Trading Standards Information and Advice: No ID, no sale!

East Sussex County Council Trading Standards are committed to protecting the health and safety of young people by monitoring the sale of age restricted goods in the County.

With the Summer on it’s way and parties in full swing East Sussex County Council would like to remind retailers and consumers of East Sussex to be responsible when selling or purchasing age restricted goods, this includes the sale of alcohol, cigarettes, knives and offensive weapons, spray paints, fireworks, DVDs, videos and computer games, butane gas and solvents.

Trading Standards works with businesses and consumers alike to prevent the sale of age restricted products to underage consumers.

Relying on intelligence, from members of the public, Trading Standards makes test purchases from retail outlets across the County to ensure that the regulations are being followed. These visits involve the use of under age volunteers.


East Sussex County Council Trading Standards would remind sellers of age restricted goods to:

• Be Cautious – it is very hard to tell a young person’s age, so ensure that staff are checking even those that look older than 18. Challenge the existing perceptions that you and your staff may have about how old people look.

• Be Consistent – always check, even if you think you’ve served the customer before or you are pretty certain they are of the right age.

• Be Clear – use signage to inform customers that they will be checked.

• Be Courteous – if you have to refuse a sale try to have application forms on hand to offer to the customer so they can obtain an approved proof of age card, or be able to refer the customer to where they can obtain one.

• Be Conscientious – in certain circumstances it may be useful to ensure that you and your staff record all refusals including date, time, appearance of the customer, items refused and staff name for every refusal.

• Be Careful – there is evidence that retail staff can often fail to challenge underage purchasers if they feel afraid of the consequences.

If you wish to report an underage sale in East Sussex please let Trading Standards know by visiting or by calling Consumer Direct on 08454 040 506.

For further information on how Trading Standards can help you visit the advice pages at