Do You Sell Age-restricted Products? Here is How to do it Correctly
Legally Speaking, the retailer is under the duty to ensure that age restricted products are not sold to people under the legal age. Retailers must put effective systems in place in order to prevent sales to underage people.
There are different age limits for the sale of different goods.
Tobacco products, offensive weapons (knives and similar), crossbows, adult fireworks, solvents, airguns, lighter refills containing butane, and alcohol may not be sold to persons under the age of 18.
16 years is the threshold when it comes to selling low hazard, low noise fireworks (party poppers and similar products), lottery tickets, aerosol paint, and liqueur confectionery.
For Christmas crackers age restriction is set at 12.
Different age restrictions apply for DVDs, videos and blu-ray discs, some are from 12, some from 15 and some from 18 years. For video games the minimum age requirement varies from 12 to 16 and 18 years.
Depending on the applicable legislation and the severity of the offence, penalties range from 1000 GBP up to imprisonment.
What retailers should do to ensure age restriction in sales
In general retailers need to take all reasonable precautions and exercise due diligence when it comes to ensuring that age restricted products are not sold to underage customers.
Retailers selling the concerned types of products should follow a four-step plan:
Set up an internal policy on age restricted sales
This should contain detailed information of which products are concerned, what the specific requirements are and how the processes are implemented in your shop
Your staff plays a crucial role in your dealings with the customer. They need to be trained appropriately so that you can ensure that age restricted products are not sold to minors.
Communicate the restrictions clearly on your website
Set up clear sign and warning on your website indication which products cannot be sold to underage customers.
By monitoring and auditing your processes from time to time make sure that your business complies to the regulations and that you follow the internal policy set up by yourself.