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Underage Sales

Legislation prohibits the sale of certain products to persons under certain ages. We enforce legislation that restricts the sale of goods that may be harmful to young persons, including;

  • cigarettes and tobacco products

  • fireworks

  • video recordings (DVDs, videos, games)

  • intoxicating substances

  • butane gas, fluid cigarette lighter refills

  • National Lottery

  • alcohol

  • liqueur chocolates

  • offensive weapons

  • spray paints

Laws related to underage sales exist to safeguard the health of young people and reduce community disorder. The information found here is aimed at offering advice and is not an exhaustive list. It is not a definitive statement of the law and does not include any possible future amendments.

Report Underage Sales

If you know of a retailer selling age restricted products to people under the age of 18, you can report it to Trading Standards using the contact details at the bottom of this web page.

Advice For Retailers

Some of the legislation governing underage sales have defences available, namely that the accused took all reasonable precaution and exercised all due diligence to avoid committing the offence.  

Proof of age

You can apply for a proof of age card from the Citizencard website.

As part of the Proof of Age Standard Scheme, if you are a retailer you can request a free retail support pack to promote the No Id - No Sale campaign.

Age Restricted Items

The following table shows age restricted items along with the relevant legislation, and applicable punishments. It is an offence to supply any of the following products to persons who have not attained the specified age.
Product Age limit Legislation Maximum Penalty


It is an offence to sell alcohol to a person under 18. It is an offence to supply liqueur chocolates to anyone under 16.

 18  Licensing Act 2003 £5,000 and loss of licence


Fireworks (including hand held sparklers) cannot be sold to anyone under 18. Other explosive devices such as caps, throwdowns, party poppers, table bombs, novelty matches, and serpents cannot be sold to anyone under 16.


Fireworks (Safety) Regulations 1997

£5,000 and up to 6 months imprisonment

Offensive Weapons

It is an offence to sell knives including kitchen knives, utility knives, axes and razor blades to anyone under 18.


Offensive Weapons Act 1996

£5,000 and up to 6 months imprisonment

Video Recordings
(Including Computer Games)

It is an offence to sell or hire video recording to a person who has not attained the age specified in the rating certificate which may be 12, 15 or 18.



Video Recordings Act 1984  

£5,000 and up to 6 months imprisonment

Volatile Substances / Solvents

It is an offence to supply these to a person under 18 if you know or believe that they are likely to inhale the substance to achieve intoxication. Intoxicating substances include solvents, lighter fuel, lighter fluid, solvent based glues and adhesives, aerosols, nail varnish remover, anti-freeze and correction fluid.


Intoxicating Substances (Supply) Act 1985


£5,000 and up to 6 months imprisonment

Lottery Tickets / Scratch Cards

It is an offence to sell a lottery ticket or instant win scratch card to a person under 16.


National Lottery, etc. Act 1993
National Lottery Regulations 1994

£5,000 and up to 2 years imprisonment

Lighter Refills Containing Butane

It is an offence to supply any cigarette lighter refill canister containing butane or substance with butane as a constituent part to anyone under 18.

 18 Cigarette Lighter Refill (Safety) Regulations 1999

£5,000 and up to 6 months imprisonment

Tobacco Products
(Including cigarettes, cigarette papers, etc.)

It is an offence to sell cigarettes and tobacco products to anybody under 18 years. It is is also an offence to knowingly sell them to a person 18 or over who is intending to supply them to a person under 18.


Children and Young Persons (Protection From Tobacco) Act 1991 and the Children and Young Persons Act 1933



My Dudley

Helping you find services and information for the local area.

Contact Details

  • Name Trading Standards
  • Address People Directorate, 4 Ednam Road, Dudley, West Midlands DY1 1HL
  • Telephone Consumers 03454 040506 or Businesses 01384 817997
  • Fax 01384 814455
  • Out of Hours Telephone Out of Hours Telephone Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline: 03454 040506, Bogus Caller Hotline: 01384 812045
  • Opening Hours Opening times 9am until 5pm Monday to Friday only