Skip to main content
 
Check the Classification
Check the Classification
This has advertising approval, but is not yet classified
Learn more...
General.
General
Suitable for everyone.
Learn more...
Parental Guidance.
Parental Guidance
Not recommended for children under 15; may contain material which some children find confusing or upsetting.
Learn more...
Mature.
Mature
Not recommended for children under 15; may include moderate levels of violence, language or themes.
Learn more...
Mature Audiences.
Mature Audiences
Restricted - unsuitable for persons under 15; may contain strong content.
Learn more...
Restricted (R).
Restricted (R)
Restricted to adults.
Learn more...
Restricted (X).
Restricted (X)
Restricted to adults – contains sexually explicit content.
Learn more...
Recent Titles Image
Public
Public
Information for the general public.
Industry
Industry
Information for the media industry.
Compliance
Compliance
Classification compliance information.
How it all works
How it all works
How it all works.

Appendices

Appendices

Previous

Appendix One: Classification Board Statistics

Table 21 Decisions by format/source
Decisions on Commercial applications Decisions
Film (public exhibition) 472
Film (not for public exhibition) 3,361
Film (not for public exhibition) – ACA 206
Film (not for public exhibition) – ATSA 390
Computer games 891
Publications 204
Serial publication declarations 55
Assessment of likely classification – film 32
Assessment of likely classification – computer games 0
Other decisions
Internet content 160
Enforcement (including Australian Customs and Border Protection Service) 343
Film festival exemptions 506
Fee waiver applications 12
Revocations of classification 3
Total 6,635

 

Table 22 Applications received by format/source
Commercial applications Applications received
Film (public exhibition) 478
Film (not for public exhibition) 3,296
Film (not for public exhibition) – ACA 206
Film (not for public exhibition) – ATSA 395
Computer games 923
Publications (excluding serial publications) 217
Serial publication declarations 60
Assessment of likely classification – film 31
Assessment of likely classification – computer games 0
Other applications
Internet content 222
Enforcement (including Australian Customs and Border Protection Service) 364
Film festival exemptions 504
Fee waiver applications 22
Total 6,718

 

Table 23 Timeliness of decisions on commercial applications by application type
Application type Decisions made within statutory time limit Standard applications over 20 business days Priority applications over 5 business days
Film (public exhibition) 472 0 0
Film (not for public exhibition) 3,361 0 0
Film (not for public exhibition) – ACA 206 0 0
Film (not for public exhibition) – ATSA 390 0 0
Computer games 891 0 0
Publications (including serial declarations) 259 0 0
Assessment of likely classification – film 32 0 0
Assessment of likely classification – computer games 0 0 0
Internet content 160 0 0
Total 5,771 0 0
% of total 100 0 0

 

Table 24 Overdue applications by reason for delay
Reason Number
Workflow delay 0
Administrative error 0
Total 0

 

Table 25 Commercial (single issue) publications decisions by classification
Classification Classification decisions
Unrestricted 61
Category 1 restricted 129
Category 2 restricted 14
RC 0
Total 204

 

Table 26 Commercial (single issue) publications applications refused classification by reason
Reason8 Number decisions
Publications RC 1(a) 0
Publications RC 1(b) 0
Publications RC 1(c) 0
Publications RC 1(a) & 1(b) 0
Total 0

 

Table 27 Serial publication declarations by classification
Reason Declarations granted
Unrestricted 5
Category 1 restricted 49
Category 2 restricted 1
RC 0
Total 55

 

Table 28 Commercial films (public exhibition) decisions by classification
Classification Classification decisions
G 63
PG 94
M 196
MA 15+ 109
R 18+ 10
RC 0
Total 472

 

Table 29 Commercial film (not for public exhibition) decisions by classification
Classification Classification decisions
G 671
PG 819
M 1036
MA 15+ 762
R 18+ 117
X 18+ 526
RC 26
Total 3,957

 

Table 30 Commercial Film (not for public exhibition) applications refused classification by reason
Reason9 Number
Films RC 1(a) 21
Films RC 1(b) 1
Films RC 1(c) 0
Films RC 1(a) & 1(b) 4
Total 26

 

Table 31 Commercial computer games decisions by classification
Classification Classification decisions
G 433
PG 270
M 111
MA 15+ 75
RC 2
Total 891

 

Table 32 Commercial computer games applications refused classification by reason
Reason10 Number
Games RC 1(a) 0
Games RC 1(b) 0
Games RC 1(c) 0
Games RC 1(d) 2
Games RC 1(a) & 1 (b) 0
Total 2

 

Table 33 Fee waivers granted
Film (public exhibition) Fee waivers granted
Full fee waiver 10
50% fee waiver 0
75% fee waiver 0
Fee waiver refused 0
Film (not for public exhibition)
Full fee waiver 2
50% fee waiver 0
75% fee waiver 0
Fee waiver refused 0
Computer game
Full fee waiver 0
50% fee waiver 0
75% fee waiver 0
Fee waiver refused 0
Publications
Full fee waiver 0
50% fee waiver 0
75% fee waiver 0
Fee waiver refused 0
Total 12

 

Table 34 Enforcement applications finalised by agency
Enforcement agency Publications Films – other Section 87 certificates11 Total
Australian Federal Police 8 0 8 16
ACT Office of Fair Trading 0 0 4 4
NSW Police 0 16 36 52
NT Police 8 1 10 19
Qld Police & Qld Office of Fair Trading 9 23 40 72
Victoria Police 4 15 20 39
SA Police 0 48 61 109
Tasmania Police 0 12 14 26
WA Police 0 2 2 4
Australian Defence Forces Investigative Services (ADFIS) 0 0 0 0
Australian Customs and Border Protection Service 0 1 1 2
Total 29 118 196 343

 

Table 35 Internet content decisions by classification
Classification Classification decisions
G 7
PG 19
M 26
MA 15+ 20
R 18+ 28
X 18+ 1
RC 59
Unrestricted 0
Total 160

 

Table 36 Internet content refused classification by reason
Reason Number
Film RC 1(a) 16
Film RC 1(b) 2
Film RC 1(c) 7
Film RC 1(d) 1
Film RC 1(a) & 1(b) 29
Film RC 1(a) & 1(c) 4
Section 9A(2)(c) 0
Total 59

Exemptions to show unclassified films

During 2010–11, the Director finalised 506 applications for exemption to publicly exhibit unclassified films at film festivals and special films events. The Director refused an exemption for one film within one of these applications.

Appendix Two: National Classification Code

National Classification Code

1. Classification decisions are to give effect, as far as possible, to the following principles:

  1. adults should be able to read, hear and see what they want;
  2. minors should be protected from material likely to harm or disturb them;
  3. everyone should be protected from exposure to unsolicited material that they find offensive;
  4. the need to take account of community concerns about:
    1. depictions that condone or incite violence, particularly sexual violence; and
    2. the portrayal of persons in a demeaning manner.

Publications

2. Publications are to be classified in accordance with the following table:

Item Description of publication Classification
1 Publications that:
  1. describe, depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified; or
  2. describe or depict in a way that is likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult, a person who is, or appears to be, a child under 18 (whether the person is engaged in sexual activity or not); or
  3. promote, incite or instruct in matters of crime or violence
RC
2 Publications (except RC publications) that:
  1. explicitly depict sexual or sexually related activity between consenting adults in a way that is likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult; or
  2. depict, describe or express revolting or abhorrent phenomena in a way that is likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult and are unsuitable for a minor to see or read
Category 2 restricted
3 Publications (except RC publications and Category 2 restricted publications) that:
  1. explicitly depict nudity, or describe or impliedly depict sexual or sexually related activity between consenting adults, in a way that is likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult; or
  2. describe or express in detail violence or sexual activity between consenting adults in a way that is likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult; or
  3. are unsuitable for a minor to see or read
Category 1 restricted
4 All other publications Unrestricted

 

Films

3. Films are to be classified in accordance with the following table:

Item Description of film Classification
1 Films that:
  1. depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified; or
  2. describe or depict in a way that is likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult, a person who is, or appears to be , a child under 18 (whether the person is engaged in sexual activity or not); or
  3. promote, incite or instruct in matters of crime or violence
RC
2 Films (except RC films) that:
  1. contain real depictions of actual sexual activity between consenting adults in which there is no violence, sexual violence, sexualised violence, coercion, sexually assaultive language, or fetishes or depictions which purposefully demean anyone involved in that activity for the enjoyment of viewers, in a way that is likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult; and
  2. are unsuitable for a minor to see
X 18+
3 Films (except RC films and X 18+ films) that are unsuitable for a minor to see R 18+
4 Films (except RC films, X 18+ films and R 18+ films) that depict, express or otherwise deal with sex, violence or coarse language in such a manner as to be unsuitable for viewing by persons under 15 MA 15+
5 Films (except RC films, X 18+ films, R 18+ films and MA 15+ films) that cannot be recommended for viewing by persons who are under 15 M
6 Films (except RC films, X 18+ films, R 18+ films, MA 15+ films and M films) that cannot be recommended for viewing by persons who are under 15 without the guidance of their parents or guardians PG
7 All other films G

 

Computer games

4. Computer games are to be classified in accordance with the following table:

Item Description of film Classification
1 Computer games that:
  1. depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified; or
  2. describe or depict in a way that is likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult, a person who is, or appears to be, a child under 18 (whether the person is engaged in sexual activity or not); or
  3. promote, incite or instruct in matters of crime or violence; or
  4. are unsuitable for a minor to see or play
RC
2 Computer games (except RC computer games) that depict, express or otherwise deal with sex, violence or coarse language in such a manner as to be unsuitable for viewing or playing by persons under 15 MA 15+
3 Computer games (except RC and MA 15+ computer games) that cannot be recommended for viewing or playing by persons who are under 15 M
4 Computer games (except RC, MA 15+ and M computer games) that cannot be recommended for viewing or playing by persons who are under 15 without the guidance of their parents or guardians PG
5 All other computer games G

Glossary

Term/abbreviation Explanation
3D Three dimensional
ACMA Australian Communications and Media Authority
ACA Scheme Additional Content Assessor Scheme
Advertising Scheme The Advertising of Unclassified Films and Computer Games Scheme
APS Australian Public Service
ATSA Scheme Authorised Television Series Assessor Scheme
Business Online An online applications system which allows business clients to track their applications for classification of films, computer games or publications
BSA Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (Cth)
Call in The Director of the Classification Board may call in publications if he/she has reasonable grounds to believe they are submittable publications and that they are being published in an Australian State or Territory

The Director of the Classification Board may also call in films and computer games if he/she has reasonable grounds to believe they are not exempt and that they are being published in an Australian State or Territory
Censorship Ministers Commonwealth, State and Territory Ministers with responsibility for classification; meetings are held in conjunction with SCAG
Classification Act Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 (Cth)
Classification Board Statutory body established under the Classification Act. The Classification Board classifies computer games, films and certain publications
Classification Board member A statutory appointee to the Classification Board established under the Classification Act
Classification Branch The Classification Branch of the Attorney-General’s Department. Classification Branch officers provide administrative support to the Classification Board and Classification Review Board
Classification guidelines Guidelines on the application of the National Classification Code, approved by Ministers with responsibility for classification. There are the Guidelines for the Classification of Films and Computer Games and the Guidelines for the Classification of Publications
Classification Review Board Statutory body established under the Classification Act. The Classification Review Board is a part-time statutory body convened, as required, to review decisions made by the Board
Classification Review Board member Statutory appointee to the Classification Review Board under the Classification Act
COBRA Classification Operations Branch Records Administration (COBRA) is a classification workflow management system
Classification Liaison Scheme (CLS) A scheme that assists retailers and distributors of publications, films and computer games to comply with their legal obligations under the national classification scheme
Code, the The National Classification Code
Computer games classifications G - General PG - Parental guidance recommended
M - Recommended for mature audiences
MA 15+ - Not suitable for people under 15. Under 15s must be accompanied by
a parent or adult guardian
RC - Refused Classification
Consumer advice The Classification Board and Classification Review Board determine consumer advice for films, computer games and certain publications. Films classified PG, M, MA 15+, R 18+ and X 18+, and computer games classified PG, M and MA 15+, must be assigned consumer advice. Consumer advice gives the principal elements that contributed to the classification of the product and indicates the intensity and/or frequency of those elements. The Classification Board and the Classification Review Board may also provide consumer advice to films and computer games classified G, and publications classified Unrestricted
Convenor Member of the Classification Review Board who is responsible for the management of the Classification Review Board’s business
Customs Australian Customs and Border Protection Service
Deputy Convenor Member of the Classification Review Board who may exercise some of the Convenor’s powers in the Convenor’s absence
Deputy Director Full-time member of the Classification Board who may exercise some of the Director’s powers in the Director’s absence
Determined markings Classification symbols, descriptions and consumer advice lines, as determined by the Minister as set out in the Classifications (Markings for Publications) Determination 2007, the Classification (Markings for Films and Computer Games) Determination 2007, and the Classification (Markings for Certified Exempt Films and Computer Games) Determination 2007
Director Full-time member of the Classification Board responsible for the management of the Classification Board
Exemptions to show an unclassified film at an event An organisation may apply to the Director of the Classification Board for exemption from State and Territory classification enforcement legislation to screen an unclassified film at an event. A person may also apply for an exemption
Exempt computer game A computer game exempt from classification requirements as defined by section 5B of the Classification Act
Exempt film A film exempt from classification requirements as defined by section 5B of the Classification Act
Fee waiver The waiving of classification application fees by the Director in specific circumstances, as provided by the Classification Act
Film (including video, DVD and other media storage devices) classifications G - General PG - Parental guidance recommended
M - Recommended for mature audiences
MA 15+ - Not suitable for people under 15. Under 15s must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian
R 18+ - Restricted to 18 years and over
X 18+ - Restricted to 18 years and over
RC - Refused Classification
FMA Act Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (Cth)
FOI Act Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth)
FOI Freedom of information
Guidelines Legislative instruments which provide direction on the application of the National Classification Code, approved by Ministers with responsibility for classification. Separate guidelines exist for the classification of films and computer games and publications
IMAX Large format film (70mm)
Industry assessors Persons authorised by the Director to make recommendations to the Classification Board on the classification and consumer advice for:
  • computer games that are likely to be classified G, PG or M; or
  • additional content accompanying previously classified or exempt film/s on DVD or other media storage devices; or
  • certain television series released on DVD or other media storage devices.
There are also industry assessors who are authorised to assess the likely classification of unclassified films and/or computer games for advertising purposes
National Classification Scheme A cooperative Commonwealth, State and Territory regulatory scheme for classification of films, computer games and certain publications
National Classification Code (the Code) A code that sets out how films, computer games and certain publications are to be classified
Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) Former Commonwealth agency in the Attorney-General’s portfolio that provided administrative support to the Classification Board and the Classification Review Board
Prescribed areas All land held under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act (Northern Territory) 1976 (Cth), community living areas and areas declared to be prescribed by the Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs under the Northern Territory Emergency Response Act 2007 (Cth)
Prohibited Exports Regulations Customs (Prohibited Exports) Regulations 1958 (Cth)
Prohibited Imports Regulations Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 made under section 50 of the Customs Act 1901 (Cth); Regulation 4A relates to the importation of publications (including films and computer games and other goods)
PSP The PlayStation Portable (PSP) hand held computer game console
Publications classifications Unrestricted - Unrestricted
Category 1 restricted - Not available to persons under 18 years
Category 2 restricted - Not available to persons under 18 years
RC - Refused Classification
SCAG (Censorship) Committee comprising Commonwealth, State and Territory Ministers with responsibility for classification. In most jurisdictions this is the Attorney-General, except in the Commonwealth where the Minister is the Minister for Justice (SCAG renamed Standing Council of Law and Justice)
Senior Classifier Full-time senior member of the Classification Board
Serial classification declaration A declaration issued by the Classification Board on the classification and any conditions that apply to issues of a periodical for a specified period
Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (SCAG) Committee comprising the Attorneys-General of the Commonwealth, States and Territories (renamed Standing Council of Law and Justice)
Submittable publication An unclassified publication that is unsuitable for a minor to see or read, and likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult to the extent that the publication should not be sold or displayed as an unrestricted publication

Footnotes

8 The reason for refusing a publication classification refers to the relevant item of the National Classification Code.

9 The reason for refusing a film classification refers to the relevant item of the National Classification Code.

10 The reason for refusing a computer game classification refers to the relevant item of the National Classification Code.

11 A section 87 certificate is an evidentiary certificate that describes the action taken, or not taken, by the Classification Board in relation to a publication or film. This evidentiary certificate is issued under section 87 of the Classification Act.

Previous