Retailers are being reminded that new legislation regarding the sale of lighters comes into force in less than a month. Anyone caught selling lighters which are not child-resistant faces a fine of up to £20,000 and/or being jailed for 12 months after the European measures are introduced on March

11. The three requirements which need to be met are that all lighters must be child-resistant (with the exception of luxury lighters), all lighters must be ISO 9994 compliant, and all novelty lighters are banned.

In response to the fast approaching deadline, manufacturer BIC is urging retailers to take action now to ensure all lighters on their display comply with the new legislation. It is also reminding anyone operating a site that they must keep and show on request documentation identifying where they obtained their supply of lighters, as well as provide relevant ISO 9994 and Child Resist certificates.

Peter Travers, BIC UK & Ireland general manager, said: “Retailers just can’t afford to take the risk of buying and selling lighters that don’t comply. If they don’t have a compliant manufacturer and supplier in place by now, then they need to act fast to ensure everything is in place by March 11, 2008.”

BIC puts the 5m lighters it produces every day through a series of tests to ensure ISO 9994 compliance. It also works with organisations such as Trading Standards and The Child Accident Prevention Trust to raise awareness of the legislation.

Travers added: “It is the responsibility of manufacturers and retailers alike to ensure that lighters sold to consumers are of a high quality and, most importantly, safe to use.”

More information on the legislation – as well as details of a recent BIC study which found that many lighters tested still did not comply with the safety standard – can be found at