Underage Sales

Aerosol Paint Containers

Aerosol spray paint is often used in graffiti vandalism, and this legislation was introduced to reduce the amount of graffiti.

This advice is designed to provide basic guidance to traders. It is not a complete or authoritative statement of the law.

The law and you

‘Aerosol paint container’ is a device which contains paint stored under pressure… and is designed to permit the release of the paint as a spray.

It is an offence to sell an aerosol paint container to a person under the age of 16.


The maximum penalty for selling an aerosol paint container to a person under the age of 16 is a fine of £2,500.


If the retailer...

  • took all reasonable steps to determine the purchaser's age
  • reasonably believed the purchaser was not under the age of sixteen and
  • took all reasonable steps to avoid the commission of the offence

The Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003

What we are doing

Test purchases      
2008/2009 17 attempts 2 sales (11%)

Early tests were disappointing and showed that some traders were not aware of the legislation.

We will continue to carry out routine visits at retail premises to give advice on the sale of aerosol spray paint and to encourage the use of due diligence systems.

Grafitti poster available for download


Help us stamp out underage sales of age restricted products

Trading Standards
Montgomery House
Monarch Way
Winchester SO22 5PW



Ref B/155/001/July 2004