Motion picture rating system

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Movie classification)
Jump to: navigation, search

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.
  •  Black Restricted to adults only.
  •  Purple No rating / Exempt from classification / Banned from viewing.
Country/System 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 Other Notes
 Argentina ATP AM13 AM16 AM18 N/A 13 and 16 require adult supervision for persons under the limit for 13, and 16 Rated Films.
 Australia G M R18/X18+ RC Films 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.
PG MA15+
 Belgium KT/EA KNT/ENA E
 Brazil MJ/DEJUS L 10 12 14 16 18 N/A Since 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]
 Bulgaria A C D X F Only D-rated and X-rated films are restricted. F-rated films are banned.
 Canada CHVRS
(outside Québec)
G 14A R/A E The 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.
N/A PG 18A
(Maritimes & Manitoba)
Québec G 13+ 16+ 18+ N/A
 Colombia T 7 PG-12 PG-15 PG-18 Prohibited
 Denmark Medierådet A 7 11 15 F Children 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
 Egypt General Audience Adults Only N/A
 Estonia PERE MS-6 K-12 K-14 K-16 N/A Movies which are rated K-12, K-14 and K-16 require age proof.
L MS-12
 Finland KAVI S K-7 K-7 K-12 K-12 K-16 K-16 K-18 N/A Children up to 3 years younger than the given rating can watch movies rated K-7 to K-16 when accompanied by an adult.
Country/System 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 Other Notes
 France MoC U (–)12 (–)16 (–)18 Prohibited
 Germany FSK FSK 0 FSK 6 FSK 12 FSK 16 FSK 18 N/A Children over 6 can watch "FSK 12" rated movies under parental surveillance
FSK 12
 Greece K K-13 K-17 N/A Films which are rated K-17 require age proof.
 Hong Kong TELA I III N/A Only persons aged 18 and above are permitted to watch Category III films.
 Hungary NMHH KN 6 12 16 18 N/A Classification may be mixed between parental guidance and restrictive rating.
Adults Only
 Iceland Smáís AL 6 9 12 16 N/A
 India CBFC U UA A S The "S" rating is sometimes used to restrict films to certain audience only.
 Indonesia IFCB A BO D N/A
 Iraq A 9 12 16 18 N/A 12 and 16 are restricted.
 Ireland IFCO N/A G PG 12A 15A 16 18 N/A The 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.
12 15
 Italy MiBAC T VM14 VM18 N/A
 Japan Eirin G PG-12 R15+ R18+ N/A
Country/System 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 Other Notes
 Kazakhstan К Б14 Е16 Е18 НА N/A
 South Korea ALL 12 15 18 N/A
 Latvia NCC U 7+ 12+ 16+ 18+ (blue) X
The 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 Board U P13 18 Banned All 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 NBC G PG 12+ 15+ 18+/18+R PU Any 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 RTC AA A B B-15 C D N/A The "B-15" rating is for cinema only.
 Netherlands AL 6 9 12 16 N/A 12-rated programs can only air past 8 pm and 16-rated programs can only air past 10 pm.
 New Zealand OFLCNZ G PG R13 R15 R16 R18 Objectionable 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.
RP13 RP16
 Nigeria NFaVCB G PG 12/12A 15 18 N/A
 Norway A 7 11 15 18 N/A Children 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.
 Peru Apt 14 18 N/A Children under the given rating cannot watch unless accompanied by an adult.
 Philippines MTRCB G R-13 R-16 R-18 X Until 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 KRRiT BO 12 15 18/18A 21 N/A 21 is an emergency rating used only for films with very high level content.
Country/System 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 Other Notes
 Portugal CCE M/4 M/6 M/12 M/16 M/18 N/A
 Russia MoC 0+ 6+ 12+ 16+ 18+ Banned
 Singapore MDA G PG PG-13 NC16 M18 R21 N/A Movies rated "R21" are excluded from television ads and video releases.
 South Africa FaPB G PG 13 16 R18/X18 N/A X18-rated media is prevented from having a cinema release or a television advertisement.
 Sweden Statens medieråd Btl 7 11 15
N/A Younger 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/A Children up to six years younger than 12 (Protect) or 18 (Counsel) may watch however only if under parental guidance.
 Thailand P/G 13+ 15+ 18+ 20+ Banned Before 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 BBFC U PG 12A 15 18\R18 Rejected 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.
 United States MPAA G PG PG-13 R NC-17 NR (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.
Country/System 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 Other Notes


The Australian classifications

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

  • EExempt from classification. Films that are exempt from classification must not contain contentious material (i.e. material that would ordinarily be rated M or higher).
  • GGeneral. The content is very mild in impact.
  • PGParental guidance recommended. The content is mild in impact.
  • MRecommended 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. However, importing X18+ material from the two territories to any of the Australian states is legal.The content is sexually explicit in impact.
  • RCRefused Classification. Banned from sale or hire in Australia; also generally applies to importation (if inspected by and suspicious to Customs). Films are rated RC if their content exceeds the guidelines. The content is very high impact. Films are rated "Refused Classification" if they offend against the standards of morality, decency and prosperity generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified. Films would receive an RC rating by the Australian Classification Board if they contain extreme violence, depictions of torture or cruelty, child sexual abuse, fetish pornography, sexual violence, depictions of incestuous material or depictions or descriptions of bestiality or any other content that the Australian Classification Board feels is "offensive" or "abhorrent". Private Internet viewing or possession of RC rated films is legal in Australia, unless the material is child pornography. The public exhibition, sale, advertisement, dissemination or importation of RC rated films is a criminal offense and punished with a fine up to A$11,000 and up to 1 year in prison. However, in exhibition, sale, advertising, disseminating or importing cases of RC rated material, where the material being exhibited, sold, advertised, disseminated or imported is child pornography, the offender faces a fine up to A$275,000 and up to 10 years imprisonment.


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:

  • Freigegeben für alle Altersstufen – no age restriction
  • Freigegeben ab 6 Jahren – not recommended for people younger than 6 years of age
  • Freigegeben ab 10 Jahren – not recommended for people younger than 10 years of age
  • Freigegeben ab 12 Jahren – not recommended for people younger than 12 years of age
  • Freigegeben ab 14 Jahren – not recommended for people younger than 14 years of age
  • Freigegeben ab 16 Jahren – not recommended for people younger than 16 years of age

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:

  • KT/EAKinderen Toegelaten/Enfants Admis (Children Admitted) – Allowed for all
  • KNT/ENAKinderen Niet Toegelaten/Enfants Non Admis (Children Not Admitted) – Not allowed for children younger than 16 years of age
  • E – Exempt


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.[3] 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.[4]

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

Film classification symbols used in Brazil.
  • L: Livre para Todos os Públicos (General Audiences – "GA"): 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 – "PG-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 – "PG-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 – "PG-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 – "PG-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 – "PG-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 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
Rating Accompanying inscription When is it given
A Recommended for children from age 2 to 11 years "When the film is for children and has an educational nature."
B Not 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."
C Not 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."
D No 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."
X No 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."
F Banned "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.[5][6][7][8][9]

In general, the categories are:

  • G: General Audience – Suitable for all ages.
  • PG: Parental Guidance – Parental guidance advised. There is no age restriction but some material may not be suitable for children under 6.
  • 14A: 14 Accompaniment – Persons under 14 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.
  • 18A: 18 Accompaniment – Persons under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. In the Maritimes & Manitoba, children under the age of 14 are prohibited from viewing the film.
  • R: Restricted – Admittance restricted to people 18 years of age or older. Persons under 18 years of age are not permitted to attend under any circumstances. May contain explicit sexual content, extreme graphic violence (with or without cruelty), intense horror, very coarse language and other disturbing content that is inappropriate for children and therefore off-limits for minors.
  • A: Adult – Admittance restricted to people 18 years of age or older. Persons under 18 are not permitted to attend under any circumstances. Sole purpose of the film is the portrayal of sexually explicit activity and/or explicit violence. In Alberta, the A category is used only for sexually explicit products. Manitoba and Ontario do not have this category, Manitoba uses a barcode labelling system for Adult home videos while Ontario has a Restricted-Adult Sex (RX) rating for home video products. In British Columbia, the A symbol is a red octagon rather than a blue diamond.

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:[10]

  • 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.

While not a classification per se, educational or pedagogical movies, sport and physical exercise programs, and promotional materials are exempt from classification.[11]

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,[11] 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:

  • TE (Todo Espectador) – For all audiences.
  • Inconveniente para menores de 6 años (Unsuitable for children under 6 years) – Not suitable for children younger than 6 years
  • Mayores de 14 años – Suitable for people aged 14 and older. Children younger than 14 may be accompanied by a parent or guardian 18 or older.
  • Mayores de 18 años – Suitable for people aged 18 and older. Children younger than 18 may be accompanied by a parent or guardian 18 or older.
  • 18/S – Suitable for people aged 18 and older with sexually explicit content. This indication signifies that the film essentially contains scenes of real and explicit sexual activity .
  • 18/V – Suitable for people 18 and older with extreme violence

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).[12] 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.[13] The classifications are:

  • T: For general audiences.
  • 7: Suitable for over seven (7) years (classification informative)
  • PG-12: Rated PG-12 (classification informative)
  • PG-15: Rated PG-15 (classification restrictive)
  • PG-18: Rated PG-18 (classification restrictive)
  • 18: Films for over eighteen (18) years
  • X: Conditional display for pornographic content.
  • Prohibited: Contains elements that incite crime or make specific advocacy of same.


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

  • TILLADT FOR ALLE: Approval of the film for general admittance.
  • TILLADT OVER 8 ÅR: Approval of the film for admittance of children from the age of 7. (Introduced in 1980)
  • TILLADT OVER 12 ÅR: Approval of the film for admittance of children from the age of 12. (Introduced in 1960)
  • TILLADT OVER 16 ÅR: Approval of the film for admittance of children from the age of 16.

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:

  • General Audience – Everyone is admitted.
  • Adults Only – Restricted to adults.

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.


  • PERE – Family Film
  • L – For all audiences with no age limit
  • MS-6 – Under 6 not recommended
  • MS-12 – Under 12 not recommended
  • K-12 – Prohibited for under 12. The film contains moderate language and violence, nudity without sexual context and mild drug use which is inappropriate for people under 12. Age checking is mandatory.
  • K-14 – Prohibited for under 14. The film contains explicit language, intense violence, nudity, mild sex scenes and drug use which is inappropriate for people under 14. Age checking is mandatory.
  • K-16 – Prohibited for under 16. The film contains explicit language, graphic violence, nudity, sex scenes/pornography and illegal or explicit drug use which is inappropriate for people under 16. Age checking is mandatory.

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:

  • S – For all ages. The content is mild in this category and films with this classification are unlikely to contains violence, sexual material or horror.
  • K-7 – Only for persons 7 years old or older. Younger viewers are only admitted if accompanied by an adult. The content is mild to moderate. Violence is permitted but is limited to comic context or animated. Films in this class may contain very limited references to drugs or small amounts of sexual material.
  • K-12 – Only for persons 12 years old or older. Younger viewers are only admitted if accompanied by an adult. The content is moderate. Violence and horror are permitted, but they must not be very detailed. Drug use and sexual material are permitted but without very much of details.
  • K-16 – Only for persons 16 years old or older. Younger viewers are only admitted if accompanied by an adult. The content is strong to very strong. Violence in this class is often very graphic and sometimes cruel/sadistic. Detailed and bloody violence is allowed but must not exceed any kind of prolonged or very sadistic acts. Horror can be supernatural or realistic. Horror combined with very grotesque images is not allowed. Drug use can be graphic and frequent. Sexual material is allowed, but must not be overused for the story-line.
  • K-18 – Only for adults. No one under 18 admitted. The content is very strong to extreme and therefore inappropriate for people under 18 so no one under the age of 18 is allowed to view such films. Movies in this class show very graphic violence with sadistic manners. Drug use has no limits. Sado-masochistic sexual acts are allowed, but must not encourage the seer to mimic it in real-life.
  • K-E – Exempt

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 following:[15]

  • U (Tous publics) valid for all audiences.
  • 12 (Interdit aux moins de 12 ans) unsuitable for children younger than 12 or forbidden in cinemas for under 12.
  • 16 (Interdit aux moins de 16 ans) unsuitable for children younger than 16 or forbidden in cinemas for under 16.
  • 18 (Interdit aux mineurs) unsuitable for children younger than 18 or forbidden in cinemas for under 18.

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:

  • Ohne Altersbeschränkung (FSK 0): no age restriction (white sign)
  • Freigegeben ab 6 Jahren (FSK 6): no children younger than 6 years admitted (yellow sign)
  • Freigegeben ab 12 Jahren (FSK 12): children 12 or older admitted, children between 6 and 11 only when accompanied by parent or a legal guardian (green sign)
  • Freigegeben ab 16 Jahren (FSK 16): children 16 or older admitted, nobody under this age admitted (blue sign)
  • Keine Jugendfreigabe (FSK 18): "no youth admitted", only adults. (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.), provided they do not contain any material "evidently harmful to the development of children and youths".[16] Films with this rating may be sold without any age restriction.

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:

  • K – Suitable film for everyone, including children. The film does not contain violence, drug abuse, or sexual content.
  • K-13 – Suitable film for children 13+. The film may contain mild violence and adult themes. This is not recommended for those under 13 but not restricted.
  • K-17 – Suitable film for persons 17+. The film may contain violence, drug abuse, and mild pornographic scenes. An ID card certifying the age is required in all Greek cinemas and DVD rental shops in order to get a cinema ticket or rent a DVD of a "K-17" rated film. This category is legally restricted.
  • E – Exempt

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:

  • I – suitable for all ages (circle sign)
  • IIA – some content is unsuitable for children; parental guidance suggested (square sign)
  • IIB – some content is unsuitable for children and young persons; parental guidance suggested (square sign)
  • III – for aged 18 and above only. No one under 18 admitted. (triangle sign) This category is restricted to person 18 years of age and over only. Persons under 18 watching a Level III film in theaters, buying, purchasing or renting a Level III rated film or knowingly gaining access to a Level III film is strictly forbidden.

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:[17]

  • KN icon B (Hungary).svg KN – suitable for all (category I., filled green circle). These titles are not allowed to have violence, sex or any other harmful elements for children; however, a humor of those is allowed.
  • 6 icon B (Hungary).svg 6 – not suitable for children under 6. (category II., yellow circle with number 6). Mild violence, sex references and drug references are allowed.
  • 12 icon B (Hungary).svg 12 – not suitable for children under 12. (category III., yellow circle with number 12). Moderate violence, sex stuff, drug references and also strong language is allowed.
  • 16 icon B (Hungary).svg 16 – not suitable for children under 16. (category IV., yellow circle with number 16). Strong violence, drugs, themes, sex scenes and also very strong language.
  • 18 icon B (Hungary).svg 18 – not suitable for people under 18. (category V., red circle with number 18). Strong graphic violence, torture, glamorisation of drugs, very strong sexual content and also themes involving killing, incest and explicit content.
  • X icon B (Hungary).svg X – only for adults (category VI.) Very gruesome violent content or high impact sexual content


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.[18]


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,

  • UUniversal – Unrestricted Public Exhibition throughout India, suitable for all groups Films under this category should not upset children over 4. This rating is similar to the MPAA's G and PG, the BBFC's U and PG, and the OFLC's G and PG ratings. Any nudity/drug innuendo is cut.Such films may contain mild profanity or crude humour, mild sexual content, educational or family-oriented themes and/or mild violence.
  • UAParental Guidance – Unrestricted public exhibition but with parental guidance for children under the age of 12. Those aged under 12 years are only admitted if accompanied by an adult. This rating is similar to the MPAA's PG and PG-13, the BBFC's PG and 12A and the OFLC's PG and M ratings. Such films may contain moderate coarse language or suggestive dialogue, references and use of soft drugs, people wearing minimal clothing (frontal or rear nudity is not permitted), moderate sexual content, mature themes and/or moderate violence (including brief or implied sexual violence).
  • AAdults only – Public exhibition restricted to adults (18 years or over) only. This rating is similar to the MPAA's R, the BBFC's 15, and the OFLC's MA15+ ratings. Nobody younger than 18 may rent or buy an A-rated VHS, DVD, Blu-ray Disc, UMD or game, or watch a film in the cinema with this rating. Such films may contain references and use of hard drugs, explicit language or intensely suggestive dialogue, partial nudity (full-frontal or rear nudity is not permitted), strong and crude sexual content, adult/disturbing themes and/or intense/brutal violence (including strong sexual violence).
  • SSpecialised Audience – Exhibition to restricted audience such as doctors etc.

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:

  • SU (Semua Umur): All ages
  • A (Anak-anak): Children (3–12 years)
  • BO-A (Bimbingan Orangtua-Anak-anak): Parental Guidance-Children
  • BO (Bimbingan Orangtua): Parental Guidance (parental supervision is strongly recommended for people under 13 years)
  • BO-SU (Bimbingan Orangtua-semua-umur): Parental Guidance-All Ages
  • BO-R (Bimbingan Orangtua-Remaja): Parental guidance for teens aged 13–17.
  • R (Remaja): Teen
  • D (Dewasa): Adult


Cinematic certificates General cinema.png Pg cinema.png 12 cinema.png 15 cinema.png 16 cinema.png 18 cinema.png
Home video certificates General home video.png PG home video.png 12 home video.png 15 home video.png 18 home video.png

The Irish Film Classification Office (IFCO) under which theatrical films are placed into one of the following categories:[19]

  • GGeneral – Suitable for children of school going age.
  • PGParental Guidance – Suitable for children over the age of 8. Parental guidance is recommended for children under the age of 12.
  • 12AParental Guidance required for children under 12 – A person over 18 years of age must accompany a child under the age of 12 when seeing a film theatrically.
  • 15AParental Guidance required for children under 15 – A person over 18 years of age must accompany a child under the age of 15 when seeing a film theatrically.
  • 16 – Films classified in this category are considered to be suitable for persons of sixteen or over. Children under this age cannot be admitted to screenings. Violent content, crude and sexual content, and depiction of violence may be stronger than in films designated 15A.
  • 18Adults only – The film is suitable only for adults. Nobody under age 18 can be admitted.

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 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:

  • T (Per tutti – All): All ages admitted. The mark is a circle with a huge T inside on a green background.
  • V.M.14 (Vietato ai minori di 14 anni – Restricted to 14 and over): Nobody under the age of 14 years is allowed, parental guidance is strongly advised. The movie is likely to contain either sexual content, violence and some drug use. The mark is a circle with a 14 inside on an orange background.
  • V.M.18 (Vietato ai minori di 18 anni – Restricted to 18 and over): Nobody under the age of 18 years is allowed, for older audiences only. The movie is likely to contain very explicit and strong sexual content, strong and/or extreme violence and gore or really explicit drug use. The mark is a circle with an 18 inside on a red or bordeaux background.

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:[20]

  • G: General audiences, all ages admitted.
  • PG-12: Some material may be inappropriate for children under the age of 12. Parental or adult accompaniment recommended. The film contains mature themes, partial nudity, explicit language, some violence, etc. which is inappropriate for people under 12.
  • R15+: For 15 and over only. Forbidden for under 15. The film contains mature themes, nudity, explicit language, violence, sexual situations and/or drug references which is inappropriate for people under 15.
  • R18+: For 18 and over only. Forbidden for under 18. The film contains adult themes, detailed violence, explicit sex, sexual violence, pornographic content and/or drug use, which is inappropriate for people under 18.

The four categories have been in use since May 1, 1998.[20]


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.[21]

  • К: Film is allowed for any audience.
  • БА: Parental guidance recommended for children under 12.
  • Б14: Suitable for children over 14. Supervision by parents recommended.
  • Е16: No admittance to persons under 16.
  • Е18: No admittance to persons under 18. Disallowed TV broadcast from 6.00 to 22.00. TV operators should block foreign channels.
  • НА: Film is suitable for those above 21 only. Allowed in movie theaters only from 22.00 to 6.00.

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)

  • U: rated for all ages (added in July 2007).
  • 7+: Not recommended for viewers younger than 7.
  • 12+: Not recommended for viewers younger than 12.
  • 16+: Not recommended for viewers younger than 16.
  • 18+ (blue): Not recommended for minors.
  • 18+ (red): Prohibited from viewing by minors.
  • X: Banned from public viewing.


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).[22] 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:[23]

  • 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:

  • U (Umum, literally General (Audiences)) – For general audiences. The rating description describes the film as "depicting good values, politeness and providing a positive lesson as well as being entertaining". (Triangular sign, blue circle since 1 April 2012[24])
  • P13 (formerly PG13) – (Penjaga, literally Guardian) – Viewers under 13 require guidance from a parent or guardian. Film may contain scenes that are inappropriate for younger children or a hard to understand storyline. The classification PG13 was introduced in 2007 and replaced with the new classification P13 in January 2012. (Circle with a horizontal line in the middle through its diameter, Yellow circle since 1 April 2012)
  • 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. This rating is used for 18+ movies released after 14 April 2010. Any 18+ movies shown in cinemas after that date will be classified as 18. The rating still uses the circle sign that the previous ratings 18SG, 18SX, 18PA and 18PL used. Any movies previously classified using the old 18+ ratings will now be re-classified as 18. However, video classifications that still rated as the previous 18+ ratings are still valid. (Red circle since 1 April 2012)

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

Malaysian film classification logos used since 1 April 2012[25]

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:

  • 18SG (Seram, Ganas, literally Graphic Violence and Horror/Terror) – Film contains strong violence, gore or horror/terror that people may find objectionable.
  • 18SX (Seks, literally Sexual Content) – Film contains sex scenes, nudity and/or sexual dialogues/references that people may find objectionable.
  • 18PA (Politik, Agama, literally Strong Religious or Political Elements) – Film contains elements which include religious, social or political aspects that people may find objectionable.
  • 18PL (Pelbagai, literally Variety) – Film may contain a mixture of the above objectionable content from two or more categories. (Example: A film with strong violence and sexual references will be classified as 18PL).

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[26] 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

  • G – General viewing. No material that may evoke fear or concern, no violence, no sexual acts, no language, no drug abuse, no nudity.
  • 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.
  • 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. 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:

  • U (Universal) – Suitable for all.
  • 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, 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:

  • AA Informative-only rating: Of interest to children under 7. This rating is usually given to animated TV shows or movies aimed at children. TV shows and movies under this rating have little to no violence, offensive language, and/or drug abuse. Sexual content is limited to mild affection and/or platonic friendship.
  • A Information-only rating: General Audience. Recommended people over 7 years. Content can be violence, crude humor, some bad words and sexual references.
  • B Information-only rating: For children 12 or over. Parental guidance suggested. Minimal and specifically motivated non-extreme violence. Sex can be shown, so long as it's merely implied. Nudity might be present, but not in an erotic or degrading manner. Drug use can be referenced, but actual consumption and any scenes condoning or glorifying drug abuse are prohibited. Language may be dirty, but no verbal violence is allowed.
  • B-15 Information-only rating: For people aged 15 or over. Parental guidance suggested for those under 15. More explicit content than B rating, but extreme violence, explicit sexual content, drug abuse (or scenes of drugs being glorified), and verbal violence is still prohibited.
  • C Restrictive rating: For adults over 18. Under-18s are strictly prohibited from viewing the film. High degree of violence (including cruelty), sexual content, and/or drug abuse/references. Verbal violence and offensive language is permitted, but only for narrative purposes.
  • D Restrictive rating: For adults 19 years of age and over only. Persons under this age are forbidden to gain access to the film. May contain strong sexual situations, explicit sexual activity, very coarse language or extreme violence which is considered to be inappropriate for anyone under this age and therefore minors are off-limits from viewing the film.


In the Netherlands, the Kijkwijzer system is used, which is executed by the Netherlands Institute for the Classification of Audiovisual Media (NICAM).[27]


  • Dutch rating AL.svg Suitable for all ages (in Dutch: Alle Leeftijden).
  • Dutch rating 6.svg Not recommended for children younger than 6 years. Replaced the older MG6 ("Meekijken Gewenst"), where parental guidance was recommended for viewers younger than 6 years.
  • Dutch rating 9.svg Not recommended for children younger than 9 years. Now a standard rating.
  • Dutch rating 12.svg Not recommended for children younger than 12 years; broadcasting is not allowed before 20:00 (8:00 pm).


  • Dutch rating 16.svg 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[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:

  • 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.

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:

  • G: General admittance. (Green Sign)
  • PG: Parental Guidance suggested. (Green Sign)
  • 12: Suitable for children aged 12 years and older. (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.[28]

Movies are rated using the following classifications:

  • A (all ages) Limited use of sound and effects. Some scary elements can be allowed.[29]
  • 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.[30]
  • 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.[31]
  • 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.[32]
  • 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.[33]

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.[34] 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.[28]

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.[28]

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

  • U: Suitable For Everyone
  • PG: Parental Guidance
  • PG-15: Parental Guidance Required For Under 15
  • A: Adults Only


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

  • Apt: General audiences. All ages are admitted.
  • 14: Intense violence and language. No children under 14 admitted without the company of an adult.
  • 18: Extreme graphic violence, language and drug abuse. This rating also extends to pornography films. No children under 18 admitted without the company of an adult.


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.

  • Rating for movies shown in cinemas (this rating is not considered 'official', but it's used by some cinemas):
    • AL (ALL) – Suitable for Everyone
    • 7 – Suitable for children 7 years and older (Other variations include '6', '8', '9' or '10')
    • 12 – Suitable for children 12 years and older
    • 16 – Suitable for children 16 years and older
    • 18 – Only for adults


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:

  • M/4 Passed for viewers aged 4 and older. This is used mostly for movies and videos that are particularly recommended for young children.
  • M/6 Passed for viewers aged 6 and older. May have some mild content/foul language. This is also the lowest rating a subtitled movie can get.
  • M/12 Passed for viewers aged 12 and older. Younger viewers must be accompanied by an adult. Movies rated M/12 may contain moderate violence and some gore, moderate sex scenes or references, suicide, strong language and drug references.
  • M/16 Passed for viewers aged 16 and older. Younger viewers must be accompanied by an adult. Movies rated M/16 may contain strong violence and gore, sexual violence, aggressive language, strong sex scenes and drug use.
  • M/18 Passed for viewers aged 18 and older. Younger viewers must be accompanied by an adult. Movies rated M/18 may contain extreme violence and gore, strong sustained sexual violence, unsimulated sex scenes, frequent aggressive strong language and glamorized drug use.

Special classifications[edit]

These classifications can be added to the previous ones:

  • Pornographic (M/18-P) Generic characteristics: content is considered pornographic if it contains, cumulatively: a) exploitation of situations to try to arouse the spectator; b) low aesthetic quality. Specific characteristics: the first level (hardcore: content that presents a very thorough demonstration of real sexual acts being perpetrated, with the exhibition of genitalia); the second level (softcore: content that presents a very insistent and thorough demonstration of simulated sexual acts). Children under 18 are strictly prohibited from viewing the film.
  • Quality (M/4-Q, M/6-Q, M/12-Q, M/16-Q, M/18-Q) Content that, due to its artistic, thematic, educational and technical aspects deserve this attribute.


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 allowed for children under 12 if they accompanied by parents) – Parental guidance under 12 years.
  • (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.


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:

  • 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, television advertisements 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.


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.

  • G - Suitable for all ages, never used on Prva Srpska Televizija. On RTS, the G letter is not shown, making it the empty red circle.
  • 12 - Unsuitable for those under 12
  • 13 - Unsuitable for those under 13 (never used on TV)
  • 14 - Unsuitable for those under 14
  • 15 - Unsuitable for those under 15 (used on RTV Pink only, acting as a replacement to the 16 mark. Also used on B92, but not replacing the 16 mark)
  • 16 - Unsuitable for those under 16
  • 17 - Unsuitable for those under 17 (used on B92 only)
  • 18 - Unsuitable for those under 18 (As from April 2011, films and/or programs showing the 18 mark on the screen can be broadcast between midnight and 6am.)

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:

  • A: All Ages Admitted.
  • PG: All Ages Admitted, but Parental Guidance is Recommended for younger or sensitive viewers.
  • 10M: Children Under 10 Must be Accompanied by an Adult.
  • 13M: People Under 13 Must be Accompanied by an Adult.
  • 10: No One Under 10 Admitted.
  • 13: No One Under 13 Admitted.
  • 16: No One Under 16 Admitted.
  • 18: No One Under 18 Admitted.

South Korea[edit]

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

  • All (전체 관람가) – Suitable for all audiences
  • 12+ (12세 이상 관람가) – Suitable for children 12 and older (parental supervision is required for persons under 12 years)
  • 15+ (15세 이상 관람가) – Suitable for children 15 and older (parental supervision is required for persons under 15 years)
  • Teenager restricted (청소년 관람불가) – Suitable for adults 18 and older


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 – Suitable for all audiences
  • Especialmente Recomendada para la Infancia – Especially suitable for small children
  • 7 – Not recommended for audiences under 7
  • 13 – Not recommended for audiences under 13
  • 18 – Not recommended for audiences under 18
  • Película X – Pornographic or extremely violent content


Statens medieråd (the Swedish Media Council)[35] 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.[36][37]

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:

  • 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.
  • 15 – Not rated, means that no one under 15 years of age is admitted, may include strong violence, strong drug use, explicit depictions of sexual activity. This also includes pornography; however, that is usually not shown at ordinary cinemas.

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.[38] 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.

  • 2 – This film is for ages 2–11 for younger children.
  • 7 – This film is for ages 7–16 for older children.
  • 10 – This film is for ages 10–19 for mature children.
  • 12 – This film is for ages 12–21 for pre-teens.
  • 14 – This film is for ages 14–23 for older teens.
  • 16 – This film is for ages 16–25 for mature teens.
  • 18 – This film is for ages 18 and up for adults.

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):

  • 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.

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".[39][40][41][42]

The ratings were put into effect in August 2009.[43] They are as follows:

  • P – Promotional, film is educational and viewing is encouraged for all Thai people. (the children smile In the box on the left green. and The right is the letter the "ส")
  • G – Suitable for everyone. (the house in green box in the left hand and rside with the letter the "ท")
  • 13+ – Films not suitable for viewers under 13 years old. (right and wrong (X) in the yellow box on the left and The right side has the letter the "น")
  • 15+ – Films not suitable for viewers under 15 years old. (right and wrong (X) in the yellow box on the left and The right side has the letter the "น")
  • 18+ – Films not suitable for viewers under 18 years old. (right and wrong (X) in the yellow box on the left and The right side has the letter the "น")
  • 20- – Films not suitable for viewers under 20 years old. (the wrong mark (X) In the red box on the left and The right side has the letter the "ฉ")
  • Banned – Films that are not allowed to screen publicly in the Kingdom.

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


  • Family logo with 3 persons from younger to older - Suitable for all ages.
  • 7A - Viewers under 7 years old can watch with accompanying family members.
  • 7+ - Suitable for viewers aged 7 and older.
  • 7+ 13A - Viewers aged 7 to 12 can watch with accompanying family members.
  • 13+ - Suitable for viewers aged 13 and older.
  • 13+ 15A - Viewers aged 13 and 14 can watch with accompanying family members.
  • 15+ - Suitable for viewers aged 15 and older.
  • 18+ - Suitable for viewers aged 18 and older.
  • Explosion logo (looks like a strange star with 7 corners) - The movie contains elements of violence and horror.
  • Interlocked male and female logo - The movie contains elements of sexuality.
  • Minus logo - The movie contains behaviors that may create a negative example.

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.

Symbol Name Definition/Notes
U Universal Available to anyone who wishes to see the film
A Universal with caution May contain some scenes that may not be suitable for very young children.
AA Seven or over The person must be seven or over to see the film
X Eleven or over The person must be eleven or over to see the film
AA Thirteen or over The person must be thirteen or over to see the film
X Sixteen or over The person must be sixteen or over to see the film
AA 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
X Eighteen The 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.

  • 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.
  • Rarely used:
    • PG (Parental Guidance) – Some material may not be suitable for children.
    • PG-18 – Under 18 not admitted unless accompanied by an individual over 18. Some material may not be suitable for children.

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:

  • Uc (Universal Children) Suitable for all, but especially for children under 4. Used for video only. Retired in 2009.
  • 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.

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:

  • 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 R rated 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 graphic violence with 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. Many theater companies and local operators will not play NC-17 titles and some newspapers and magazines will not run ads for these films. Most NC-17 titles have limited theatrical release, usually in smaller theaters, or are released directly to video or DVD. Most NC-17 titles also have edited versions released on home media that are either unrated or R-rated. The "NC-17" rating replaced the similar "X" rating in 1990.


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)
  • F: Unrated, for family


  1. ^ "Centerplex Cinemas – Lei da Classificação Indicativa". 2006-07-20. Retrieved 2013-04-10. 
  2. ^ "Guidelines". Australian Classification Board. Retrieved 10 April 2014. 
  3. ^ PORTARIA Nº 1.100, DE 14 DE JULHO DE 2006 – Art.19 (ORDINANCE NUMBER 1.100, OF JULY 14 2006 – Article 19)
  4. ^ "Notícias – Detalhes". 2007-02-08. Retrieved 2013-04-10. 
  5. ^ "Alberta Film Ratings". Alberta Ministry of Tourism, Parks, Recreation and Culture. Retrieved 2007-12-01. 
  6. ^ "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. 
  7. ^ "Film and Video Ratings". Manitoba Film Classification Board. Retrieved 2007-12-01. 
  8. ^ "Rating Guidelines". Nova Scotia Ministry of Environment and Labour, Alcohol & Gaming Division. 2005-08-02. Retrieved 2007-12-01. 
  9. ^ "Classification Categories and Content Advisories". Ontario Film Review Board. 2007-11-06. Retrieved 2007-12-01. 
  10. ^ "Régie du cinéma, Classification Process". Gouvernement du Québec. 2007-12-17. Retrieved 2008-12-24. 
  11. ^ a b "Cinema Act (RSQ, C-18.1)". Gouvernement du Québec. 2008-12-15. Retrieved 2008-12-24. 
  12. ^ "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. 
  13. ^ David Melo Torres, Director de Cinematografía (2005). "Por la cual se adopta el Sistema de Clasificación de Películas" [Whereby the Movie Rating System is adopted] (DOC) (Press release) (in Spanish). Bogotá: Ministry of Culture. Archived from the original on 5 October 2007. 
  14. ^ Forum Cinemas (Estonian)
  15. ^ "Regulatory function : film classification". National Center of Cinematography and the moving image. Retrieved 13 April 2014. 
  16. ^ "SPIO guidelines concerning the self-assignment of ratings (pdf, in German)" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-04-10. 
  17. ^ "Nemzeti Média- és Hírközlési Hatóság • 404-es hiba: az oldal (file) nem található". Retrieved 2013-04-10. 
  18. ^ "Iceland Adopts Kijkwijzer!". Hilversum: Netherlands Institute for the Classification of Audiovisual Media. 18 October 2013. Retrieved 19 April 2014. 
  19. ^ "Guidelines: Film and DVD/Video Classification". Irish Film Classification Office. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  20. ^ a b "Eirin Film Classification". Eirin. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  21. ^ "Приказ министра образования и науки республики Казахстан" (PDF). Archived from the original on 1 August 2012. 
  22. ^ "Klasifikasi Filem" (in Malay). Home Ministry of Malaysia. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  23. ^ "Soalan Lazim (FAQ)" (in Malay). Home Ministry of Malaysia. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  24. ^ Elaine Ewe. "New film classifications". Retrieved 2012-03-30. 
  25. ^ "Klasifikasi Filem" (in Malay). Retrieved 2012-09-01. 
  26. ^ "PENGGUNAAN SIJIL PERAKUAN B BAHARU (Usage of new B-certificate)". Home Ministry of Malaysia. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  27. ^ "Kijkwijzer". Hilversum: Netherlands Institute for the Classification of Audiovisual Media. Retrieved 19 April 2014. 
  28. ^ a b c Medietilsynet (Norwegian Media Authority): Aldersgrenser på kino (Age limits on cinemas)
  29. ^ Medietilsynet (Norwegian Media Authority): Tillatt for alle (Allowed for all ages)
  30. ^ Medietilsynet (Norwegian Media Authority): 7-årsgrensen (7 year limit)
  31. ^ Medietilsynet (Norwegian Media Authority): 11-årsgrensen (11 year limit)
  32. ^ Medietilsynet (Norwegian Media Authority): 15-årsgrensen (15 year limit)
  33. ^ Medietilsynet (Norwegian Media Authority): 18-årsgrensen (18 year limit)
  34. ^ Law on film and video § 5. Age Limits
  35. ^ "Swedish Media Council". Retrieved 2011-08-21. 
  36. ^ "Lag (2010:1882) om åldersgränser för film som ska visas offentligt". (in Swedish). 2010-12-09. 
  37. ^ "Film Classification". Retrieved 2011-08-21. 
  38. ^ "FAQ-Film Classification". (in Swedish). Retrieved 2011-08-23. 
  39. ^ Rithdee, Kong. December 20, 2007. Thailand passes controversial film act, Variety (magazine); retrieved 2007-12-21
  40. ^ "AsiaMedia :: Beware the watchdogs of cinema". 2007-06-23. Retrieved 2013-04-10. 
  41. ^ "The Nation: Life". 2013-03-27. Retrieved 2013-04-10. 
  42. ^ Will Reforms Make Censorship Worse?, Simon Montlake, Time, October 11, 2007, retrieved 2007-10-12
  43. ^ Jaichalard, Pakamard. [1], Daily Xpress (retrieved April 24, 2013).

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

  • The Netherlands film board's comparison of film classifications issued for twelve recent films by the classification boards of the UK, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Denmark, and Sweden.
  • IMDb's information about rating systems from all over the world.
  • Information regarding film classifications from Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States.
  • Australia Australian Classification Board.
  • Denmark Medierådet for Børn og Unge (The Media Council for Children and Young People).
  • Finland Finnish Centre for Media Education and Audiovisual Media.
  • France Centre National de la Cinématographie (CNC).
  • Germany Spitzenorganisation der Filmwirtschaft e. V. (SPIO)
  • Iceland Smáís.
  • Irish Film Censor's Office.
  • Japan Administration Commission of Motion Picture Code of Ethics.
  • Korea Korea Media Rating Board.
  • Malaysia Lembaga Penapisan Filem Malaysia (Malaysia Film Filter Board)
  • Netherlands Kijkwijzer (and Nicam).
  • New Zealand Office of Film & Literature Classification.
  • Norway Media Authority.
  • Philippines Movie and Television Review and Classification Board
  • Singapore Media Development Authority.
  • Sweden Statens medieråd.
  • South African Film and Publications Board.
  • Spanish Film Academy (ACE).
  • United Kingdom British Board of Film Classification (BBFC).
  • USA Motion Picture Association of America.