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Advice for traders

What you can do

Do not assume the age of a young person. Consider an 'Under 21' approach to age-restricted products.

  • Always request sight of a reliable means of photo identification, such as a CitizenCard, Passport or Driving Licence.
  • Ensure both full and part time staff are aware of the age restrictions that apply to the goods you sell.
  • Familiarise yourself with our Age Restricted Products guidance notes (See Related Documents)
  • Issue clear written instructions to your staff and keep records of training and instructions issued. (See Related Documents)
  • Display posters and till stickers to remind staff of legal requirements. Maintain a refusal register and record refused sales to both children and adults. 
  • Segregate age restricted products from those available for general sale to prevent self-selection.
  • If possible, set up your till system to prompt sales staff when an age restricted product is sold. If you have CCTV, keep any images of attempted illegal age restricted purchases for the police. Northumbria Police will vigorously pursue those attempting to purchase alcohol illegally.

If in doubt - refuse the sale

Legal liability

As the owner of the business you are likely to commit a criminal offence where an illegal sale takes place, even if you did not conduct the transaction yourself. A similar offence occurs when statutory notices fail to be displayed - See Related Documents for statutory cigarette notices.

Individual employees, including part-time staff, can be prosecuted for under age sales. Penalties include imprisonment, fines and loss of any licence.

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