Age Guidance for Vendors Issued

Posted 15th February 2021 by Dave Cross
The Independent British Vape Trade Association (IBVTA) has issued a comprehensive age of sale guidance for vendors following a consultation process with its Primary Authority, Kent Trading Standards.

The IBVTA1 says that through the provision of credible knowledge and guidance, it “supports the independent vape trade and promotes constructive interaction between this industry sector and the scientific community, vapers, policy makers, and the general public.”

The organisation offers many forms of guidance and support, including regulatory compliance advice. It firmly believes that non-compliance must not be allowed to become a competitive advantage over reputable businesses.

We are only too aware of the resource constraints which local authorities and Trading Standards offices are currently experiencing. Therefore, to assist in achieving better compliance across the sector with regards to preventing underage sales, we are delighted to be able to develop the first comprehensive, stand-alone Assured Age of Sale Guidance.”

The IBVTA are part of a Primary Authority partnership with Kent Trading Standards, and this Guidance has been developed with, and peer reviewed by, that Primary Authority. The Age of Sale Guidance includes advice on compliance with all aspects of regulation such as verifying the ages of customers, preventing proxy and underage online sales, record keeping and staff training.

The advice within the guidance will be useful to vape shops, convenience stores, and any other retail outlets that carry vaping products such as phone and gift shops.

IBVTA’s CEO Gillian Golden said: ‘’We hope this comprehensive guidance will be useful not only for vaping retailers, but also trading standards enforcement officers across the country, in understanding the due diligence required.’’

Wendy May, Primary Authority Trading Standards Officer, added: ‘It has been a rewarding experience working in partnership with the IBVTA to produce this Age of Sale Guidance, ensuring accurate information is available for their members and all retailers of vaping products.”

Age of Sale Guidance for Vape Shops” is available for free download as a PDF from the IBVTA’s website2.

In England & Wales it has been illegal to sell vape products to or allow adults to buy for anyone under the age of 18 since October 2015. In Scotland it is the same as England & Wales but has also been illegal not to operate an online age verification process or sell vape products in vending machines since 2017. Scottish businesses must also register their business on the Nicotine Vapour Products (NVP) Register. There is currently no legislation covering age of sale restrictions in Northern Ireland.


  1. The Independent British Vape Trade Association – [link]
  2. Age of Sale Guidance for Vape Shops” – [link]

 Dave Cross
Article by Dave Cross
Freelance writer, physicist, karateka, dog walker
Vape Green