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Proof of Age Card - one answer to under age sales problem 12 October 2005

    The problem retailers and licensees have identifying the age of young people asking to buy age restricted goods has been highlighted recently but there are answers to the problem. The Office of Fair Trading is reminding them that its Proof of Age 18+ card is an official and secure system specifically introduced to help.

    The cards, which are available from the Office, include a photograph of the young person as well as their name, date of birth and clear indication of 18+. The beauty of the system is that the cards are only issued to those over 18 so there is no need for retailers or licensees to spend time calculating the age of the holder.

    Prior to the start of the card scheme the Office, together with the Isle of Man Constabulary, distributed packs to retailers containing an advertising poster, a set of application forms with a display stand, a specimen card and guidance notes for staff on the importance of asking for the card and how to check the authenticity of a card presented to them by a customer.

    There has been a reasonable take up of the card with approaching 250 issued so far, but the Office is keen to remind retailers and licensees that the solution to the under age sales problem is in their own hands. If they tell young people that they will only serve them if they have an Isle of Man Government Proof of Age 18+ card then those who are over 18 will get one and those who aren't 18 will be deterred from trying to buy.

    The Chairman of the Office of Fair Trading, Quintin Gill MHK, commented "I know that most retailers and licensees take their responsibilities under the law extremely seriously but they don't perhaps realise how much assistance this card could be to them. It is essential then that they always ask for the card if they have any question at all over the age of a young person asking to buy these goods." Mr Gill went on to say "The card itself is very distinctive and clearly identifies the young person as over 18. We continue to encourage retailers and licensees to make use of the scheme to protect themselves".

    NOTES:

    Application forms can be obtained from the Office of Fair Trading (or its website www.gov.im/oft). The cost of the card is £5.00.

    12th October 2005

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