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Australian Classification Board
Year founded1970
For the rating template, see {{ACB}}.
For the revised OFLC rating system template, see {{OFLC}}.
For the original OFLC rating system template, see {{OFLC old}}.
For the New Zealand version of the OFLC, see Office of Film and Literature Classification (New Zealand).

The Australian Classification Board is a statutory censorship and classification body formed by the Australian Government which classifies films, video games and publications for exhibition, sale or hire in Australia since its establishment in 1970. The Australian Classification Board was originally incorporated in the Office of Film and Literature Classification which was dissolved in 2006. The Attorney-General's Department now provides administrative support to the Board. Decisions made by the Board may be reviewed by the Australian Classification Review Board.

Film and Video Game Ratings[edit]

In 2005, the Movie Ratings system was made colour-coded and the ratings system presentation was brought up to date, following changes in the code. However, the previous monochrome classification symbols can still be seen on DVD and video packaging released before the change.

"E" rating for films E (Exempt from Classification) - These films are granted permission to be sold without a proper rating depending on the content of the film. This rating is usually given to documentaries, news and current affairs and exercise shows. Currently there is no predetermined marking for exempt films and computer games [1], although it is advised that films and computer games that are exempt may display “This film /computer game is exempt from classification”.

The content varies depending on the show / film. Any film or computer game which is to be rated E must not contain content that would be classified M or higher.

"G" rating used for video games G (General) – These films and computer games are for general viewing. However, G does not conclusively mean a children’s film or game because many of these productions contain content that would be of no interest to children.

The content is very mild in impact.

"PG" rating used for video games PG (Parental Guidance) – These films and computer games contain material that may confuse or upset young children. G8+ was used for computer games.

The content is mild in impact.

"M" rating used for video games M (Mature) – These films and computer games contain material that requires a mature perspective. Children under 15 may still legally access the material. This was formerly M15+.

The content is moderate in impact.

Note that the classifications above this point are advisory in nature only -- they are not legally binding. By contrast, the classifications below are legally restricted -- i.e., it is illegal to sell or exhibit materials so classified to a person younger than the respective age limit. Cinemas are required to enforce these classifications, such as requiring a person to show proof of their age before allowing them to watch these films.
"MA15+" rating used for video games MA15+ (Mature Accompanied) – Unsuitable for people under 15 years. People under 15 must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian for the duration of the film.

People under 15 are not permitted to hire or buy films or computer games classified MA15+ unless they are in a company of a parent or adult guardian.

The content is strong in impact.

R18+ (Small) R18+ (Restricted) – Unsuitable for minors to see. People under 18 cannot see these films or buy or rent them.

The content is high in impact.

Note: Video games which exceed the impact of what the R18+ rating allows are refused classification (RC). Games refused classification can be censored and resubmitted by their developers to gain an R18+ rating.
X18+ (Small) X18+ (Restricted) – A special restriction for adult content.

The content is sexually explicit/pornographic.

Films rated X18+ are currently only legally available for purchase in the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory. However, importing X18+ material to the Australian states is legal, as the consitution does not allow import restrictions between the states.

Exhibition or sale of these films to minors is illegal, and carries a maximum penalty of $5,500.

Refused Classification (RC) Films which are more violent and/or sexually explicit than what the R18+ or X18+ ratings allow are Refused Classification by the OFLC. The reasons why a film may be refused classification include, in accordance with the Film section of the National Classification Board:
  • 1(a). Depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified.
  • (b) Depict in a way that is likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult, a child who is, or who appears to be, under 18 (whether or not engaged in sexual activity).
  • (c) Promote, incite or instruct in matters of crime or violence.

Film classification is mandatory, and movies that are refused classification by the OFLC are banned for sale, hire, public exhibition or importation into Australia. It is legal to possess RC material in most areas. However, if the material contains illegal content (eg. child pornography) then it is illegal to possess. Possession of RC material is explicitly forbidden in Western Australia. It is also illegal to possess RC material in prescribed areas of the Northern Territory.

Previous Video Game Ratings[edit]

These ratings are still shown on some older video games that are still on sale in Australia

OFLC Rating: G (General) GGeneral : The G classification is for a general audience.
OFLC Rating: G8+ (General 8+) G8+General for children over 8 years of age: Material classified G8+ may contain material which some children find confusing or upsetting, and may require the guidance of parents or guardians. It is not recommended for viewing by persons under 8 without guidance from parents or guardians. This rating has been retired to PG.
OFLC Rating: M15+ (Mature) M15+Mature: Material classified M15+ is not recommended for persons under 15 years of age. However, there are no legal restrictions on access. This rating has been retired to M.
OFLC Rating: MA15+ (Mature Restricted) MA15+Mature Restricted: Material classified MA15+ is considered unsuitable for persons under 15 years of age. It is a legally restricted category. If your children are under 15 they cannot buy or hire an MA15+ computer game unless accompanied by a parent or adult guardian.