Motion picture rating system

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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.

 ArgentinaATPAM13AM16AM18N/A13 and 16 require adult supervision for persons under the limit for 13, and 16 Rated Films.
 AustraliaGMR18&X18+RCFilms rated RC (refused classification) are banned from sale, hire and exhibition. X18+ films are banned in all states but legal in territories. MA15+ films are restricted to persons over 15 unless people under 15 are accompanied by a parent or adult guardian.
 Brazil MJ/DEJUSL1012141618N/ASince 2006 cinemas requires that anyone below the "10", "12", "14", "16" ages must be accompanied by the parent or with a permission by them. In the "18" rating is strictly prohibited for anyone under 18 to watch.[1]
 BulgariaABCDXFOnly D-rated and X-rated films are restricted. F-rated films are banned.
 Canada CHVRS and MFCB[2]GPG14A18AEThe 18A rating was introduced because a few films were too strong for the 14A rating but did not have enough violence or sexual content to receive an R or get banned.
 Colombia MoCT7121518/XBanned
 Czech RepublicU121518N/A
 Denmark MedierådetA71115FChildren turned seven can watch 11-rated and 15-rated films provided they are accompanied by an adult.
F is only used on homevideo, as "Fritaget" exempt from classification, mostly documentaries, stand-up and educational material
 EgyptGeneral Audience (Unrestricted)Adult (Restricted)N/A
 EstoniaPERELMS-6K-12K-14K-16N/AMovies which are rated K-12, K-14 and K-16 require age proof.
 Finland KAVISK-7K-7K-12K-12K-16K-16K-18N/AChildren up to 3 years younger than the given rating can watch movies rated K-7 to K-16 when accompanied by an adult.
 France MoCU(–)12(–)16(–)18N/A
 Germany FSKFSK 0FSK 6FSK 12FSK 16FSK 18N/AChildren over 6 can watch "FSK 12" rated movies under parental surveillance
FSK 12
 GreeceKK-13K-17N/AFilms which are rated K-17 require age proof.
 Hong Kong TELAIIIAIIBIIIN/AOnly persons aged 18 and above are permitted to watch Category III films.
 Hungary NMHHKN6121618XN/AClassification may be mixed between parental guidance and restrictive rating.
 Iceland SmáísL71012141618N/A
 India CBFCUUAASThe "S" rating is sometimes used to restrict films to certain audience only.
 IraqA9121618N/A12 and 16 are restricted.
 Ireland IFCOGPG12A15A1618N/AThe categories 12A, 15A and 16 only exist for cinema. Video releases of movies with these ratings usually get, if they are rated 12A, they are rated 12, if they are rated 15A, they are rated 15, and if rated 16, they are rated usually rated 15 or if not, 18.
 Italy MiBACTVM14VM18N/A
 Japan EirinGPG-12R15+R18+N/A
 KazakhstanКБ14/E16Е16 (16+)Е18НАN/A"16+" – unofficial rating,
"НА" – for 21+
 South KoreaALL121518Restricted Ratingrestriction rating is none.
 Latvia NCCU7+12+16+18+ (blue)N/AThe U, 7+, 12+ and 16+ ratings are unrestricted. If the 18+ rating appears blue it is unrestricted but if it is red then it is restricted.
18+ (red)
 Malaysia Film Censorship BoardC/UP1318BannedAll 18 based rating such as 18SG, 18SX, 18PA and 18PL are merged to 18 due to direction by Film Censorship Board. PG13 replaced by new rating P13 in 2012.
 Maldives NBCGPG12+15+18+/18+RPUAny film with an 18+R classification should advertise with a warning on specified contents presumed directly or indirectly affecting an individual. PU films are allowed for professional use only.
 Mexico RTCAAABB-15CDN/AThe "B-15" rating is for cinema only.
 Netherlands KijkwijzerAL691216N/A12-rated programs can only air past 8 pm and 16-rated programs can only air past 10 pm.
 New Zealand OFLCNZGPGR13R15R16R18ObjectionableAll 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.
 Nigeria NFaVCBGPG12/12A1518N/A
 NorwayA7111518N/AChildren up to four years younger than the given rating (with the exception of 18-rated films) can watch the film provided they are accompanied by an adult.
 PeruApt1418N/AChildren under the given rating cannot watch unless accompanied by an adult.
 Philippines MTRCBGR-13R-16R-18XUntil the early 2000s, a plain R rating was used instead of the current R-13, −16, and −18 ratings. This previous rating restricted the audience to those above 17.
 Poland KRRiTBO121518/18A21N/A21 is an emergency rating used only for films with very high level content.
 Portugal CCEM/4M/6M/12M/16M/18N/A
 Russia MoC0+6+12+16+18+Banned
 Singapore MDAGPGPG-13NC16M18R21N/AMovies rated "R21" are excluded from television ads and video releases.
 South Africa FaPBGPG1316R18/X18N/AX18-rated media is prevented from having a cinema release or a television advertisement.
 Sweden Statens medierådBtl71115
N/AYounger children can watch 7-rated films, and if at least 7 years old 11-rated, if accompanied by an adult at least 18 years old.
Some rental shops and adult cinemas use an unofficial "18 år" (from 18 years) rating
 Taiwan GIO



N/AChildren up to six years younger than 12 (Protect) or 18 (Counsel) may watch however only if under parental guidance.
 ThailandP/G13+15+18+20+BannedBefore the rating system was introduced often cuts were made to reduce sexual content. Persons under the limit for 13+, 15+, and 18+ can be admitted, but only when accompanied by an Adult 20 or older. 20+ Is Restricted. Films marked "Banned" are Not Allowed to screen at all in Thailand.
 United Kingdom BBFCUPG12A1518\R18Rejected12A 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.
 United States MPAAGPGPG-13RNC-17NR (Not Rated)
R rated movies are restricted to persons age 17 & older; persons under age 17 must be accompanied by a person age 18 & older. NC-17 rated movies are restricted to persons 18 & older.


The Australian classifications

The Classification Board and Classification Review Board are government-funded organizations which classifies all films that are released for public exhibition.[3]


Motion pictures are rated in Austria by a commission of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture (Bundesministerium für Unterricht, Kunst und Kultur). This commission issues an age recommendation for each title from the following list:

The ratings are published on the ministries website and can be either accepted or changed by the nine federal states.


There are only three classifications for movies shown in Belgian movie theatres:


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.[4] The same rating system is also used for Brazilian television. Unlike many countries, the Dejus doesn't have any legal right to ban, demand cuts or refuse to rate any movie.[5]

The Dejus uses the following system, as depicted in the 2012 Practical Guide Content Rating:

Film classification symbols used in Brazil.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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 Law (or Act) of 2003. The National Film Rating Committee examines every film that is going to be distributed in the country and gives it a rating. In practice, the ratings are rarely displayed on posters and in film advertisements, but almost all DVDs have them on the back cover.

Bulgarian film ratings
RatingAccompanying inscriptionWhen is it given
ARecommended for children from age 2 to 11 years"When the film is for children and has an educational nature."
BNot recommended to children younger than 6 years of age."When the film confirms the ideals of humanism, promotes national and world culture or by no means contradicts to the universally accepted moral norms in the country and there are no restrictive recommendations by the Committee."
CNot recommended to children younger than 12 years of age."When the film contains certain erotic scenes or scenes with drinking, taking drugs or stimulants or a few scenes of violence."
DNo people younger than 16 years of age are admitted."When the film contains quite a number of erotic scenes or scenes with drinking, taking drugs or stimulants or a considerable number of scenes showing strong violence and gore."
XNo people younger than the age of 18 are admitted."When the film is naturally erotic and may contain scenes of strong gory violence and maiming with a high level of frequency."
FBanned"Films the contents of which is contrary to the universal rules of morality, that laud or exculpate atrocity, violence or taking drugs, that incite to racial, sexual, religious or national hatred, are not rated."

Note: unrated films can not be distributed, as no visa is given.


For Canadian home video ratings, se Canadian Home Video Rating System

Movie 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 showings of movies, but are not required for home video. Film festivals which show unrated films (because they are independent films or foreign films not submitted for ratings) are treated as private showings by selling memberships to the festival, which circumvents the theatrical rating requirement.

There are currently six film classification offices rating movies in Canada, each an agency of a provincial government:

Newfoundland and Labrador has not legislated on film ratings and does not have a dedicated agency. However, some cinemas use the ratings of the Maritime Film Classification Board.

Classifications used outside Québec[edit]

Canadian rating labels used outside Québec.

In the past there was a wide range of rating categories and practices in the various provinces. However, the five rating systems outside Quebec now all use categories and logos derived from the Canadian Home Video Rating System.[6][7][8][9][10]

In general, the categories are:

Classifications used in Québec[edit]

The rating labels used by Régie du cinéma.

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 (RSQ, C-18.1). Individual ratings and their rationales are publicly available online on the Régie's website [2]. The same classifications are used for television broadcasts.

The ratings and their optional complementary indications are as follows:[11]

While not a classification per se, educational or pedagogical movies, sport and physical exercise programs, and promotional materials are exempt from classification.[12]

The Régie does not cut sequences from movies; they are rated in the format provided by the production company. Nonetheless, the Régie has the authority to deny classification,[12] in which case the movie cannot be distributed in any format in the province of Quebec. Such movies usually feature inhumane sexual exploitation.


The Council of Cinematographic Classification (Consejo de Calificación Cinematográfica) uses the following system:

People's Republic of China[edit]

The first film rating system of the People's Republic of China was expected to come out in 2005 as a part of the Motion Picture Industry Promotion Law (Chinese: 电影促进法).[13] However, the National People's Congress has not passed such a law.


As of June 22, 2005, the Ministry of Culture issued its new rating system. The classifications are:

Czech Republic[edit]


Prior to 1997, the releases in Denmark were rated by the National Board of Film Censorship and the possible classifications were:

The laws were then relaxed and the ratings were made less strict. The Media Council for Children and Young People currently rates films. The classifications from then on was:

Dkcensuralle.gif Approval of the film for general admittance.

Dkcensur7.gif Approval of the film for general admittance, but not recommended for children younger than the age of 7.

Dkcensur11.gif Approval of the film for admittance of children from the age of 11.

Dkcensur15.gif Approval of the film for admittance of children from the age of 15.

Dkcensurfri.gif Exempt from classification – only used on home video products (mostly documentaries, Danish stand-up shows and educational material)

Children who have turned 7 are allowed admission to all films if accompanied by an adult (a person turned 18). Consequently it is the responsibility of the parents to ensure that their children do not watch violent and hard-core pornographic films.

Films accessible to the public do not have to be classified by the Media Council but consequently must be labeled as 15 – approval of the film for admittance of children from the age of 15 – no matter the content of the film.

At Cinemas the 11 and 15 classifications are restricted, and the cinema has to make sure that you are the right age, or if over 7 years old, accompanied by an adult.

On the home video market, only 15 is restricted, and the retailer must make sure that the purchaser is 15 years or older. It is illegal to sell a 15 certified movie to a person under 15 years.


The Egyptian government has only two movie classifications:

Usually excessive violence, nudity, and sexuality is cut from motion pictures in order to release with a General Audience certificate. Pornography is forbidden to air in Egyptian theaters or television as such material remains illegal in Egypt as of 2008.


Films rated MS-6 and MS-12 are allowed for these age groups only under parental guidance. K-12, K-14 and K-16 are restricted categories and children under either 12, 14 or 16 are not permitted to be admitted to screenings, even under parental guidance. All ticket sellers in Estonian cinemas are required to check all person's ages who wish to view K-12, K-14 or K-16 rating films before allowing them to view. Due to the mandatory age checking policies, this makes the Estonian Rating System among the strictest in the world next to Japan's Eirin rating system.[14]


Before January 1, 2012, all films shown in cinemas were given an age-rating by the Finnish Board of Film Classification. At the beginning of 2012 the Finnish Board of Film Classification became the Finnish Centre for Media Education and Audiovisual Media and the task of classifying films was given to authorized classifiers trained by the Centre. The classifiers work mostly within the film-industry. At the same time the classification system was simplified to six classes instead of the previous seven. The main changes were that a year limits 11 and 13 became 12 and the old 15-year limit was increased to 16 years.

These are the Finnish film classification classes as of January 1, 2012:

A person 3 years younger than the limit is permitted to see a film in a cinema when accompanied by an adult, except for 18-rated films.


Prior to showing in theaters, a license (visa d'exploitation) must be obtained from the Ministry of Culture. Upon the advice of the commission pertaining to cinema movies, the minister decides either not to grant the license (a very rare occurrence), or to grant a license among the 6 following:

Each rating can be accompanied by a special "warning". In practice, the ministry always follows the decision of the commission. Every film is classified in its context. In addition, a movie bearing the "-18" rating may be considered "pornographic or inciting to violence." In this case, it bears high taxation and may be showed only in specific theatres, which are now rare in France. This classification is not used for merely violent movies, or movies containing mere erotic scenes.

Classifications, as all administrative decisions, may be appealed before the courts (Conseil d'État at litigation).

Related link: [3] (in French)


The Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle der Filmwirtschaft (Voluntary Self-Regulation of the Film Industry, FSK) has a film classification system under which films are classified into one of the following categories:

All the above ratings also contain the phrase "gemäß §14 JuSchG" (in accordance with §14 of the Youth Protection Law), signifying that they are legally binding, rather than being mere recommendations. 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 20:00 (FSK 12), 22:00 (FSK 16) or 23:00 (FSK 18) and 6:00. Stations can ask the Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle Fernsehen (Voluntary Self-Regulation Television, FSF) for a different rating but are usually required to cut the film.


Any movies that will be shown in Greek movie theatres, whether local or foreign, must be classified. There are four ratings for movies shown in Greece and they are:

Hong Kong[edit]

An official government agency issues ratings for any movie that will be shown in Hong Kong movie theaters, instead of a private institution. They are:

Of the four levels, Levels I, IIA, and IIB are unrestricted. Only Level III is a restricted category. Ticket sellers in movie theaters have a legal right to check the identity of a person who wishes to watch a Level III film to ensure legal compliance.


Hungarian ratings are decided by the Rating Committee of the National Office of Film:[16]


Since July 1, 2006, Smáís has replaced the Kvikmyndaskoðun system in Iceland. 12, 14, 16 and 18 rated films are legally restricted and nobody under these ages may see a movie in theatres with this rating or allowed to buy or purchase such films.


In October 2013, SMAIS announced that it was adopting the Netherlands' Kijkwijzer at least through 2016.[17]


In India, Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) is responsible for certifying films meant for public exhibition.

The Censor Board presently gives five categories of certificates, namely,

Additionally, V/U, V/UA, V/A are used for video releases with U, UA and A carrying the same meaning as above.


Motion pictures shown in Indonesia must undergo reviewing by the Indonesian Film Censorship Board (Indonesian: Lembaga Sensor Film). 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:


Cinematic certificatesGeneral cinema.pngPg cinema.png12 cinema.png15 cinema.png16 cinema.png18 cinema.png
Home video certificatesGeneral home video.pngPG home video.png12 home video.png15 home video.png18 home video.png

The Irish Film Classification Office (IFCO) under which theatrical films are placed into one of the following categories:

Films without certification are not ipso facto banned and have been shown at film festivals and arthouse clubs such as the Irish Film Institute.

For video releases (VHS and DVD), categories G, PG and 18 share the same meanings as above, however, there is no 16, and categories 12 and 15 are mandatory, not advisory.

There used to be an additional category, 12RA, for video releases. This means that children under 12 can watch the video however an adult of at least 18 years old must accompany him/her. This is an extremely rarely used rating.

Because there is no "16" classification for home video, a movie will sometimes be edited for content to reach a "15" classification.

All videos and DVDs (except for music videos and educational material) must be submitted for classification by the IFCO and then displayed on the front of the packaging, the back of the packaging and on the individual discs.

The rating of a movie may be appealed up to six months after the release of a film. After this period expires the same uncut film is not allowed to be appealed until at least seven years after the release.

Originally, IFCO used to ban far more films, however they still occasionally ban films.


All films aimed to be shown in Italy are classified by the Committee for the Theatrical Review of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities into one of the following categories:

Before 1963 the films were classiefied as T (Per tutti – All) or as V.M.16 (Vietato ai minori di 16 anni – Restricted to 16 and over). Some films were even banned for their extreme pornographic contents, disturbing violence, or for depictions of opposing political views, although such bans were lifted afterwards. Some films were even sentenced to be burnt at the stake. The last movie that has been banned in Italy is Morituris, directed by Raffaele Picchio in 2011. Before this case the last film that was banned in Italy was Totò che visse due volte, in 1998.


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 the following categories:[18]

The four categories have been in use since May 1, 1998.[18]


In Kazakhstan ratings (index of the movie in Movie Distribution Certificate) are applied by the Committee for Culture of the Ministry for Culture and Information.[19]

Films without classification are banned for public view.


In Latvia, the film presenters added classification is the same as the one applied by the producers of the film. However, this could change from 2008, because in July 2007 the government of Latvia made a law that indicates a more strict classification policy. The classifications are approved by the National Cinema Center (Latvian: Nacionālais Kino Centrs). There is a new 'refreshed' rating system from July 2007. (The following classifications will operate as of September 2007)


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).[20] 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:[21]

Should a film be approved, the Board then assigns one of the following rating to it:

Categories U and P13 are unrestricted, only 18 is a restricted category.

Malaysian film classification logos used since 1 April 2012[23]

Prior to April 2010, there were four 18+ classification with two letters added which were in use since 1996, however, it has been abolished due to direction by the Film Censorship Board. The ratings are listed below:

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[24] 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 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:

New NBC film ratings.jpg

Frontal nudity and sex scenes are censored. Pornography is prohibited to air because such material is illegal in the Maldives


In Malta, the vast majority of motion pictures are classified in one of the following criteria:


The General Directorate of Radio, Television and Cinematography (in Spanish, Dirección General de Radio, Televisión y Cinematografía, or RTC[4]) 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:


In the Netherlands, the Kijkwijzer system is used, which is executed by the NICAM.



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[edit]

New Zealand Ratings

The Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993 gives the Office of Film and Literature Classification (New Zealand) 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:

Under New Zealand law it is possible for the New Zealand Film and Video Labelling Body to give an unrestricted rating to a film if it has been given an unrestricted rating by either the Australian Classification Board or, if the Australian Board has not reviewed it, the British Board of Film Classification, and it is not likely to be restricted under New Zealand censorship law. If a film has received a restricted rating (of at least 15+) in either Australia or the UK it must be classified by the OFLC.

The OFLC may restrict a film to a certain audience, either by age or by purpose. The Office can assign any age restriction, but R13, R16 and R18 are most commonly used, with R15 used less often. Persons under the age restriction may not see the film under any circumstance, even with parental consent. However, the Office may assign an RP rating (i.e. RP13 or RP16) which allows children under the age of classification to see the film with an accompanying parent or adult guardian.

The Office may also restrict a film to a certain purpose, in which case the R rating is used. The film is considered objectionable unless the conditions of the restriction are met. This may mean that a film is limited to viewing for study or research purposes, theatrical release, or for screening at film festivals. For instance, the film Irréversible is classified R18, but with additional restrictions limiting it to "the purposes of theatrical exhibition or study in tertiary institutions only".


The National Film and Video Censors Board classifies films, videos, DVDs, and VCDs. The categories are:


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.[25]

Movies are rated using the following classifications:

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.[31] 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 rated PG-13 in USA, might be given '7+' or the 'Suitable for all' rating.[25]

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.[25]

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.


In Pakistan all films, programs on TV, and Video Games are applied to Central Board of Film Censors


The motion picture rating system for movies shown in Peruvian movie theatres are:


In the Philippines, motion pictures, along with television programs, are rated by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board, a special agency of the Office of the President.

As of 2012, the Board has started using six classification ratings.

Viewers of all ages are admitted.
Only viewers who are 6 years old and above can be admitted.
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, but it rather depends on distribution company, cinema or television station. 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. Movies M/6 to M/18 require adult supervision to view such films at cinemas. The categories are the following:

Special classifications[edit]

These classifications can be added to the previous ones:


National Audiovisual Council of Romania rating system:


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:


The revised Singapore film rating system which took effect 15 July 2011

Introduced in July 1991. Movies in Singapore are rated by Media Development Authority. The categories are:

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.


All ratings have the number in a red circle and are shown at the opposite direction of the corner from the logo, but same vertical direction where the logo is located. Prva Srpska Televizija has a white border around the circle. All of those circles have the white number. They're controlled by the Republic Broadcasting Agency of Serbia.

South Africa[edit]

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:

South Korea[edit]

The Korea Media Rating Board (영상물등급위원회) in Seoul divides licensed films into the following categories:


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.


Statens medieråd (the Swedish Media Council)[32] 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.[33][34]

The council only allows a very limited amount of violence in films for very young children. Violence is generally seen as far more socially disruptive than consensual sexual acts, nudity or strong language. The classification process also includes assessments of film sequences that may have a terrifying effect on young children, including films and sequences that are difficult for children to understand and liable to cause confusion and fear. Since cinema films in most cases are subtitled and not dubbed in Sweden, the possibility for children to read the subtitles is sometimes an issue.

The censorship of films for adults (over 15 years) was abolished when the National Board of Film Classification was merged into the Swedish Media Council on January 1, 2011. In practice however, the board had only censored a very limited number of films in the preceding two decades. Excluding pornography, the last time the board banned a motion picture was in 1996 and in 2002 it used its privilege to censor specific scenes for the last time.

It has never been strictly necessary to submit films for classification if they are to be screened for audiences over the age of 15 or at private gatherings (such as film festivals). However, an episode of Studio S in 1980 promoted a major moral panic on the violence in movies and a subsequent surge in the number of complaints to the authorities. This prompted a some new laws, making it illegal to rent or sell videos depicting realistic violence to children below the age of 15 and to make it a criminal offense to rent or sell videos containing unlawful depictions of violence, thus meaning that the distributor could be held responsible for the content. Both laws still apply, but to and through 2010, a film that had been rated by the board could not be considered to violate any laws regarding its content, so the distributors in practice sent all their films to the board for a classification to eliminate the risk that they would be held liable. Meanwhile, from a high of hundreds of complaints per year in the early 1990s, only a handful was made in the late 2000s and virtually none of those films was actually seen as being in violation with the law by the prosecutors or the courts. In view of this and to lessen the burden on the new agency, the law was changed so all films not seen as suitable for children by the council can be brought to court for its content, and the distributors' practice of sending all films for classification have seized.

The following categories are used:

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.[35] 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").


Switzerland is composed of 26 cantons, each having their own rating system. The entries below are examples for the cantons of Vaud and Geneva.

By January 2013, Switzerland will have a unified rating system.

Republic of China (Taiwan)[edit]

Taiwan did not have motion picture rating system until April 1994. The GIO in Taiwan divides licensed films into one of the following four categories pursuant to its issued Regulations Governing the Classification of Motion Pictures of the Republic of China (電影片分級處理辦法 in traditional Chinese):

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.

Related and official link: Classifications of movies (in traditional Chinese)


Before the introduction of the rating system, films are 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".[36][37][38][39]

The ratings were put into effect in August 2009.[40] They are as follows:

The 13+, 15+ and 18+ age classifications are advisory; only the 20- rating requires ID checks at cinemas.


Turks and Caicos Islands[edit]

The British colony of Turks and Caicos Islands has its own motion picture rating system which was unchanged since its installation in 1934.

UUniversalAvailable to anyone who wishes to see the film
AUniversal with cautionMay contain some scenes that may not be suitable for very young children.
AASeven or overThe person must be seven or over to see the film
XEleven or overThe person must be eleven or over to see the film
AAThirteen or overThe person must be thirteen or over to see the film
XSixteen or overThe person must be sixteen or over to see the film
AASixteen with privilegeThe 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
XEighteenThe person must be eighteen or over to see the film

United Arab Emirates[edit]

The Ministry of Information and Culture of the United Arab Emirates rates all movies according to a set standard.

United Kingdom[edit]

UK film classification certificates. Uc was retired in 2009
Main articles: British Board of Film Classification, History of British film certificates

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.

The current BBFC system is:

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.

United States[edit]

Prior to 1968, some large cities and states had public rating boards which determined whether films were suitable for display to the public in theatres. The United States Supreme Court in the case of Freedman v. Maryland 380 U.S. 51 (1965) effectively ended government operated rating boards when it decided that a rating board could only approve a film; it had no power to ban a film. A rating board must either approve a film within a reasonable time, or it would have to go to court to stop a film from being shown in theatres. Other court cases decided that since television stations are federally licensed, local rating boards have no jurisdiction over films shown on television. When the movie industry set up its own rating system, most state and local boards ceased operating.


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.

The ratings (as of 2014) are:


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:


  1. ^ "Centerplex Cinemas – Lei da Classificação Indicativa". 2006-07-20. Retrieved 2013-04-10. 
  2. ^ Note that this rating system is used outside Québec only.
  3. ^ "Guidelines". Australian Classification Board. Retrieved 10 April 2014. 
  4. ^ PORTARIA Nº 1.100, DE 14 DE JULHO DE 2006 – Art.19 (ORDINANCE NUMBER 1.100, OF JULY 14 2006 – Article 19)
  5. ^ "Notícias – Detalhes". 2007-02-08. Retrieved 2013-04-10. 
  6. ^ "Alberta Film Ratings". Alberta Ministry of Tourism, Parks, Recreation and Culture. Retrieved 2007-12-01. 
  7. ^ "classification categories". BC Film Classification. Business Practices & Consumer Protection Authority of British Columbia. Archived from the original on 2007-11-11. Retrieved 2007-12-01. 
  8. ^ "Film and Video Ratings". Manitoba Film Classification Board. Retrieved 2007-12-01. 
  9. ^ "Rating Guidelines". Nova Scotia Ministry of Environment and Labour, Alcohol & Gaming Division. 2005-08-02. Retrieved 2007-12-01. 
  10. ^ "Classification Categories and Content Advisories". Ontario Film Review Board. 2007-11-06. Retrieved 2007-12-01. 
  11. ^ "Régie du cinéma, Classification Process". Gouvernement du Québec. 2007-12-17. Retrieved 2008-12-24. 
  12. ^ a b "Cinema Act (RSQ, C-18.1)". Gouvernement du Québec. 2008-12-15. Retrieved 2008-12-24. 
  13. ^ "First film rating scheme in the making By Zhu Linyong (China Daily), Updated: 2004-12-17 00:25". China Daily. 2004-12-17. Retrieved 2013-04-10. 
  14. ^ Forum Cinemas (Estonian)
  15. ^ "SPIO guidelines concerning the self-assignment of ratings (pdf, in German)" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-04-10. 
  16. ^ "Nemzeti Média- és Hírközlési Hatóság • 404-es hiba: az oldal (file) nem található". Retrieved 2013-04-10. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ a b "Eirin Film Classification". Eirin. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Klasifikasi Filem" (in Malay). Home Ministry of Malaysia. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  21. ^ "Soalan Lazim (FAQ)" (in Malay). Home Ministry of Malaysia. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  22. ^ Elaine Ewe. "New film classifications". Retrieved 2012-03-30. 
  23. ^ "Klasifikasi Filem" (in Malay). Retrieved 2012-09-01. 
  24. ^ "PENGGUNAAN SIJIL PERAKUAN B BAHARU (Usage of new B-certificate)". Home Ministry of Malaysia. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  25. ^ a b c Medietilsynet (Norwegian Media Authority): Aldersgrenser på kino (Age limits on cinemas)
  26. ^ Medietilsynet (Norwegian Media Authority): Tillatt for alle (Allowed for all ages)
  27. ^ Medietilsynet (Norwegian Media Authority): 7-årsgrensen (7 year limit)
  28. ^ Medietilsynet (Norwegian Media Authority): 11-årsgrensen (11 year limit)
  29. ^ Medietilsynet (Norwegian Media Authority): 15-årsgrensen (15 year limit)
  30. ^ Medietilsynet (Norwegian Media Authority): 18-årsgrensen (18 year limit)
  31. ^ Law on film and video § 5. Age Limits
  32. ^ "Swedish Media Council". Retrieved 2011-08-21. 
  33. ^ "Lag (2010:1882) om åldersgränser för film som ska visas offentligt". (in Swedish). 2010-12-09. 
  34. ^ "Film Classification". Retrieved 2011-08-21. 
  35. ^ "FAQ-Film Classification". (in Swedish). Retrieved 2011-08-23. 
  36. ^ Rithdee, Kong. December 20, 2007. Thailand passes controversial film act, Variety (magazine); retrieved 2007-12-21
  37. ^ "AsiaMedia :: Beware the watchdogs of cinema". 2007-06-23. Retrieved 2013-04-10. 
  38. ^ "The Nation: Life". 2013-03-27. Retrieved 2013-04-10. 
  39. ^ Will Reforms Make Censorship Worse?, Simon Montlake, Time, October 11, 2007, retrieved 2007-10-12
  40. ^ Jaichalard, Pakamard. [1], Daily Xpress (retrieved April 24, 2013).

See also[edit]

External links[edit]