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.

 AustriaUnrestricted6810121416N/AIn the Viennese province children under the age of 6 are only admitted to public screenings if they are accompanied.
(outside Québec)
G14AREChildren are admitted to 18A films if accompanied by an adult; however, in the Maritime and Manitoba provinces there is still a mandatory age restriction of 14.
QuébecG13+16+18+Exempt/Refused classification
 ChileGeneral audience71418Educational
Excessive violence
 ChinaSuitable for all agesBanned
 DenmarkA7FChildren aged seven and above can watch 11-rated and 15-rated films provided they are accompanied by an adult.
 FinlandS771212161618N/AMinors up to 3 years younger than the given rating can watch 7, 12 and 16 rated films when accompanied by an adult.
 FranceU121618ProhibitedFilms may also be classified as "pornographic films or those containing an incitement to violence".
 GermanyFSK 0FSK 6FSK 16FSK 18EducationalChildren over 6 can watch "FSK 12" rated movies under parental surveillance.
FSK 12FSK 12Unrated
 Hong KongIIIIExempt
 IndonesiaSURDNot passed/Limited
 Japan EirinGPG-12R15+R18+N/A
 MaltaN/AUPG12A1518Not fit for exhibition
 New ZealandGMR18Exempt
 NigeriaG121518REThe 15 and 18 classifications are not legally applicable to people below 2 years of age.
 NorwayA771111151518Not approvedChildren up to three years younger than the given rating (with the exception of 18-rated films) are permitted to watch the film provided they are accompanied by an adult.
 PortugalAM/3M/6M/12M/14M/16M/18 (P)N/AApart from pornography (P) the ratings are not mandatory for video.
 Russia0+6+12+16+18+Refused classification
 South AfricaA10131618XX
 South KoreaALL1215Teenager restrictedN/A
 SpainAPTA7121618N/AAPTA and 7 rated films may be designated as being especially recommended for children.
Película X
 Sweden Statens medierådBtl7Not approved
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.
 Taiwan GIO普 (G)護 (P)護 (P)限 (R)N/AChildren up to six years younger than 12 (Protect) or 18 (Counsel) may watch however only if under parental guidance.
N/A輔 (PG)輔 (PG)
 United Kingdom BBFCUcUPG12A1518Rejected12A 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 MPAAGPG-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.


Through its Advisory Commission of Cinematographic Exhibition (Comisión Asesora de Exhibición Cinematográfica) the National Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual Arts (INCAA) issues ratings for films based on the following categories:[1]


The Classification Board and Classification Review Board are government-funded organizations which classifies all films that are released for public exhibition.[2]

The Australian classifications


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.[3] 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.[4] 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.[5]

The AMBC issues age recommendation from the following categories:


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). Films are prohibited to minors under the age of 16 unless passed by the commission. 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.[6]


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).[7][8] 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.[9][10] Unlike many countries, the Dejus doesn't have any legal right to ban, demand cuts or refuse to rate any movie.[11]

The Dejus uses the following system:

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 Act of 2003 and administered by the National Film Rating Committee.[12]

Bulgarian film ratings
RatingAccompanying inscriptionWhen is it given
ARecommended to children"The film confirms the ideals of humanism or popularizes the national and world cultures or contributes to upbringing children."
BNo restrictive recommendations from the Committee."The film is in no way contrary to the universal rules of morality in this country."
CNo 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."
DNo 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."
XNo 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.[13] 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).[14]

Classifications used outside Québec[edit]

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.[15] 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.[16][17] Likewise, British Columbia,[18] Saskatchewan (administered by the British Columbia Film Classification Office),[14] Alberta and Ontario also admit children to 14A and 18A films if accompanied, but do not impose an age restriction on 18A films.[19][20] The Maritimes and British Columbia (along with Saskatchewan) also provide an "A" classification for adult content.[17][18] Some provinces, such as Nova Scotia, reserve the right to prohibit films altogether.[17]

In general, the categories are:[15]

Classifications used in Québec[edit]

For more details on this topic, see Régie du cinéma (Quebec).
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;[22] its purview devolves from the Cinema Act (chapter C-18.1).[23] 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.[24]


Films are classified by the Council of Cinematographic Classification (Consejo de Calificación Cinematográfica) which is a central agency under the Ministry of Education.[25]

The age ratings are:

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[edit]

China does not have a rating system. Only films that are passed as "suitable for all ages" are released although some exhibitors have introduced informal ratings.[26][27]


As of June 22, 2005, the Ministry of Culture issued its new rating system.[28][29][30] The classifications are:


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.[31]

A Approval of the film for general admittance.

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

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

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

F Exempt from classification – only used on home video products (mostly documentaries, Danish stand-up shows and educational material)[citation needed]


Film classification in Estonia is regulated by the Child Welfare Act.[32]


Films in Finland are classified by the Finnish Centre for Media Education and Audiovisual Media. A minor up to 3 years younger than the age limit is permitted to see a film in a cinema when accompanied by an adult, except for 18-rated films.[33]


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.[34] A certificate will be granted from the following:


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.[35]

Ohne Altersbeschränkung (FSK 0): no age restriction (white sign)

6 Freigegeben ab 6 Jahren (FSK 6): released to ages 6 and older (yellow sign)

12 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)

16 Freigegeben ab 16 Jahren (FSK 16): released to ages 16 and older, nobody under this age admitted (blue sign)

18 Keine Jugendfreigabe (FSK 18): "no youth admitted", adults only. (red sign)

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.[37]


All publicly released films must be submitted to the Youth Committee for classification.[6] There are four categories:

Hong Kong[edit]

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.[38][39]

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):[40]

Green circle Universal, for all ages

6 Not recommended below age of 6

12 Not recommended below age of 12

16 Not recommended below age of 16

18 Not recommended below age of 18

X Restricted below 18, for adults only


Further information: § Netherlands

Since July 1, 2006, Smáís has replaced the Kvikmyndaskoðun system in Iceland. In October 2013, SMAIS announced that it was adopting the Netherlands' Kijkwijzer at least through 2016.[41]


In India, Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) is responsible for certifying films meant for public exhibition.[42]


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. Films passed for exhibition are awarded one of the following classifications:[43]


All films that are exhibited in public or released on a home video format must be submitted for classification by the Irish Film Classification Office (IFCO).[44][45]

GGeneral home video.png General – Suitable for children of school going age.

PGPG home video.png Parental Guidance – Suitable for children over the age of 8. Parental guidance is recommended for children under the age of 12.

12A12 Suitable for viewers of twelve and over. Younger children may be admtted to the film at cinemas if accompanied by an adult; on home video younger viewers are not permitted to purchase/rent.

15A15 Suitable for viewers of fifteen and over. Younger viewers may be admtted to the film at cinemas if accompanied by an adult; on home video younger viewers are not permitted to purchase/rent.

16 (cinema only) Suitable for viewers of sixteen and over. Younger viewers are not admitted.

1818 home video.png Suitable only for adults. Viewers under 18 are not admitted at cinemas or permitted to purchase/rent the video.


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:[46]


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.[47][48]


In Kazakhstan, films are rated by the Committee for Culture of the Ministry for Culture and Information.[49]


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.[50]


Historically, film censorship in Malaysia was carried out by police under the Theatre Ordinance 1908. In 1954 the Film Censorship Board (LPF) was created to censor films distributed across Malaysia in accordance with the Cinematograph Films Act 1952, and later the Film Censorship Act 2002.[51] 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), and in 1996 these classifications were changed to U and 18. In 2010 the PG13 classification was introduced, which was changed to P13 in 2012.[52]

Malaysian film classification logos used since January 2012

Upon viewing the board will assign one of three categories to the film:[53]

Should a film be approved, the Board then assigns the film a classification. As of 2012 the ratings are:[52]


Film in the Maldives are classified by the National Bureau of Classification (NBC). Certificates issued are based on the following categories:[54]

Maldive film classifications


As of 2012, films in Malta are classified by the Film Board in accordance with the Malta Council for Culture and the Arts Act.[55] As part of an overhaul in 2013 the "14" and "16" age classifications were replaced by "12A" and "15"; the "PG" rating was redefined while "U", "12" and "18" were retained in their existing form.[56]

If the film is deemed "fit for exhibition" it will be awarded one of the following classifications:


The General Directorate of Radio, Television and Cinematography (in Spanish, Dirección General de Radio, Televisión y Cinematografía) is the issuer of ratings for motion pictures. The RTC is an agency of the Department of State (Secretaría de Gobernación). It has its own classification system, as follows:[57]


In the Netherlands, the Kijkwijzer system is used, which is executed by the Netherlands Institute for the Classification of Audiovisual Media (NICAM). Under Dutch law children are admitted to films carrying an age rating if accompanied by an adult except in the case of "16" rated films.[58][59]

AL All ages.

6 Potentially harmful to children under 6 years.

9 Potentially harmful to children under 9 years.

12 Potentially harmful to children under 12 years; broadcasting is not allowed before 8:00 pm.

16 Potentially harmful to children under 16 years; broadcasting is not allowed before 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[edit]

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" (banned).[60] 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.[61]

The current ratings are:[62]


The National Film and Video Censors Board classifies films, videos, DVDs, and VCDs. Classifications carrying an age rating are legally restricted, although the "15" and "18" classifications do not apply to people below 2 years of age.[63] The categories are:


The Norwegian Media Authority (Medietilsynet) sets the age limits on films to be exhibited in Norway. There is no requirement to submit a film to the Media Authority for classification, but such films carry a mandatory age rating of "18" and the distributor is legally repsonsible for the film's content.[64]

The following age limits apply to films to be shown in cinemas:

Children up to three years younger than the indicated age rating may be admitted if accompanied by an adult; however the Media Authority will occasionally discourage parents from accompanying children below the age recommendation to certain films.[64] The Media Authority has no power to ban films but must not classify films which they consider contravene Norweigian criminal law.[65]


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 uses six classification ratings.[66]


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.[67]


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.[68] 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.[69][70] The categories are the following:


National Audiovisual Council of Romania rating system:[citation needed]


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.[71][72] The indication shown:


Further information: Media Development Authority

Film classification in Singapore was introduced in 1991 and comes under the jurisdiction of the Board of Film Censors (BFC). There were three ratings originally: G (General), PG (Parental Guidance) and R18 (Rsetricted to 18 years and above). Prior to then films were either approved or effectively banned. Since then, there have been several alterations to the ratings over the years. The R18 rating has been dropped, and has been replaced by NC16 (No Children under 16), M18 (Mature 18) and R21 (Restricted 21). A PG13 (Parental Guidance 13) rating, introduced in 2011, is the lates rating to be introduced. The G, PG and PG13 ratings are advisory while NC16, M18 and R21 carry age restrictions. Video ratings are mostly the same as the cinema ratings, except only go up to M18. Some titles, such as documentaries and sports programmes may be exempt from classification on video, but all titles must be classified for public exhibition.[73]

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

The categories are:

South Africa[edit]

In South Africa film are classified by the Film and Publication Board.[74] 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:[75][76]


All films to be commercially released in Spain in any medium must be submitted to the ICAA. Classifications are advisory except for X-rated films, which are restricted to specially licensed venues. A supplementary classification, "Especialmente Recomendada para la Infancia" (Especially recommended for children), is sometimes appended to the lowest two classifications.[77]


Statens medieråd (the Swedish Media Council)[78] 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.[79][80]

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.[81] 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.


Further information: § Germany

Switzerland has adopted Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle der Filmwirtschaft (FSK), Germany's classification body.[82]


Taiwan did not have motion picture rating system until April 1994. The GIO in Taiwan (Republic of China) 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 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".[83][84][85][86]

The ratings were put into effect in August 2009.[83][87] They are as follows:


In Turkey, movies to be shown in cinemas are rated by the Evaluation and Classification Board of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.[88] The ratings are the following:

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[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
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
XSixteen or overThe person must be sixteen or over to see the film
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:[89]

The 12, 15, 18 and R18 categories are restricted, and it is illegal to sell such material to people under those ages depending on the category..

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]

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 are:[90]


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:


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See also[edit]

External links[edit]