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Check the Classification
Check the Classification
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General.
General
Suitable for everyone.
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Parental Guidance.
Parental Guidance
Not recommended for children under 15; may contain material which some children find confusing or upsetting.
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Mature.
Mature
Not recommended for children under 15; may include moderate levels of violence, language or themes.
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Mature Audiences.
Mature Audiences
Restricted - unsuitable for persons under 15; may contain strong content.
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Restricted (R).
Restricted (R)
Restricted to adults.
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Restricted (X).
Restricted (X)
Restricted to adults – contains sexually explicit content.
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PublicIndustry
Industry
Information for the media industry.
Compliance
Compliance
Classification compliance information.
How it all works
How it all works
How it all works.

Parents

Information for Parents

How can I find out the classification of a film or computer game?

Parental guidance

Classification categories explained

Children viewing M-rated films at the cinema

Classification decisions and consideration

Is the Classification Board responsible for the content of TV, the internet or recorded music?

Complaints about a classification decision

How can I find out the classification of a film or computer game?

Classified films, computer games and some publications must have the classification clearly displayed. The public database provides information on all decisions made by the Classification Board and Classification Review Board.

Classification decision reports provide reasons for every decision. Copies of reports are available on request via the enquiry form or by calling 02 9289 7100.

The decision reports for review decisions made by the Classification Review Board are available to view and download online.

Parental guidance

Parents and guardians are the most appropriate people to determine which films and computer games are the most suitable for their children to see and play. The classification information provided on classified products can assist them to make that choice.

Classification markings are the classification symbols and words that are seen on films and computer games. For example, they appear on DVD and computer games boxes and on associated advertising material such as catalogues, cinema posters, in newspapers and on websites.

There are three main parts of a classification marking:

  • a classification symbol (this is a coloured letter)
  • a classification description, and 
  • consumer advice specific to each film or computer game that informs consumers about some of the strongest content in a film or computer game

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Classification categories explained

The advisory categories for films and computer games

The following three classification categories are advisory categories. This means there are no legal restrictions about viewing and/or playing these films and computer games with these markings.

General (G)

General G 

The content is very mild in impact.

The G classification is suitable for everyone. G products may contain classifiable elements such as language and themes that are very mild in impact. However, some G-classified films or computer games may contain content that is not of interest to children.

Parental Guidance (PG)

Parental Guidance (PG) 

The content is mild in impact.

The impact of PG (Parental Guidance) classified films and computer games should be no higher than mild, but they may contain content that children find confusing or upsetting and may require the guidance or parents and guardians. They may, for example, contain classifiable elements such as language and themes that are mild in impact. It is not recommended for viewing or playing by persons under 15 without guidance from parents or guardians

Mature (M)

Mature (M) 

The content is moderate in impact.

Films and computer games classified M (Mature) contain content of a moderate impact and are recommended for teenagers aged 15 years and over.

Children under 15 may legally access this material because it is an advisory category. However, M classified films and computer games may include classifiable elements such as violence and nudity of moderate impact that are not recommended for children under 15 years.

Parents and guardians may need to find out more about the film or computer game’s specific content, before deciding whether the material is suitable for their child.


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The Restricted categories for films and computer games

The following classification categories are restricted categories. This means there are legal restrictions on viewing or playing these films and computer games.

Mature Accompanied
(MA 15+)

Mature Accompanied  

The content is strong in impact.

MA 15+ classified material contains strong content and is legally restricted to persons 15 years and over. It may contain classifiable elements such as sex scenes and drug use that are strong in impact. A person may be asked to show proof of their age before hiring or purchasing an MA 15+ film or computer game. Cinema staff may also request that the person show proof of their age before allowing them to watch an MA 15+ film. Children under the age of 15 may not legally watch, buy or hire MA 15+ classified material unless they are in the company of a parent or adult guardian. Children under 15 who go to the cinema to see an MA 15+ film must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian for the duration of the film. The parent or adult guardian must also purchase the movie ticket for the child.

The guardian must be an adult exercising parental control over the person under 15 years of age. The guardian needs to be 18 years or older.

Restricted (R18+)

 

Restricted (R18+) 

 

 

The content is high in impact

R 18+ classified material is restricted to adults. Such material may contain classifiable elements such as sex scenes and drug use that are high in impact. Some material classified R18+ may be offensive to sections of the adult community. A person may be asked for proof of their age before purchasing, hiring or viewing R18+ films and computer games at a retail store or cinema.


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The Restricted categories for adult films

Restricted (X 18+)

Restricted (X 18+) 

X 18+ films are restricted to adults. This classification is a special and legally restricted category which contains only sexually explicit content. That is, material which shows actual sexual intercourse and other sexual activity between consenting adults. X18+ films are only available for sale or hire in the ACT and the NT.

RC – Refused Classification

Refused Classification (RC) is a classification category.

Material that is Refused Classification is commonly referred to as being ‘banned’. Films, computer games and publications that are classified RC cannot be sold, hired, advertised or legally imported in Australia.

Material that is classified RC contains content that is very high in impact and falls outside generally accepted community standards.

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Classifications for publications including magazines

Most publications including magazines do not need classification and may be legally bought and read by children.

Only ‘submittable publications’ (publications which may be Refused Classification or restricted to adults) require classification. These publications usually contain sexualised nudity or sexually explicit content.

Some publications are classified as Unrestricted. These publications may contain content that is not recommended for children under 15. The publications will carry a classification label that reads Unrestricted M (Mature).


OR


Publications which are classified Category 1-Restricted and Category 2-Restricted are publications for adults and they cannot be sold to minors (and are not to be sold in Queensland under Queensland law). They contain content that may offend some sections of the adult community, for example nudity or sexual content.

  • Category 1 - restricted publications commonly contain images of sexualised nudity and must be distributed in a sealed wrapper. Their covers must be suitable for public display
  • Category 2 - restricted publications commonly show images of actual sexual activity between consenting adults and may only be displayed in premises that are restricted to adults

M-rated films for cinema viewing for children

The content of M-rated films is considered of moderate impact and therefore is not recommended for children under 15 years. The M (Mature) classification is an advisory category which means there are no legal restrictions that the cinema has to uphold.

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Classification decisions and consideration

The Classification Board makes classification decisions for films, computer games and certain publications.

A decision by the Classification Board may be reviewed by the Classification Review Board.

Films, computer games and certain publications that are submitted for classification must be viewed by members of the Classification Board (Classification Board members are allocated certain product to classify each day), who then assign each item a classification of G, PG, M, MA 15+,R 18+, X 18+ (films only) or RC Refused Classification; and, where appropriate, consumer advice. Certain publications also need to be classified as either Unrestricted, Category 1 - Restricted, Category 2 - Restricted or RC Refused Classification.

The Board makes decisions by majority agreement.

When making a decision, the Board must apply:

Three essential principles underlie the Board’s classification decisions:

  • The importance of context
  • Assessing impact
  • The six classifiable elements

The six classifiable elements in a film or computer game that are assessed by the Board are:

  • Themes
  • Violence
  • Sex
  • Language
  • Drug use
  • Nudity

The profiles of the members of the Classification Board and the Classification Review Board are available to view online.

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Is the Classification Board responsible for TV, internet or recorded music content?

The Classification Board does not classify material that is broadcast on radio or television networks. Television programs are classified by classifiers who work at the television stations. Any enquiries about content broadcast on television should be directed to the relevant station.

The Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (BSA) establishes a co-regulatory scheme for broadcast services including radio and television. These rely on codes of practice developed by industry and registered with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

For films screened on television, the BSA requires that codes of practice apply the film classification under the National Classification Scheme. This provides consistency of classification information across films, DVDs and television.

Online content is regulated by the BSA and is administered by the ACMA. If the ACMA receives a valid complaint about Australian-hosted online content or discovers potential prohibited content on its own initiative, the ACMA may (and in some cases must) submit the material to the Classification Board for classification. The ACMA then takes appropriate action in respect of the online content.

Recorded music is monitored by the Australian Record Industry Association. Warning stickers are attached to material with strong lyrics.

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Complaints about a classification decision

The Classification Board welcomes feedback about its decisions and will respond to all enquiries and complaints. Comments and complaints can be sent the Classification Board via the enquiry form or by post to:

The Director

Classification Board

Locked Bag 3

Haymarket, NSW, 1240

By Fax: 02 9289 7101

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