A motion picture rating system is designated to classify films with regard to suitability for audiences in terms of issues such as sex, violence, substance abuse, profanity, impudence or other types of mature content. A particular issued rating can be called a certification, classification, certificate or rating.
This is designed to help parents decide whether a movie is suitable for their children. Yet, the effectiveness of these designations is widely disputed. Also, in some jurisdictions a rating may impose on movie theaters the legal obligation of refusing the entrance of children or minors to the movie. Furthermore, where movie theaters do not have this legal obligation, they may enforce restrictions on their own. Ratings are often given in lieu of censorship. Movie theaters often have time restrictions on what time kids can come in with their parent.
In countries such as Australia, an official government censorship system decides on ratings; in other countries, such as the United States, it is done by industry committees with little, if any official government status. In most countries, however, films that are considered morally offensive have been censored, restricted, or banned. Even if the film rating system has no legal consequences, and a film has not explicitly been restricted or banned, there are usually laws forbidding certain films, or forbidding minors to view them.
The influence of specific factors in deciding a rating varies from country to country. For example, in countries such as the U.S., films with strong sexual content are often restricted to older viewers, whereas in countries such as France and Germany, sexual content is viewed much more leniently. On the other hand, films with violent content are often subject in countries such as Germany and Finland to high ratings and even censorship, whereas countries such as Australia offer more lenient ratings to violent movies.
Other factors may or may not influence the classification process, such as being set within a non-fictional historical context, whether the film glorifies violence or drug use, whether said violence or drug use is carried out by the protagonist, with whom the viewer should empathize, or by the antagonist. In Germany, for example, films depicting explicit war violence in a real war context (such as the Second World War) are handled more leniently than films with purely fictional settings.
A film may be produced with a particular rating in mind. It may be re-edited if the desired rating is not obtained, especially to avoid a higher rating than intended. A film may also be re-edited to produce an alternate version for other countries.
A comparison of currently active film rating systems, showing age on the horizontal axis. Note however that the specific criteria used in assigning a classification can vary widely from one country to another. Thus a color code or age range cannot be directly compared from one country to another.
Spring green – Aimed at young audiences.
Green – All ages may watch.
Yellow – Parental guidance is suggested.
Orange – Not recommended for a younger audience but not restricted.
Red – Restricted to an older audience unless accompanied by an adult.
Brown – Restricted exclusively to an older audience.
Blue – Restricted to adults only.
Black – No rating / Exempt from classification / Banned from viewing.
All ages may watch an M title, but parents are advised that the content is more suitable for mature people 16 years and over. Nobody under the given age can legally see an R rated film, although sometimes an RP rating is provided meaning that those under the given age must watch under adult supervision.
12A legally requires parental supervision for those under 12. 15 does not allow people below that age to be admitted, supervised or otherwise. R18 is usually reserved for pornographic content only, but, on rare cases, the cert has been given out to programs with extreme graphic violence/gore.
PG – Parental guidance recommended. The content is mild in impact. It is not recommended for viewing or playing by persons under 15 without guidance from parents or guardians.
M – Recommended for mature audiences. Not recommended for children under 15 years old but not legally restricted. The content is moderate in impact.
MA15+ – Mature Accompanied. Unsuitable for children younger than 15. Children younger than 15 years must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. The content is strong in impact.
R18+ – Restricted to 18 years and over. Adults only. The content is high in impact.
X18+ – Restricted to 18 years and over. Films with this rating have pornographic content. Films classified as X18+ are banned from being sold or rented in all Australian states and are only legally available in the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory.
RC – Refused Classification. Banned from sale or hire in Australia and cannot be legally imported. Films are rated RC if their content is very high in impact and exceeds the guidelines.
Motion pictures are rated by the Austrian Board of Media Classification (ABMC) for the Federal Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture (Bundesministerium für Unterricht, Kunst und Kultur). The recommendations made by the ABMC are generally not legally binding and there are nine sets of provincial laws on the cinema sector with different age provisions. The only exception is in the case of "16" rated films, since under Austrian law there is a legal age restriction on certain types of content i.e. discrimination, sexual abuse, glorification of violence etc. In addition to the ABMC's age recommendations, in the province of Vienna children under the age of 6 are only permitted to attend public film performances if they are accompanied.
The AMBC issues age recommendation from the following categories:
Unrestricted – Released for all age groups
6+ – Released for children from age 6
10+ – Released for children from age 10
12+ – Released for children from age 12
14+ – Released from age 14
16+ – Released from age 16. Restricted classification.
There are only two classifications for films publicly exhibited in Belgium issued by the Inter-Community Commission for Film Rating (Dutch: Intergemeenschapscommissie voor de Filmkeuring; French: Commission Intercomunautaire de Contrôle des Films). There is no mandatory rating system for video formats but 90 per cent of video distribution abides by the voluntary Belgium Video Federation. It is basically the same as the system for theatrical exhibition, but also provides a "12" rating.
Films are rated in Brazil by the Dejus (Departamento de Justiça, Classificação, Títulos e Qualificação – Department of Justice, Rating, Titles and Qualification), which is run by the Brazilian Ministry of Justice (Ministério da Justiça). Anyone below the film's minimum age can watch it if accompanied by the parent or guardian, except for those rated "Not recommended for ages under 18", which, by law, are strictly prohibited from viewing by people under 18. Unlike many countries, the Dejus doesn't have any legal right to ban, demand cuts or refuse to rate any movie.
The Dejus uses the following system:
Film classification symbols used in Brazil.
L: Livre para Todos os Públicos ("Free For All Public"): This classification applies to works which contain predominantly positive contents and which do not bring unsuitable elements subject to ratings to ages higher than 10, such as the ones listed below:
Violence: Fantasy violence; display of arms with no violence; deaths with no violence; bones and skeletons with no violence.
Sex and Nudity: Non-erotic nudity.
Drugs: Moderate or insinuated use of legal drugs.
10: Não Recomendado para Menores de 10 Anos ("Not recommended for ages under 10"): The following contents are accepted for this age range:
Violence: Display of arms with violence; fear/tension; distress; bones and skeletons with signs of violent acts; criminal acts without violence; derogatory language.
Sex and Nudity: Educational contents about sex.
Drugs: Oral description of the use of legal drugs; discussion on the issue "drug trafficking"; medicinal use of illegal drugs.
12: Não Recomendado para Menores de 12 Anos ("Not recommended for ages under 12"): The following contents are accepted for this age range:
Violence: Violent act; body injury; description of violence; presence of blood; victim's grief; natural or accidental death with violence; violent act against animals; exposure to danger; showing people in embarrassing or degrading situations; verbal aggression; obscenity; bullying; corpses; sexual harassment; overvaluation of the physical beauty; overvaluation of consumption.
Sex and Nudity: Veiled nudity; sexual innuendo; sexual fondling; masturbation; foul language; sex content language; sex simulation; sexual appeal.
Drugs: Use of legal drugs; inducing the use of legal drugs; irregular use of medication; mention to illegal drugs.
14: Não Recomendado para Menores de 14 Anos ("Not recommended for ages under 14"): The following contents are accepted for this age range:
Violence: Intentional death; stigma/prejudice.
Sex and Nudity: Nudity; erotization; vulgarity; sexual intercourse; prostitution.
Drugs: Insinuation of the use of illegal drugs; verbal descriptions of the use of illegal drugs; discussion on the "decriminalization of illegal drugs".
16: Não Recomendado para Menores de 16 Anos ("Not recommended for ages under 16"): The following contents are accepted for this age range:
Violence: Rape; sexual coercion; torture; mutilation; suicide; gratuitous violence/banalization of violence; abortion, death penalty, euthanasia.
Sex and Nudity: Intense sexual intercourse.
Drugs: Production or trafficking of any illegal drug; use of illegal drugs; inducing the use of illegal drugs.
18: Não Recomendado para Menores de 18 Anos ("Not recommended for ages under 18"): The following contents are accepted for this age range:
Violence: Violence of high impact; exaltation, glamorization and/or incitement to violence; cruelty; hate crimes.
Sex and Nudity: Explicit sex; complex/strong impact sexual intercourses (incest, group sex, violent fetish and pornography overall).
Drugs: Inciting the use of illegal drugs.
There are also operational descriptions of attenuating and aggravating elements that can interfere on the final rating.
The Bulgarian film rating system is defined in the Film Industry Act of 2003 and administered by the National Film Rating Committee.
Bulgarian film ratings
When is it given
Recommended to children
"The film confirms the ideals of humanism or popularizes the national and world cultures or contributes to upbringing children."
No restrictive recommendations from the Committee.
"The film is in no way contrary to the universal rules of morality in this country."
No persons under the age of 12 are admitted unless accompanied by an adult.
"The film contains certain erotic scenes or scenes with drinking, taking drugs or stimulants or a few scenes of violence."
No persons under the age of 16 are admitted.
"The film contains quite a number of erotic scenes or scenes with drinking, taking drugs or stimulants or a considerable number of scenes showing violence."
No persons under the age of 18 are admitted.
"The film is naturalistically erotic or shows violence in an ostentatious manner."
Exhibitions of X films are permitted on the condition that the venue is licensed for exhibiting X rated films only. The act also prohibits the renting and selling of D and X rated media to people below the ages of 16 and 18 respectively.
Film ratings in Canada are a provincial responsibility, and each province has its own legislation, rules and regulations regarding rating, exhibition and admission. Ratings are required for theatrical exhibition, but not all provinces require classification for home video. In the past there was a wide range of rating categories and practices in the various provinces; however, the seven rating systems—with the exception of Quebec—now all use categories and logos derived from the Canadian Home Video Rating System (CHVRS).
Classifications used outside Québec
Canadian rating labels used outside Québec.
The categories are mostly identical to the CHVRS with a few minor variations. In the provinces that require classification of video formats, supply of 14A and 18A films is restricted to customers above those ages. In the case of theater exhibition, children are admitted to 14A and 18A films in the Manitoba and Maritime provinces if accompanied by an adult, although admittance is restricted to children over the age of 14 in the case of 18A films. Likewise, British Columbia,Saskatchewan (administered by the British Columbia Film Classification Office),Alberta and Ontario also admit children to 14A and 18A films if accompanied, but do not impose an age restriction on 18A films. The Maritimes and British Columbia (along with Saskatchewan) also provide an "A" classification for adult content.
In Quebec, the Régie du cinéma rates all films and videos. The Régie is a governmental agency overseen by the Quebec Ministry of Culture and Communications; its purview devolves from the Cinema Act (chapter C-18.1). In some cases the Régie du cinéma may refuse to provide a classification, effectively banning the film. Educational and sports films are exempt from classification.
G: Visa général (General Rating) – May be viewed, rented or purchased by persons of all ages.
13+: 13 ans et plus (13 years and over) – May be viewed, rented or purchased by children 13 years of age or over. Children under 13 may be admitted only if accompanied by an adult.
16+: 16 ans et plus (16 years and over) – May be viewed, rented or purchased by children 16 years of age or over.
18+: 18 ans et plus (18 years and over) – May be viewed, rented or purchased by adults 18 years of age or over.
Films are classified by the Council of Cinematographic Classification (Consejo de Calificación Cinematográfica) which is a central agency under the Ministry of Education.
The age ratings are:
Todo Espectador – General Audience
Inconveniente para menores de 7 años – Not suitable for children younger than 7 years
Mayores de 14 años – Suitable for people aged 14 and older.
Mayores de 18 años – Suitable for people aged 18 and older.
The age ratings may also be supplemented by the following content categories:
Pornographic films may only be exhibited at venues licensed for that purpose. Minors are admitted to films with pornographic and excessively violent content if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.
People's Republic of China
China does not have a rating system. Only films that are passed as "suitable for all ages" are released.
Prohibited: Contains elements that incite or advocate crime.
In Denmark, the Media Council for Children and Young People currently rates films. Films do not have to be submitted for a rating and in such instances must be labelled a "15" (restricted to people aged 15 and above). Children aged 7 and above may attend any performance—including those restriced to older audiences—if they are accompanied by an adult.
Approval of the film for general admittance.
Approval of the film for general admittance, but not recommended for children younger than the age of 7.
Approval of the film for admittance of children from the age of 11.
Approval of the film for admittance of children from the age of 15.
Exempt from classification – only used on home video products (mostly documentaries, Danish stand-up shows and educational material)
Film classification in Estonia is regulated by the Child Welfare Act.
PERE – Family Film.
L – Allowed to all.
MS-6 – Not recommended for under 6.
MS-12 – Not recommended for under 12.
K-12 – Prohibited for under 12 unless accompanied by an adult.
K-14 – Prohibited for under 14 unless accompanied by an adult.
K-16 – Prohibited for under 16 unless accompanied by an adult.
Prior to showing in theaters, a distribution certificate must be obtained from the Ministry of Culture. The Minister will decide which certificate to issue based on a recommendation by the Board of Film Classification. In some cases films may be classified as "pornographic films or those containing an incitement to violence" or completely prohibited from screening. A certificate will be granted from the following:
U – certificate authorising the screening of the film to all members of the public
12 – certificate prohibiting the screening of the film to minors under twelve
16 – certificate prohibiting the screening of the film to minors under sixteen
18 – certificate prohibiting the screening of the film to minors under eighteen
The Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle der Filmwirtschaft (Voluntary Self-Regulation of the Film Industry, FSK) has a film ratings system under which films are classified. All the ratings contain the phrase "gemäß §14 JuSchG" (in accordance with §14 of the Youth Protection Law), signifying that they are legally binding for minors. Cinemas may legally exhibit films without a classification but minors are prohibited from such screenings.
Ohne Altersbeschränkung (FSK 0): no age restriction (white sign)
Freigegeben ab 6 Jahren (FSK 6): released to ages 6 and older (yellow sign)
Freigegeben ab 12 Jahren (FSK 12): released to ages 12 and older; children who are at least age 6 may be admitted with parental accompaniment (green sign)
Freigegeben ab 16 Jahren (FSK 16): released to ages 16 and older, nobody under this age admitted (blue sign)
Keine Jugendfreigabe (FSK 18): "no youth admitted", adults only. (red sign)
Infoprogramm or Lehrprogramm: "educational programming". This rating is not issued by the FSK, but may be self-applied to films seeking to educate their audience (e.g. documentaries, instructional films, etc.). Films with this rating may be sold without any age restriction provided they do not contain any material "evidently harmful to the development of children and youths".
The FSK rating also limits the time of the day in which the movie may be aired on free-to-air TV stations to a time frame between 22:00 (FSK 16) or 23:00 (FSK 18) and 6:00. Stations are permitted to broadcast films not approved for audiences under 12 at their own discretion.
All publicly released films must be submitted to the Youth Committee for classification. There are four categories:
Unrestricted – No restrictions
13 – Suitable for people aged 13 and above.
17 – Not permitted to young people under the age of 17.
Films intended for public exhibition have to be submitted to the Director of Film, Newspaper and Article Administration, who is the Film Censorship Authority (FCA) under the Ordinance, for approval. Films approved for public exhibition are then either classified or exempted from classification.
I – suitable for all ages (circle sign)
IIA – not suitable for children (square sign)
IIB – not suitable for young persons and children
III – for persons aged 18 or above only
Of the four levels, Levels I, IIA, and IIB are unrestricted. Only Level III is a restricted category.
Hungarian ratings are decided by the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH):
UA – Unrestricted Public Exhibition but with a word of caution that Parental discretion required for children below 12 years.
A – Restricted to adults.
S – Restricted to any special class of persons.
Motion pictures shown in Indonesia must undergo reviewing by the Indonesian Film Censorship Board. Other than issuing certificates, the LSF/IFCB also reviews and issues permits for film-related advertising, such as movie trailers and posters. LSF has the authority to cut scenes from films. Certificates are issued based on the following categories:
A Japanese film rating regulator known as Eirin(映倫?) [full-name: Eiga Rinri Kanri Iinkai (映画倫理管理委員会?)] has a film classification system under which films are classified into one of four categories. The categories have been in use since 1 May, 1998.
G: General, suitable for all ages
PG-12: Parental guidance requested for young people under 12 years.
R15+: No one under 15 admitted.
R18+: No one under 18 admitted.
In Kazakhstan, films are rated by the Committee for Culture of the Ministry for Culture and Information.
К: Film is allowed for any audience.
БА: Suitable for children over the age of 12.
Б14: Supervision by parents recommended for children under the age of 14.
Е16: Supervision by parents recommended for children under the age of 16.
Е18: For viewers aged over 18.
НА: For viewers aged over 21. Restricted to licensed venues between 10pm and 6am local time.
In Latvia it is the duty of the producer of a film or distributor to assign a rating according to a pre-determined set of criteria. All publicly exhibited films, visual recordings and films broadcast over television and electronic networks must be classified.
U (universal audience) – Suitable for persons of all age groups
7+: Suitable for a person who has reached at least 7 years of age
12+: Suitable for a person who has reached at least 12 years of age
16+: Suitable for a person who has reached at least 16 years of age
18+: Not suitable for a minor (prohibited to people under 18)
Malaysia's motion picture rating system was introduced in 1953, initially classifying films either for General Audiences (Tontonan Umum) or For Adults Only (Untuk Orang Dewasa Sahaja). According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, all films in Malaysia, whether local or foreign, are scrutinised and then categorised by the Film Censorship Board Film Control Division before being distributed and screened to the public. The board was established under the Film Censorship Act 1952 and was later replaced by the Film Censorship Act 2002. In accordance to this act, the Film Censorship Board is appointed by the Minister of Home Affairs. A panel is then appointed by the chairman of the board to view each film.
Once the film is viewed, the board then categorises the film as follows:
Lulus Bersih (Passed Clean [i.e. without cuts]) – The movie distributor can place "No Cuts!" on the film's advertisement.
Lulus Dengan Pengubahan (Passed with Edits/Cuts) – Usually should the content of a scene be deemed inappropriate for screening by the Board, nudity and/or sexual acts which are deemed too "hot" and/or irrelevant to the film's plot are usually removed. Profanity maybe censored to allow a lower rating to be passed.
Tidak Diluluskan Untuk Tayangan (Not Approved for Screening) – These films are banned from being screened or sold in Malaysia.
Should a film be approved, the Board then assigns one of the following rating to it:
Malaysian film classification logos used since 1 April 2012
U (Umum) - For general audiences.
P13 (Penjaga) – Viewers under 13 require guidance from a parent or guardian. Such films may contain scenes that are inappropriate for younger children or a hard-to-understand storyline.
18 – This film is for aged 18 years and above only. No people under this age will be admitted. Film may contain adult themes, explicit scenes, mature content, nudity, strong language, and/or sex, etc.
18 rated films require an accompanying adult for underaged patrons, though cinemas reserve the right to refuse sale or deny admission to underages, even with adult accompaniment, as they see fit or needed.
All film and cinema advertisements in newspapers must clearly show the classification for a movie once rated. For clarity reasons, cinema schedules in local newspapers only state the movie's rating if it is not rated as "U". All three ratings in use also cover other types of films (e.g. direct-to-video, documentaries, etc.) not released in cinemas.
A "B-certificate" sticker indicating the classification and a serial number specific for the movie title is legally required (usually stuck as a title sticker on VHS tapes and on the back of disc casings for optical media or on the back of the box for box sets) for each copy of the movie sold/distributed (including those distributed on hard drives for digital projectors in cinemas). This sticker is changed from time to time, with the latest change being from an RFID tag to a QR code which redirects to a page on the Ministry's website with slightly more detail on the movie along with a brief synopsis of the film.
Due to piracy of music CDs and DVD/VCDs in Malaysia, an additional sticker in the form of a hologram with the words "Tulen KPDN & HEP Original" are required for all original musical works or movies on any format.
With the formation of the National Bureau of Classification on December 29, 2005, a new classification regulation and a new rating system for movies were introduced. A classification certificate must be obtained first, before a movie or a movie-related production is released for commercial use including its trailers. NBC has the authority to cut scenes from movies. Classification certificates issued are based on the following categories:
G – General viewing. No material that may evoke fear or concern, no violence, no sexual acts, no language, no drug abuse, no nudity. Does not include content unsuitable for children below the age of 12.
PG – Parental Guidance. No material that may evoke fear or concern, no violence, no sexual acts, no language, no drug abuse, no nudity. However, viewing films of this category requires parental guidance. This rating is rarely used. Does not include content unsuitable for children below the age of 12.
12+ – For viewers aged 12 and above. Mild violence, no sexual acts, infrequent harsh language, light drug abuse in productions that target this age group.
15+ – For viewers aged 15 and above. Moderate violence, no sexual acts, some harsh language, moderate drug abuse.
18+ – For viewers aged 18 and above. Strong violence, sexual scenes, harsh language, strong drug abuse, veiled nudity.
18+R – 18+ and Restricted. High level violence, sexual scenes, harsh language, strong drug abuse, veiled nudity. Contents of this category may be inappropriate for some individuals.
PU – Released for PROFESSIONAL USE ONLY and is not classified for commercial use. Violence, nudity, sex scenes and strong language are released for educational, artistic and intellectual purposes under this category.
Frontal nudity and sex scenes are censored under the law 4/75 of Controlled and Prohibited Goods. Also under the same law, pornography is illegal in the Maldives.
PG (Parental Guidance) – Some material may be unsuitable for younger children. Children under the age of 12 are to be accompanied by an adult.
12A – Suitable for persons of 12 years and over, provided that persons younger than 12 years may attend only when accompanied by an adult
12 – Suitable only for persons of twelve years and over.
15 – Suitable for persons of fifteen years and over.
18 – Suitable only for persons of eighteen years and over.
Banned – As a final resort, there are instances in which a few motion pictures as well as theatre productions have been banned from public viewing, including pornographic material, which remains illegal in the country as of 2010.
The General Directorate of Radio, Television and Cinematography (in Spanish, Dirección General de Radio, Televisión y Cinematografía) is the issuer of ratings for television programs (although only one channel in Mexico explicitly shows the classification on each program, XEIMT-TV in Mexico City) and motion pictures. The RTC is an agency of the Department of State (Secretaría de Gobernación). It has its own classification system, as follows:
AA Informative-only rating: Understandable for children under 7 years.
A Information-only rating: For all age groups.
B Information-only rating: For adolescents 12 years and older.
B-15 Information-only rating: Not recommended for children under 15.
Suitable for all ages (in Dutch: Alle Leeftijden).
Not recommended for children younger than 6 years.
Not recommended for children younger than 9 years. Now a standard rating.
Not recommended for children younger than 12 years; broadcasting is not allowed before 20:00 (8:00 pm).
Not allowed for children younger than 16 years; hence, according to Wetboek van Strafrecht art. 240A, it is forbidden to admit such a person to a screening, or rent out, sell, or give the movie (DVD, video, computer file, etc.) to such a person; broadcasting is not allowed before 22:00 (10:00 pm).
Mostly, these icons are used along with other symbols, displaying if a movie contains violence, sexual content, frightening scenes, drug or alcohol abuse, discrimination, or coarse language. These symbols are also used for TV-programs in the Netherlands.
New Zealand Ratings
The Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993 gives the Office of Film and Literature Classification the power to classify publications into three categories: unrestricted, restricted, or "objectionable". With a few exceptions, films, videos, DVDs and restricted computer games must carry a label before being offered for supply or exhibited to the public.
The currently visible ratings are:
G: Suitable for general audiences.
PG: Parental guidance may be needed for younger viewers.
M: Suitable for mature audiences 16 years and over.
R13: Restricted to persons 13 years and over.
R15: Restricted to persons 15 years and over.
R16: Restricted to persons 16 years and over.
R18: Restricted to persons 18 years and over.
RP13: Children under age 13 are not admitted unless accompanied by a parent or an adult.
RP16: Children under age 16 are not admitted unless accompanied by a parent or an adult.
R: Restricted exclusively to a certain audience.
The National Film and Video Censors Board classifies films, videos, DVDs, and VCDs. The categories are:
G: General admittance. (Green Sign)
PG: Parental Guidance suggested. (Green Sign)
12: Only 12 years and older admitted. (Yellow Sign)
12A: Same as 12, but younger children can be admitted if accompanied. (Yellow Sign)
15: Only 15 and older admitted. Under 15s are not allowed. May contain mature themes, sex scenes, coarse language, nudity, and drug references which is inappropriate for viewers under 15. (Red Sign)
18: Only adults are admitted. Children are not allowed. May contain adult themes, strong sexual content, very coarse language, graphic nudity and explicit drug use or graphic drug references which is inappropriate for children. (Red Sign)
RE: Restricted Exhibition: can be shown only subject to certain restrictions. (Red Sign)
In Norway all movies have to be registered by the Norwegian Media Authority (Medietilsynet, formerly Filmtilsynet), a government agency, to be exhibited commercially. Though if distributors wish, they can just register the movie with the agency without any need for approval, but the distributor is then obligated not to admit anyone under the age of 18. The distributor is also responsible that the movie does not violate Norwegian law.
Movies are rated using the following classifications:
A (all ages) Limited use of sound and effects. Some scary elements can be allowed.
7 (ages 7 and up) Children under 7 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian 18 or older. Dramatic use of sound and effects. Comic violence, some dark or threatening scenes.
11 (ages 11 and up) Children under 11 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian 18 or older. Violence in an unrealistic context, emotional outbursts, depictions of relationship problems and sexual acts. Violence in an unrealistic context generally includes violence in films adapted from famous works of fiction.
15 (ages 15 and up) Children under the age of 15 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian 18 or older. Horror films in general. Realistic depictions of wars and disasters. Realistic depictions of lack of parental care. Depictions of abuse and murders. Indiscreet depictions of sexual acts.
18 (Adults only) No one under the age of 18 can be admitted to screenings. Most commonly not rated, only registered. If rated the lower 15 year limit may be refused because of: Grievous and detailed violence. Certain sexual acts. Non-consensual sexual acts. Combination of sex and violence.
Films rated 7, 11 or 15 may also be seen by children accompanied by a parent or adult guardian if the child has turned 4, 8 or 12 years, respectively. In addition to the ratings, the board indicates if a movie is suitable for children, families, youths or adults. A film may be given a rating even though it is intended for an older age group, e.g. an "A" film might be intended for adults if it does not contain material unsuitable for young children. The Norwegian Media Authority have a somewhat greater tolerance for bad language and suggestive content than certain other countries; therefore, films given stricter ratings elsewhere might be given '7+' or the 'Suitable for all' rating.
The board also indicates if a rating is "hard". A "hard" 11/15 rating is usually indicated by the text "not advised for children/youths under 11/15" ("frarådes barn/ungdom under 11/15 år"), however this does not affect if children under the given age are allowed to see the film if accompanied. In 2000 a Board of Appeal was established. Prior to this the ratings board could choose to reclassify a film.
The Norwegian Media Authority has the power to prohibit films. The Norweigian Media Authority has banned many films and many films remain banned in Norway. When the Authority thinks that a film is unacceptable for public viewing, then it will classified as Rejected Films that the Norweigian Media Authority prohibits are films that contain depictions of torture, cruelty, sadism, extreme violence, animal cruelty, sexual violence, sexualized violence, bestiality, depictions of sex with dead people, depictions of sexual assault or any content that violates Norweigian law. Films that are labeled Rejected are banned from being screened, sold, hired, possessed, owned or advertised. Persons in violation of Rejected films are subject to arrest and trial and can be punished with fines/imprisonment.
As of 2012, the Board has started using six classification ratings.
General Audiences (G)
Viewers of all ages are admitted.
Parental Guidance Suggested (PG)
Viewers below 13 years old must be accompanied by a parent or supervising adult.
Only viewers who are 13 years old and above can be admitted.
Only viewers who are 16 years old and above can be admitted.
Only viewers who are 18 years old and above can be admitted.
“X-rated” films are not suitable for public exhibition.
Ratings in Poland are not set by any board or advisory body. Prior to 1989 the applicable age ratings were "no age limit", "over 7", "over 12", "over 15" and "over 18" and were set by The General Committee of Cinematography. Since 1989 there is no official classification system, with age ratings being self-prescriptive and set by the distributors. In case of television, the supervisory body – Krajowa Rada Radiofonii i Telewizji (KRRiT, The National Council of Radio Broadcasting and Television) can impose fines upon those responsible for improper rating of a broadcast, or lack of it.
Movies are rated in Portugal by the Comissão de Classificação de Espectáculos of the Ministry of Culture. In cinemas the ratings are mandatory whereas for video releases they are merely advisory, except in the case of pornographic content. Children under the age of 3 were previously prohibited from public film performances, but a special category was introduced for this age group when the classification system was overhauled in 2014. A category for 14 year-olds was also introduced, and the lowest age rating was dropped from 4 years of age to 3. The categories are the following:
Para todos os públicos – For all the public (especially designed for children under 3 years of age).
M/3 Passed for viewers aged 3 and older.
M/6 Passed for viewers aged 6 and older.
M/12 Passed for viewers aged 12 and older.
M/14 Passed for viewers aged 14 and older.
M/16 Passed for viewers aged 16 and older.
M/18 Passed for viewers aged 18 and older.
P Special rating supplementary to the M/18 age rating denoting "pornography".
National Audiovisual Council of Romania rating system:
A.P. Acordul părinţilor. (Parental guidance)
12 Interzis copiilor sub 12 ani. (Forbidden under the age of 12)
15 Nerecomandat copiilor sub 15 ani. (Not recommended under 15 years of age)
18 Interzis minorilor sub 18 ani. (Forbidden under 18 years of age – white sign)
18* Nu pentru sub 18 ani. (Not for under 18 – contains pornographic images – red sign)
Since 2012 the rating appears inside circles, which indicate age restrictions followed by a plus(+), and appears in most shows, including TV and Internet shows in Russian. The indication shown:
(0+) Фильм разрешён для показа в любой зрительской аудитории (Film allowed for any age) – All ages are admitted. No age restrictions.
(6+) Фильм разрешён детям, достигшим 6 лет (Film for those above 6) – Unsuitable for children under 6.
(12+) Детям до 12 лет фильм разрешён в сопровождении родителей (Film for those above 12) – Unsuitable for children under 12.
(16+) Фильм разрешён детям старше 16 лет (Film for those above 16) – Unsuitable for children under 16. Film has violence, fear or excessive bloodshed.
(18+) Фильм разрешён детям старше 18 лет (Film for those above 18) – Unsuitable for children under 18. Film has discrimination, violence or bare bodies.
Фильмы, которым отказано в классификации (Refused classification) – Banned.
G: General – Suitable for all ages. This category is rarely used except for films targeted to children and family audiences.
PG: Parental Guidance – Suitable for most ages, but parents should provide guidance to their young.
PG13: Parental Guidance 13 – This is an advisory rating that falls between PG and NC16.
NC16: No Children Under 16 – For persons 16 years and above.
M18: Mature 18 – For persons 18 years and above.
R21: Restricted 21 – For persons 21 years and above. Films under this category are currently excluded from screening in residential areas and video releases but is available on Video-on-Demand (VOD) services and downtown cinemas.
Orange rectangles are age-restricted ratings whereas green circles are age-advisory ratings. The rating PG13 is a new rating.
G has no restriction on age and all audiences are allowed admission. The same applies to PG and PG13 rated shows but parental guidance is advised for children, especially in the case of PG13 rated shows. NC16, M18 and R21 groups are legally restricted to persons of the specified age or above of the particular group. Cinemas are legally obligated to check the identity document of every patron attending a film with a restricted rating.
South African ratings are issued, certified and regulated by the Film and Publication Board. All broadcasters, cinemas and distributors of DVD/video and computer games must comply with the following:
A: All Ages Admitted.
PG: All Ages Admitted, but Parental Guidance is Recommended for younger or sensitive viewers.
7–9PG: No One Under 7 admitted; children under 9 must be accompanied by an adult.
10: No One Under 10 Admitted.
10–12PG: No One Under 10 admitted; children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
13: No One Under 13 Admitted.
16: No One Under 16 Admitted.
18: No One Under 18 Admitted.
X18: No One Under 18 Admitted; restricted to licensed adult premises.
XX: Must not be distributed or exhibited in public.
Attitudes toward film censorship in Spain are unusual due to the adverse effect of dictatorship and heavy censorship until 1975 under General Francisco Franco. Therefore, most Spanish citizens are against censorship of any kind and prefer personal responsibility and liberalism, thus very few people show serious respect for certification of films.
APTA – General admission
7 – Not recommended for audiences under 7
Especialmente Recomendada para la Infancia – Especially suitable for small children; supplementary to the first two classifications
12 – Not recommended for audiences under 12
16 – Not recommended for audiences under 16
18 – Not recommended for audiences under 18
Película X – Prohibited for audiences under 18
Statens medieråd (the Swedish Media Council) is a government agency with the aims to reduce the risk of harmful media influences among minors and to empower minors as conscious media users. The classification bestowed on a film should not be viewed as recommendations on the suitability for children, as the law the council operates under (SFS 2010:1882) only mandates them to assess the relative risk to children's well-being.
The following categories are used:
Btl (Barntillåten = Children allowed) – Suitable for all ages.
7 – Deemed non-harming for children of at least 7 years of age. Younger children are admitted if accompanied by an adult 18 or older.
11 – Deemed non-harming for children of at least 11 years of age. Children of at least 7 years of age are admitted if accompanied by an adult 18 or older.
Not Approved – Has not been assigned a classification. A de facto "15" rating, meaning that children under the age of 15 are not admitted to unrated films.
The councils classification only apply for cinematic screening. So even though distributors usually align the recommendations on cases of videos or DVDs with the rating given by the council, they are unofficial. It is also common for television channels, rental shops and adult cinemas to use their own classifications to hinder persons below the age of 18 years to be exposed to pornography, such as Barnförbjuden ("Children Banned"), 18 år ("18 years") and Vuxenfilm ("movies for adults"). Until 2011 there was another level for cinemas, Banned, in which the movie was forbidden for all audiences. Often a recut version got approval for viewing. All movies needed at that time prescreening, also those with limit 15.
General audiences category (普遍級(普)) – General audiences are able to view. (green sign)
Protected category (保護級(護)) – Children under 6 years old are not allowed to view. Children aged at least 6 but less than 12 require guidance of accompanying parents, teachers, or adult relatives to view. (blue sign)
Parental guidance category (輔導級(輔)) – Children under 12 years old are not allowed to view. People aged at least 12 but less than 18 require attentive guidance of parents or teachers to view. (yellow sign)
Restricted category (限制級(限)) – People under 18 years old are not allowed to view. (red sign)
Film advertisements use a single Chinese character surrounded by a square to show the film's category. Television stations must clearly show a film's rating before the start, and after each commercial break.
Before the introduction of the rating system, films were subject to the 1930 Film Act, under which films must be viewed by the Board of Censors, which can then impose cuts on the films prior to release. The board is composed of members of the Royal Thai Police and the Ministry of Culture, with advisory roles from the Buddhist religion, educators and the medical community. Most cuts are made for sexual content, while acts of violence are typically left untouched.
A motion picture rating system was proposed in the Film and Video Act of 2007, and was passed on December 20, 2007 by the Thai military-appointed National Legislative Assembly. The draft law was met with resistance from the film industry and independent filmmakers under the Free Thai Cinema Movement. Activists had hoped for a less-restrictive approach than the 1930 Film Act, but under the Film and Video Act, films are still be subject to censorship, or can be banned from release altogether if the film is deemed to "undermine or disrupt social order and moral decency, or might impact national security or the pride of the nation".
The ratings were put into effect in August 2009. They are as follows:
P – Promotional, film is educational and viewing is encouraged for all Thai people.
G – Suitable for everyone.
13 – Under 13 not admitted.
15 – Under 15 not admitted.
18 – Under 18 not admitted.
20 – Under 20 not admitted.
Banned – Films that are not allowed to screen publicly in Thailand.
Genel İzleyici – General audience (family symbol). Suitable for viewers of all ages.
7A – Viewers under the age of 7 may watch with accompanying family mambers.
7+ – Suitable for viewers aged 7 and over.
13A – Viewers under the age of 13 may watch with accompanying family members.
13+ – Suitable for viewers aged 13 and over.
15A – Viewers under the age of 15 may watch with accompanying family members.
15+ – Suitable for viewers aged 15 and over.
18+ – Suitable for viewers aged 18 and over.
There are also content informations which indicate violence/horror, sexuality and negative examples.
Movies that are determined to be educational aren't rated, but labeled as "for educational purposes" instead.
The board has the power to refuse classification in extreme cases (producers and distributors can submit an edited version of a movie to the board but edited versions may also be rejected if still deemed inappropriate); in this case, the movie will be banned with the exception of special artistic activities like fairs, festivals, feasts and carnivals.
Turks and Caicos Islands
The British colony of Turks and Caicos Islands has its own motion picture rating system which was unchanged since its installation in 1934.
Available to anyone who wishes to see the film
Universal with caution
May contain some scenes that may not be suitable for very young children.
Seven or over
The person must be seven or over to see the film
Eleven or over
The person must be eleven or over to see the film
Thirteen or over
The person must be thirteen or over to see the film
Sixteen with privilege
The person must be sixteen or over in order to see the film alone, but under 16s can be permitted if accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18
Sixteen or over
The person must be sixteen or over to see the film
The person must be eighteen or over to see the film
United Arab Emirates
The Ministry of Information and Culture of the United Arab Emirates rates all movies according to a set standard.
G (General Audience) – Suitable for all ages.
PG-13 – Under 13 not admitted unless accompanied by an individual over 13. Some material may not be suitable for children. Introduced early 2010.
PG-15 – Under 15 not admitted unless accompanied by an individual over 15. Some material may not be suitable for children.
15+ – No persons under 15 admitted.
18+ – No persons under 18 admitted.
UK film classification certificates. Uc was retired in 2009
The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) rates both motion pictures and videos (and an increasing number of video games). The rating system was introduced in 1913 and, as of 1985, also rates videos. Local authorities are ultimately responsible for film ratings for cinema showings in their area. District councils sometimes vary the BBFC advised rating and rate films with different restrictions in their area only, e.g., the BBFC rates a film as 15, but the local council gives the film a 12A rating in their area. Rating certificates from the BBFC are not legally binding, whereas those for videos are. British cinemas generally stick closely to the policy of ratings and a young person may often be asked for proof of age if deemed younger than the rating.
U (Universal) - Suitable for all. (The board states that while they cannot predict what might upset a particular child, a "U" film should be suitable for audiences aged 4 and older).
PG (Parental Guidance) - General viewing, but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children. (It is the board's policy that movies rated "PG" should not disturb a child of about 8 years of age or older; however, parents are advised to consider whether the content may upset young or more sensitive children).
12A (12 Accompanied/Advisory) - Recommended for 12 years and older. People under 12 years must be accompanied by an adult.
12 Recommended for 12 years and older. Anybody under 12 may see it, as long as a parent or guardian says they can. Nobody younger than 12 may rent or buy a "12" rated video.
15 - Suitable only for 15 years and older. Nobody younger than 15 may see a "15" film in a cinema. Nobody younger than 15 may rent or buy a "15" rated video.
18 - Suitable only for adults. Nobody younger than 18 may see an "18" film in a cinema. Nobody younger than 18 may rent or buy an "18" rated video. These films may contain extreme gore/violence and/or sexually explicit content.
R18 (Restricted 18) - To be shown only in specially licensed cinemas, or supplied only in licensed sex shops, and to adults that are older than 18 years old. These films contain sexually explicit, pornographic content.
The 12A, 12, 15, 18 and R18 categories are restricted, and it is against the law for anybody under age to obtain such material.
Films may receive a different rating when released on DVD/video to that at the cinema. It is not unusual for certain films to be refused classification, effectively banning them from sale or exhibition in the UK. Sometimes compulsory cuts are made to films, such as cuts to sexual violence and animal cruelty. Any media which has been banned receives an "R" certificate (Rejected).
Videos deemed by their distributors to be exempt under the Video Recordings Act 1984 may bear the mark E (for exempt), though this is not a rating and the BBFC does not maintain a symbol.
In the United States, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), through the Classification and Rating Administration (CARA), issues ratings for movies. The system was instituted in November 1968 and is voluntary; however, most movie theater chains will not show unrated domestic films and most major studios have agreed to submit all titles for rating prior to theatrical release. Most films will have the MPAA insignia at the end of the closing credits. Earlier films that had full opening credits would bear the insignia in the opening. The same applies to American films released outside of the U.S.
G – General Audiences – All Ages Admitted. There is no content that would be objectionable to most parents and guardians. These films may not contain rude language and no serious cursing. As with violence it must be mild and minimal, if any, without any blood or gore.
PG – Parental Guidance Suggested – Some Material May Not Be Suitable For Children. These films are generally inappropriate for young children and may contain milder swear words, crude or suggestive humor, short and infrequent horror moments and/or mild violence.
PG-13 – Parents Strongly Cautioned – Some Material May Be Inappropriate For Children Under 13. These films may contain sex references, up to four uses of explicit language, drug innuendo, strong crude/suggestive humor, mature/suggestive themes, moderately long horror moments, blood,and/or moderate action violence.
R – Restricted – Under 17 Requires Accompanying Parent Or Adult Guardian. These films contain some adult material and parents are urged to learn more about these motion pictures before taking their young children to watch them. Children under 17 are not allowed to attend R rated films unaccompanied by an adult. These films may contain mild or implied sex scenes, prolonged nudity, strong violence often with blood and gore, strong horror scenes and explicit/illegal/prolonged drug use.
NC-17 – No One 17 and Under Admitted. These NC-17 rated films are patently adult and children are not admitted. These films may contain strong and extreme graphic violence with bloodshed, pain, dismemberment, death and a very large amount of blood and gore, sex scenes, explicit content, rape or sexual assault, depraved, aberrational behavior, sexual nudity, or any other elements which that are not suitable for children and strictly prohibited from viewing by minors.
The motion picture rating system used in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela varies from small child audiences to unrated films. The letter designations work in conjunction with ages:
A: Suitable for audiences 2 years or older (Para niños 2 años y arriba)
B: Suitable for audiences 7 years or older (Para niños 7 años y arriba)
C: Suitable for audiences 12 years or older (No para niños menores de 12 años)
D: Suitable for audiences 15 years or older (No para niños menores de 15 años)
E: Suitable for audiences 18 years or older (No para niños menores de 18 años)
^ abOlsberg SPI; KEA European Affairs; KPMG (May 2003). "Appendix 1 Country Profiles" (PDF). Empirical Study on the Practice of the Rating of Films Distributed in Cinemas Television DVD and Videocassettes in the EU and EEA Member States. European Commission. p. 125. Retrieved 28 May 2014.