Selling alcohol

Alcohol licensing

Businesses, organisations and individuals who want to sell or supply alcohol in England and Wales must have a licence from their district council.

Kent Community Alcohol Partnership

Retailers and publicans are essential to the success of the Kent Community Alcohol Partnership by ensuring that under 18s are not able to buy alcohol.

If you are in a Kent Community Alcohol Partnership area you should already be in regular contact with your local police officer, licensing officer, community warden and trading standards officer.

Challenge 25

Most people have some difficulty judging the age of a young person. Operating a Challenge 25 policy gives staff support to ask for ID from any person appearing to be under 25 years of age.

This provides a margin of error for you and your staff as a young person can look much older than they actually are. Make sure you advertise this in your premises so that customers are aware.

Ask for ID

Whether operating a Challenge 25 policy or not, you and your staff should always ask for proof of age when selling an age restricted item. This can take the form of a passport, driving licence or a PASS approved ID card.

Train your staff

Make sure your staff are aware of their responsibilities under all the legislation covering age restricted products.

To be effective, the training should be given before they are allowed to operate the till system, and should be repeated at regular intervals. In all cases this must be documented as evidence they have been trained.

Keep a refusals book

The law recognises that despite your best efforts, mistakes can be made. As part of your documented procedures, it is good practice to keep a refusals book, which records and shows that your procedures and training are working.

As this records attempted purchases, you should review this on a regular basis to see whether patterns emerge. These patterns may require you to consider changing your own procedures, carry out further training or may require a referral to your local district council licensing officer, trading standards officer, or police officer.

Contact us

We want to know about concerns you have with underage drinking and antisocial behaviour that affects your business and your customers.

If you would like more information, call Trading Standards on 03000 41 20 20 or email