There are many laws that deal with the sale of age-restricted products and services. A full list of products and ages is available at Business Companion.

Consumers and businesses are encouraged to report any incidents of suspected sales of goods to us via

  • the Citizens Advice online form or
  • by calling Citizens Advice on 0808 223 1133 (calls are free from consumer landlines and mobile phones; if calling from a business phone, you should check with your provider).

Facts to remember as a retailer

  • An offence may be committed by the seller (employee) and the business owner
  • Different products have different age restrictions
  • Do challenge the age of every person who looks under 25 years old
  • Do demand proof of age: no ID – no sale
  • Do not rely on looks alone
  • Do exercise your right not to sell – if in any doubt do not sell
  • Do introduce a due diligence procedure
  • Seek advice if in doubt about the law or guidance


ProxyWatch is a 24-hour service enabling members of the public to report when youths asked them to buy alcohol or cigarettes.

ProxyWatch receives information from a wide variety of sources including members of the public, police, community wardens, and shop managers and staff.

The overall aim of ProxyWatch is to reduce the supply of alcohol to minors, and in turn reduce anti-social behaviour near and around retail areas.

To report an incident to ProxyWatch phone 023 9268 8777 or email

PASS (Proof of Age Standard Scheme)

The National Proof of Age Standards Scheme is endorsed by the Home Office, the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and the Security Industry Authority (SIA).

We encourage retailers to Challenge 25.

Train your staff

More information on staff training to prevent underage sales.