contacting Citizens Advice Consumer Service directly:

0808 223 1133

Report Online

Volunteering Opportunities

Shared Regulatory Services are looking for interest from volunteers to help them with test purchasing of age-restricted products such as cigarettes, alcohol and fireworks, which take place regularly throughout the year.

The volunteers need to be aged between 14 and 16½ and will receive a certificate of achievement for their assistance.
This will also be excellent for those considering a career in ‘enforcement’ whether it be for the Police or another agency.

It can also illustrate ‘community service’ for those doing Duke of Edinburgh awards and similar schemes, and can be used as evidence of key skills for job applications and university entrance forms.

All volunteers will be trained in what to say and do on the exercises and will be supervised by an officer at all times.

If you know of anyone that is able to assist in future exercises or wish to find out more about the scheme, please contact Shared Regulatory Services:

  • Contact SRS
  • Civic Offices, Holton Road, Barry, CF63 4RU

Advice and Guidance

Trading Standards Business Companion - The Trading Standards Business Companion website provides information for businesses and individuals on age restricted products and online sales of age restricted products.