Source: Getty/Amazon

A banner was added to the Amazon Fresh homepage this week saying: ’Some products will require ID on delivery,’ and linking to the revised policy

Amazon has changed its age-verification policy to specify that anyone buying restricted products will have to show photo ID on delivery, no matter how old they are.

In an apparent first for any major online retailer in the UK, Amazon has extended a ‘Challenge 25’ policy to apply to customers of all ages when buying alcohol or other age-restricted products.

The move follows scrutiny in May this year from the BBC’s Watchdog programme, which found Amazon to be among retailers who sold knives to a 16-year-old.

Until recently, the policy for age-restricted products on Amazon’s website said: ‘Photo identification will be required if a person appears under 25, to prove that they are over 18 years old.’

The policy now says: ‘We take our responsibility in relation to the sale of age-restricted items extremely seriously. Valid photographic ID and a signature of the recipient will be required upon delivery for all customers.’

It goes on to specify that delivery to a neighbour, locker or pick-up is not available for age-restricted items. A list of acceptable forms of identification includes a passport, EU driving licence or biometric immigration document issued by the Home Office.

As well as linking to the new age-restriction policy from listings for knives, Amazon this week flagged it on the Amazon Fresh homepage, where alcohol and nicotine products can be purchased.

A banner added to the page, also linking to the policy, said: ‘Some products will require ID on delivery.’

Links from individual age-restricted products such as alcohol on both Amazon Fresh and Amazon Pantry lead to the same terms and conditions, via a notice saying: ‘Proof of age and a signature will be required on delivery.’

Amazon’s age-verification terms now go further than those of Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Waitrose and Iceland, all of whom stipulate a Challenge 25 policy on their website.

“Our policy in relation to delivery of age-restricted products is outlined on the customer page you highlighted,” an Amazon spokesman told The Grocer, adding: ”Third-party sellers who fulfil their own orders make their own arrangements for the delivery of their items.”

BBC Watchdog reported that Amazon had handed over four knives to a 16-year-old actress and left another one in a bin.

Tesco and Argos were found to have sold knives to the actress in stores, while the law sets the minimum age at 18.

All the retailers are signed up to a voluntary agreement to apply either ‘Think 21’ or ‘Challenge 25’ age verification checks to knife sales.