What do the ratings mean?
By law, films, computer games and certain publications must be classified before being made available to you.
Classification ratings help you make informed choices about what you watch, play and read.
The advisory categories for films and computer games
General (G), Parental Guidance (PG) and Mature (M)
These classifications are advisory categories. This means there are no legal restrictions about viewing and/or playing these films and computer games.
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.
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 of parents, teachers or guardians. For example, they may contain classifiable elements such as language and themes that are mild in impact.
PG-rated content is not recommended for viewing by people under the age of 15 without guidance from parents, teachers or guardians.
The content is moderate in impact
Films and computer games classified M (Mature) contain content of a moderate impact. M-rated films and computer games are not recommended for children under the age of 15. They include portrayals of elements such as violence and themes that require a mature outlook.
However, children under the age of 15 may legally access this material as the classification rating is an advisory category.
Parents, teachers and guardians may need to find out more about the specific content before deciding whether the material is suitable for children in their care.
The restricted categories for films and computer games
Mature Accompanied (MA 15+) and Restricted (R 18+)
The following classification categories are restricted categories. This means there are legal restrictions on viewing and/or playing these films and computer games.
Mature Accompanied (MA 15+)
The content is strong in impact
MA 15+ rated material contains strong content and is legally restricted to people over the age of 15. It contains elements such as sex scenes and drug use that could have a strong impact on the viewer.
A person may be asked to show proof of their age before purchasing or viewing an MA 15+ film or computer game.
Children under the age of 15 may not legally watch, buy or hire MA 15+ rated material unless they are in the company of a parent or adult guardian. Children under the age of 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 ticket for the child. The guardian must be over the age of 18 and exercising parental control over the child.
Restricted (R 18+)
The content is high in impact
R 18+ material is restricted to adults as it contains content that is considered high in impact for viewers. This includes content that may be offensive to sections of the adult community. A person may be asked for proof of their age before purchasing, hiring or viewing R 18+ films and computer games at a retail store or cinema.
Restricted categories for adult films
Restricted (X 18+)
X 18+ films are restricted to adults. This classification is a special and legally-restricted category due to sexually explicit content including actual sexual intercourse or other sexual activity between consenting adults. X 18+ films are only available for sale or hire in the ACT and some parts of the NT.
Before a classification has been made
Check the Classification (CTC)
'Check the Classification' (CTC) message for unclassified films and computer games
The film or computer game has been assessed and approved for advertising. You should check the classification closer to the release date.
Advertising relating to unclassified films and games must display the CTC message - this includes posters, trailers, internet posts, and any other type of advertising. Once the content is classified, the classification marking should replace the CTC marking on all advertising material.
Consumer advice helps you to make informed choices about what you read, view and play. It provides information about the strongest content (content that may scare, upset or cause concern) in a film or computer game. Consumer advice usually includes references to the classifiable elements which are: themes, violence, sex, language, drug use and nudity.
Classifications for publications, including magazines
Most publications, including magazines, do not need classification and may be legally purchased and read by anyone.
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 the age of 15. If the Classification Board determines the publication should carry consumer advice, then the publications will carry either classification label:
- Unrestricted with the consumer advice M (Mature) - Not Recommended for Readers under 15 Years
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 explicit sexual content.
Category 1 Restricted (CAT 1)
These 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 (CAT 2)
These publications commonly show images of actual sexual activity between consenting adults and may only be displayed in premises that are restricted to adults.
Refused Classification (RC)
Refused Classification (RC) is a classification category referring to films, computer games and publications that cannot be sold, hired, advertised or legally imported in Australia. RC-classified material contains content that is very high in impact and falls outside generally-accepted community standards.