In this section

In this guide, the words 'must' or 'must not' are used where there is a legal requirement to do (or not do) something. The word 'should' is used where there is established legal guidance or best practice that is likely to help you avoid breaking the law.

Keeping society safe

All businesses that sell goods and services to the public have a duty to ensure they are not putting their customers and others at risk. For obvious reasons, this is particularly true for businesses that supply potentially dangerous items such as knives and bladed items, and hazardous substances such as corrosives and poisons.

The guidance contained in this text covers the controls brought in by the Offensive Weapons Act 2019 (OWA) as well as older legislation that also covers these products. It has been designed to provide businesses with clear, practical information about the legal controls and their obligations under the law. It looks at things like labelling, age restrictions and different types of sales - for example, the differences between selling in-store and online, as well as other types of 'remote' sales, such as mail order or telephone sales.

While the emphasis of this guidance is on helping your business to get things right, it is worth remembering that you may be prosecuted if you break the law. This reflects how important it is to make sure dangerous goods do not fall into the wrong hands, for the sake of businesses, consumers and society as a whole.

Part 1 of this text focuses on acids, other corrosive substances and explosives precursors or poisons; part 2 covers the marketing, sale and delivery of knives and other bladed articles / products.

> Part 1. Acids and corrosive substances

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