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Refer a seized item for classification or certification

This guide can be used by enforcement agencies to put together an application for the classification of seized material.

Our services

Classification of content may be needed for prosecuting an offence under state or territory classification enforcement legislation, or where expert enforcement officers consider the content of the material borderline.

The Classification Board can classify seized films, computer games and publications for enforcement agencies. Where it is unclear whether a seized film, computer game or publication has been previously classified, the Board can provide certification of an existing classification.

Certification

If your application for classification includes material that is unclassified, you’ll receive a Classification Certificate, plus an Evidentiary Certificate stating the classification if you request it on the application form.

If the material is unclassified, or has been previously classified, you may apply for an Evidentiary Certificate declaring that the material is unclassified, or certifying the prior classification of the material.

Classification Certificates

Classification Certificates include:

  • production details of the publication, film or computer game
  • the classification decision
  • any consumer advice (not applicable for Refused Classification (RC) materials)
  • the date the certificate was issued

Evidentiary Certificates

Evidentiary Certificates include:

  • production details of the publication, film or computer game
  • the action taken, or not taken, by the Classification Board in relation to the product
  • the date of action taken by the Classification Board in relation to the product
  • if the decision is RC, reasons for that decision
     

Provision of evidence

Our role is strictly limited to the certification and/or classification of material. The Evidentiary Certificate may form part of a prosecution case. However, we will not provide expert witnesses to appear in court.

​Before you apply

Check the classification

Search the Classification database to check whether the item has a classification history before completing the application form. This will affect the kind of certification or classification to apply for.

Contact Us

We recommend that you contact us before submitting any material.

Fees

The Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Regulations 2005 provide each state and territory with one hundred free ‘eligible documents’ each financial year for the purposes of classification enforcement.

Eligible documents

An eligible document is:

  • an application for the classification of a publication, film or computer game (including the simultaneous issue of an Evidentiary Certificate)
  • a copy of a Classification Certificate or of a notice of classification decision
  • an Evidentiary Certificate certifying an item has been previously classified, or is not yet classified

Exceeding the quota

If a state or territory exceeds the 100 free eligible documents quota within a financial year, any subsequent applications will attract:

  • 50 per cent of the prescribed fee for:
    • the classification of a  film, computer game or publication
    • a copy of a Classification Certificate or of a notice of classification decision
  • The full prescribed fee for:
    • an Evidentiary Certificate issued under section 87 of the Classification Act 

You aren’t required to include the fee with your application. An invoice will be issued to your Local Area Command (LAC), usually at the end of the calendar year.
 
Check the application guides for films, computer games and publications in Apply for classification for information on fees.

What to provide

  • A correctly completed, signed copy of the Enforcement Application Form for each item to be classified or certified
  • The content to be classified/certified

Send your application

By post:

The Director
Classification Board
Locked Bag 3
HAYMARKET NSW 124

By courier or personal delivery:

The Director
Classification Board
Level 6, 23 – 33 Mary St
SURRY HILLS NSW 2010

Storage and collection

We will issue you a Goods Receipt for all classification items and store all items in a secure storage area when not being classified.

Collection of content is the applicant’s responsibility. We prefer that Sydney metropolitan agencies collect content in person. Please contact us to arrange for your content to be collected.

Decision notification

Enforcement applications will be classified as soon as possible and generally within 20 days of receipt.

If you have urgent turnaround requirements, for example a set court date, please let us know.

We will email you a copy of the Classification Certificate and/or Evidentiary Certificate as soon as it is available.