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New guidance for delivery drivers on how to approach the delivery and refusal of age restricted products like alcohol, tobacco, e-cigarettes and lottery products, has been launched today by the Association of Convenience Stores.

The guidance, which has been designed as a quick reference guide for drivers to view on their mobile devices, details the steps that delivery drivers should go through to ensure that they are only delivering to customers that are 18 and over. This includes:

  • Establishing whether the products in a delivery include anything that is age restricted;
  • The importance of utilising the Challenge25 policy for deliveries and the kinds of identification that are accepted at the point of delivery;
  • When a delivery should be refused, and how to report that back to the business.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Convenience store retailers have a proven track record of promoting responsible retailing through the use of the Challenge25 policy for all age-restricted products. With home delivery becoming more common in our sector, it’s important that the delivery drivers understand their responsibilities and have the confidence to enforce a robust age-restricted sales policy at the door – not just those who work directly for convenience stores, but also third-party delivery partners.”

Figures from the 2021 Local Shop Report show that 22% of convenience retailers offer some form of local grocery delivery service, with many using colleagues in store or their own drivers to deliver goods to customers.

The new guidance has been assured by Surrey and Buckinghamshire Trading Standards as part of ACS’ wider Assured Advice scheme, covering everything from Age Restricted Sales and Food Safety to E-Cigarettes and upcoming HFSS changes.

Michele Manson, Business Team Leader at Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards said: “We all want to see that the right product goes to the right people and the last line of defence in the chain for supplying age restricted products rests at the point of delivery. Where delivery drivers ensure that the recipient is an appropriate age they are actively protecting young people. This simple check reduces the opportunity for errors or deliberate attempts to bypass other controls.”