The classification scheme for films, publications and computer games is a national scheme which is implemented through the Commonwealth Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 and complemented by state and territory enforcement legislation.
The enforcement of classification decisions is the responsibility of the states and territories, who are equal partners in the national scheme.
The cooperative classification scheme is made possible by an Intergovernmental Agreement on Censorship made between the Commonwealth and all states and territories. This agreement states that certain changes to the scheme must be considered and agreed to by ministers with responsibility for classification matters.
The Act is supplemented by a number of regulations, determinations and legislative instruments which include:
Online content is regulated in Australia by the Broadcasting Services Act, which is a Commonwealth Act.
Approved classification tools
The Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 was amended on 11 September 2014 to provide the Minister for Justice with the power to approve classification tools for the purposes of classifying publications, films and/or computer games. Decisions produced from approved classification tools are taken to be decisions of the Classification Board.
In deciding whether to approve a classification tool, the Minister must have regard to any written guidelines made by the Minister. The guidelines are available below:
The Minister has determined the specified period for applications to be made for the Classification Board to revoke a decision made by the operation of an approved classification tool in relation to a publication, film or computer game, and the specified class of persons who may make such applications, under section 22CH of the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995:
International Age Rating Coalition (IARC) Global Rating Tool
The Minister for Justice approved the IARC Global Rating Tool pursuant to subsection 22CA(1) of the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 for the purposes of classifying online and/or mobile games.
The approval of the IARC classification tool and a variation to the approval are available below:
State and territory legislation
Each state and territory has classification enforcement legislation to complement the Commonwealth Classification Act.
Fees and charges
Fees and charges for classification services are determined by the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Regulations 2005.
Cost recovery impact statements
The Australian Government's cost recovery policy requires that a Cost Recovery Impact Statement (CRIS) should be prepared for any fees that are changed by an agency where the total annual receipts from all fees exceed $5 million. The aim of the CRIS is to provide clients with information on how the fees are calculated and to improve the transparency of the fee process. It is also a government requirement that CRISs are published on the agency's website.
Classification fees CRIS:
Training fees CRIS: