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This statutory guidance for retailers provides advice for those required to comply with, or enforce, the measurements in the Offensive weapons Act 2019, in England and Wales.

The new guidance will be introduced in April and is part of efforts to tackle youth violence. It is designed to increase security and make it harder for young people to buy weapons or other controlled items.

In England and Wales, the new regulations mean that sellers must have a system in place to verify the purchaser is not under 18, and all packages containing these materials must be clearly marked to indicate that it contains a corrosive/offensive product.

The new legislation includes age verification at collection points, particularly regarding lockers where age verification is not easily enabled. For collection points, sellers need to ensure that any package is clearly marked, stating it contains a corrosive product and should not be handed over to anyone under the age of 18, at the point of dispatch to the collection point.

In addition, sellers much take all reasonable precautions to ensure that when the package is delivered, it is handed over to a person age 18 or over, and the seller does not deliver the package or arrange for it to be delivered, to a locker.

Sellers also need to take all reasonable precautions and exercise all due diligence to ensure that, when supplied to the buyer from a collection point, the package would not be delivered into the hands of someone under 18. According to the government, Sellers should adapt their existing ‘Think 21’ or ‘Think 25’ policies if these are not already in place.

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