Age restricted product advice

Sales of any of the products below must be done with regard to the associated age limit. Selling these products to people under age is an offence. In some circumstances you may also be committing an offence if you ‘proxy’ purchase  goods on behalf of someone under the legal age.

Age restricted products information
ProductAge Restriction
Adult fireworks and sparklers (category F2 [outdoor use: confined areas] and category F3 [outdoor use: large open areas] fireworks) 18 and over
Aerosol paint 16 and over
Alcohol  18 and over
Botulinum Toxin (Botox) and Cosmetic Fillers (England only)

18 and over

Christmas crackers

12 and over

Corrosive Substances

18 and over


Refer to specific classification

Knives / axes / blades

18 and over

Lighter refills containing butane 18 and over
Lottery tickets / 'instant win' cards 16 and over
Nicotine inhaling products  18 and over
Party poppers and similar low hazard low-noise fireworks (category
F1) (except Christmas crackers)
16 and over
Petrol 16 and over
Sunbeds 18 and over
Tobacco 18 and over

This list is not exhaustive but provides examples of the most common age restricted products. For more in-depth guidance on each of these products and the law surrounding the sale of these products visit the Business Companion website.

Proxy purchasing

A person commits an offence if they buy or attempt to buy alcohol, tobacco or nicotine inhaling products on behalf of someone under 18. You may receive a fine for this.  It is also an offence for a person to buy or attempt to buy alcohol for someone under 18 to drink on licensed premises. However, it is legal for someone aged 18 or over to buy beer, wine or cider for someone aged 16 or 17 to drink with a table meal on licensed premises, as long as the young person is accompanied at the meal by a person aged 18 or over.

Challenge Schemes

In England and Wales you must participate, as a licensing condition if you sell alcohol, in a scheme to carry out age verification checks on anyone who looks younger than 21 or 25. If you sell tobacco you must display a sign in relation to selling to people under the age of 18, for an example of this sign please visit the Business Companion website.

When selling tobacco or nicotine vapour products a challenge scheme is not mandatory but it may assist you.

For further information on challenge schemes or any other queries relating to age restricted products please contact us at  to receive a retailer training pack.

PASS Scheme

You may also want to consider other forms of identification which prove a person’s age. PASS (The Proof of Age Standards Scheme) is the UK’s national proof of age accreditation scheme, endorsed by the Home Office, the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and the Security Industry Authority (SIA). If would like further information or would like to apply for a card, please visit the Pass Scheme website.

Retailer Training

We can provide training to your business to ensure that your staff have the correct knowledge regarding under age sales and what checks need to be made. For more information please email with the reference ‘Do You Pass’.

Witnessed a sale? Report it

If you have seen sales of the above products to children you know are under the legal age limit then it is vital that you report this information to Trading Standards. The easiest way to do so is via the Citizens Advice Consumer Service. Trading Standards work in partnership with the Citizens Advice Consumer Service, we have an agreement in place to assist you in reporting consumer problems, such as this. You can call them on 0808 223 1133 or complete the Citizens Advice Consumer service online form.

Become a volunteer!!

In order for Trading Standards to carry out the important work of test purchasing premises we need volunteers to help us. Ideally we would like volunteers between 13 and 16 who will be trained by staff and a visit will be completed at home with the parents to discuss the role further. The volunteers will then be sent in to premises, supervised by staff, to attempt to buy age restricted goods in order to establish if businesses in Cheshire East are complying with the law. If you think you know someone who may be interested or want further information please email the team at

Contact us

Business Support Team
Cheshire East Council

0300 123 5015

Page last reviewed: 20 April 2022