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Ensuring a sustainable and prosperous convenience industry in Scotland

Changes to Proof of Age Documentation

 Age Restricted Products – Amendments to Proof of Age Documents

As retailers will know many EU nationals living in or visiting Scotland will not carry a passport – the national identity cards of member states are sufficient to allow EU citizens to gain entry to the UK. Additionally they may not have a valid driving licence. This can cause problems at point of sale when EU nationals attempt to purchase age-restricted products.

On behalf of our members SGF has been working directly with the Scottish Government to address this issue. The Scottish Government has now agreed to amend the proof of age requirements to extend the list of documents which provide a defence to retailers when selling age restricted products. The necessary legislation has been approved by the Scottish Parliament and from 1st October 2013 the following documents will be acceptable for proof of age verification:

·         Ministry of Defence Form 90 (Defence Identity Card);

·         Biometric UK Residents Permit; and,

·  National identity cards issued by EU member states plus those of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

The Scottish Government has provided the following advice for retailers:

  1.  We acknowledge that for some retailers this will result in an increased burden in respect of training and printing point of sale literature. Nevertheless, it is important to note that unlike the policy of “challenge 25” which is a mandatory condition of a licence, the prescribed forms of ID merely provide a defence to a person charged with selling alcohol to an under 18.
  2. Licensees are still free to refuse a sale under any circumstances and are under no obligation to make a sale on production of an ID on the prescribed list.
  3. It is therefore open to retailers to take whatever approach to the new ID’s that they deem appropriate and proportionate.
  4. Whilst all staff that sell alcohol will need to be aware of the rules around proof of age, businesses that see high levels of tourists and visitors may want to invest in training all their staff to a high level of knowledge regarding the changes. Others may deem that a more peripheral knowledge is adequate, perhaps ensuring that a list and examples of the new IDs is held on the premises and that can be referred to as required.

Examples of authentic national identity cards for all member states and Switzerland can be found on the Council of Europe website

Examples of UK Defence Identity Cards can be accessed here.

and an example of a Biometric UK Residents Permit can be accessed here.