Identifying Film Classification Symbols

Most countries which sell film (on any type of media) have a classification system. Usually printed on the release, the classification recommends the suitable age of the viewer - and in some countries the classification is used to control the sale of the film.

This wiki page is here to help you understand these classifications and input them into the database in a correct manner.

Find Symbols by Country

  • Australia (CB)
  • Britain (BBFC)
  • Canada (CHVRS)
  • Denmark (MCCYP)
  • England (BBFC)
  • Finland (VET, MEKU)
  • France (CNC)
  • Germany (FSK)
  • Hungary (NMHH)
  • Ireland (IFCO)
  • Netherlands (NICAM)
  • New Zealand (OFLC)
  • Northern Ireland (IFCO)
  • Norway (NMA)
  • Scotland (BBFC)
  • Singapore (BFC)
  • South Africa (FPB)
  • South Korea (KMRB)
  • Switzerland (SVV)
  • United States of America/USA (MPAA)
  • Wales (BBFC)

How to Use This Guide

Classifications are grouped by the organization who assign the classifications. Under this they are then grouped with the current classifications first, and then historical classifications.

The list is A-Z by organization. If you need to find a classification for a particular country use the Find function in your web browser (CTRL+F for Windows).

The descriptions given here for each classification have been interpreted or directly copied from the official website or Wikipedia article.

Abbreviations Used In This Guide

AKA = Also Known As. Term used to provide the other names of an organisation
#yo = Years Old. Term is used with a number to indicate age. For example 4yo + would be read as 4 years old or more.


Australian Classification Board (CB)

Established 1995
Country Australia
Website www.classification.gov.au
The CB is the organization responsible for film classification in Australia.

Current Classifications

Logo Name Description
G General (G) Suitable for everyone.
PG Parental Guidance (PG) Suitable for all but advised for persons 15yo or younger to view with a parent.
M Mature (M) Suitable for persons 15yo +. Legal access to persons under the advised age.
MA15+ Mature Accompanied (MA 15+) Suitable for persons 15 yo+. Persons under the advised age are not legally allowed to have access to material in this classification.
R18+ Restricted (R 18+) Restricted to persons 18yo + ("adults").
X18+ Restricted (X 18+) Restricted to persons 18yo + ("adults"). Used for adult material only.
CTC Check the classification Pending description

Board of Film Censors (BFC)

Established 1991
Country Singapore (新加坡共和国, சிங்கப்பூர் குடியசு)
Website www.mda.gov.sg
The BFC is the organization responsible for film classification in Singapore.

Current Classifications

Logo Name Description
G General (G) Suitable for all ages.
PG Parental Guidance (PG) Suitable for all but parents should guide their young.
PG-13 Parental Guidance 13 (PG 13) Suitable for persons aged 13yo + but parental guidance is advised for children below 13yo.
NC-16 No Children Under 16 (NC16) Suitable for persons aged 16yo +.
M18 Mature 18 (M18) Suitable for persons aged 18yo +.
R21 Restricted 21 (R21) Suitable for adults aged 21yo +.

British Board of Film Classification (BBFC)

AKA British Board of Film Censors [pre-1985]
Established 1912
Country Britain (England, Scotland, Wales)
Website www.bbfc.co.uk
The BBFC is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to classify all film sold in Britain (England, Scotland and Wales). Each release sold in Britain features one of the classifications listed below. Some releases may have the classification certificate appear on the screen before the feature plays. During the 1990s some video tapes (usually rental) would have a short film before the feature explaining the different classification types. Currently on releases a reference code is printed underneath the classification certificate that appears on the media itself (i.e. the disc face or the cassette tape label). This reference code is usually always prefixed VFC or VFD and then followed by a 5-digit number.

Current Classifications

Logo Name Description
Exempt Exempt (E) Film is exempt from classification. Usually reserved for film that is purely factual. However this classification is not controlled and film can be produced without this symbol appearing on the release.
Universal Universal (U) Film is suitable for all ages (4yo +)
Parental Guidance Parental Guidance (PG) Film is suitable for all ages, but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children. Should not disturb children 8yo +. May contain mild language and sex/drug references. May contain moderate violence if justified by context.
12A 12A Films suitable for children of 12 yo. If the child is under 12 yo, they must be accompanied by an adult. Films can contain mature themes, discrimination, soft drugs, infrequent strong language, very strong language (as of 2015), moderate violence, sex references and nudity. Classification was introduced in 2002.
12 12 Film is suitable for children 12yo +. Applicable from August 1989 to 2002 for cinema releases and since 1994 for home media.
15 15 Film is suitable for persons 15yo +. Films can contain adult themes, hard drugs, regular use of foul language and limited use of very strong language, strong violence and strong sex references, and nudity without graphic detail.
18 18 Film is suitable for persons 18yo +. Films can contain an unlimited amount of foul language, hard drugs allowed, explicit sex references and detailed sexual activity. Very strong, gory and/or sadistic violence is usually permitted.
R18 Restricted 18 Classification usually reserved for adult film (pornography). Film usually contains hard-core pornography, defined as material intended for sexual stimulation.

Historical Classifications

Logo Name Years Description
Universal Universal (U) 1912-70 Suitable for children
Adult Adult (A) 1912-70 Suitable for adults.
Horrific Horrific (H) 1932-51 Suitable for persons 16yo +
X X 1951-70 Suitable for persons 16yo +. Replaced the Horrific classification.
Universal Universal (U) 1970-82 Suitable for children.
Advisory Advisory (A) 1970-82 Children 5yo + admitted, but not recommended for children under 14 yo.
AA AA 1970-82 Suitable for persons 14yo +.
X X 1970-82 Suitable for persons 18yo +.
Universal Universal (U) 1982-85 Suitable for all.
Parental Guidance Parental Guidance (PG) 1982-85 General viewing, some scenes may be unsuitable for young children.
15 15 1982-85 Suitable for persons 15yo +.
18 18 1982-85 Suitable for persons 18yo +.
Restricted 18 Restricted 18 1982-85 Suitable for persons 18yo + and only available at licensed cinemas.
Universal Children Universal Children (Uc) 1985-89 Suitable for all, but especially for children to watch alone.
Universal Universal (U) 1985-89 Suitable for all.
Parental Guidance Parental Guidance (PG) 1985-89 General viewing, some scenes may be unstuiable for young children.
15 15 1985-89 Suitable for persons 15yo +.
18 18 1985-89 Suitable for persons 18yo +.
Restricted 18 Restricted 18 1985-89 Suitable for persons 18yo + and only available at licensed cinemas and sex shops.
Universal Children Universal Children (Uc) 1989-2002 Suitable for all, but especially for children to watch alone.
Universal Universal (U) 1989-2002 Suitable for all.
Parental Guidance Parental Guidance (PG) 1989-2002 General viewing, some scenes may be unstuiable for young children.
Parental Guidance 12 Parental Guidance 12 (PG-12) 2001-2002 Non-standard certificate. Suitable for children 12 yo+, however those younger can be admitted with an adult. Read more.
12 12 1994-2002 Suitable for those aged 12yo +.
15 15 1989-2002 Suitable for persons 15yo +.
18 18 1989-2002 Suitable for persons 18yo +.
Restricted 18 Restricted 18 1989-2002 Suitable for persons 18yo + and only available at licensed cinemas and sex shops.
Universal Children Universal Children (Uc) 2002-2009 Suitable for all, but especially for children to watch alone.

Canadian Home Video Rating System (CHVRS)

Established ????
Country Canada
Website www.mpa-canada.org
CHVRS is a voluntary rating classificiation system applied to home video products sold in Canada. The ratings are averaged from participating provincial film boards.

Current Classifications

Logo Name Description
G General (G) Suitable for viewing by all ages
PG Parental Guidance (PG) Suitable for viewing by all ages, however parental guidance is suggested.
14A 14 Adult (14A) Suitable for persons 14yo +. Under this age should view with an adult present. May contain violence, coarse language and/or sexually suggestive scenes.
18A 18 Adult (18A) Suitable for persons 18yo +. Under this age should view with an adult. Will ikely contain explicit violence, frequent coarse language, sexual activity and horror.
R Restricted (R) Restricted viewing to persons 18yo +. Not suitable for minors. Contains frequent use of sexual activity, brutal/graphic violence, intense horror and other disturbing content.
E Exempt (E) Material not subject to classification.

Centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée (CNC)

Established 1946
Country France
Website www.cnc.fr

CNC is a french public institution fitted with legal personality and financial autonomy. According to article 19 of the French cinematographic industry code, the screening of cinematographic films is subject to obtaining a distribution certificate issued by the Ministry of Culture. The certificate is issued on the recommendation of the Board of Film Classification, whose composition and functioning are fixed by order no. 90-174 of 23 February 1990 (amended by order no. 2001-618 of 12 July 2001).

Current Classifications

Logo Name Description
TP Tous Publics Suitable for viewing by all ages
-12 -12 Suitable for persons 12 yo+.
-16 -16 Suitable for persons 16 yo+.
-18 -18 Suitable for persons 18 yo+.

Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle der Filmwirtschaft (FSK)

Established 1949
Country Germany (Deutschland)
Website www.spio.de
FSK is a German motion picture rating system organization run by Spitzenorganisation der Filmwirtschaft (SPIO). There is no legal obligation for approval from the FSK.

Current Classifications

Logo Name Description
FSK 0 FSK 0 Released without age restriction.
FSK 6 FSK 6 Released to age 6yo +.
FSK 12 FSK 12 Released to age 12yo +, or age 6 yo + with parental guidance.
FSK 16 FSK 16 Released to age 16yo +.
FSK 18 FSK 18 Released to age 18yo +.

Historical Classifications

Logo Name Years Description
FSK 0 FSK 0 (o.Al.) 2003-08 Released without age restriction.
FSK 6 FSK 6 (ab 6) 2003-08 Released to age 6yo +.
FSK 12 FSK 12 (ab 12) 2003-08 Released to age 12yo +, or age 6 yo + with parental guidance.
FSK 16 FSK 16 (ab 16) 2003-08 Released to age 16yo +.
FSK 18 FSK 18 (KJ) 2003-08 Released to age 18yo +.
FSK 0 FSK 0 (o.Al.) 2003-08 Released without age restriction.
FSK 6 FSK 6 (ab 6) 2003-08 Released to age 6yo +.
FSK 12 FSK 12 (ab 12) 2003-08 Released to age 12yo +, or age 6 yo + with parental guidance.
FSK 16 FSK 16 (ab 16) 2003-08 Released to age 16yo +.
FSK 18 FSK 18 (KJ) 2003-08 Released to age 18yo +.

Irish Film Classification Office (IFCO)

AKA Film Censors Office Ireland (pre-2008), Oifig Aicmithe Scannán na hÉireann
Established 1923
Country Ireland (Eire)
Website www.ifco.ie
IFCO is the organisation repsonsible for film classification in Ireland.

Current Classifications

Logo Name Description
General General (G) Suitable for all. (Cinematic rating only).
Parental Guidance Parental Guidance (PG) Parents are advised to accompany younger children. (Cinematic rating only).
12A 12A For children 12yo +, younger are to be accompanied by an adult. (Cinematic rating only).
15A 15A For persons 15yo +, younger are to be accompanied by an adult. (Cinematic rating only).
16 16 For persons 16yo +. (Cinematic rating only).
18 18 For persons 18yo +. (Cinematic rating only).
General General (G) Suitable for all.
Parental Guidance Parental Guidance (PG) Parents are advised to accompany younger children.
12 15A For persons 12yo +.
15 15A For persons 15yo +.
18 18 For persons 18yo +.

Historial Classifications

Logo Name Years Description
12RA 12 Responsible Adult (12-RA) For children 12yo +, younger are to be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Korea Media Rating Board (KMRB)

AKA South Korea Art and Culture Ethics Committee [1966-1999], 영상물등급위원회 [Hangul], 映像物等級委員會 [Hanja], Yeongsangmul Deunggeup Wiwonhoe [Revised Romanization], Yŏngsangmul Tŭnggŭp Wiwŏnhoe [McCune-Reischauer] Established 1966
Country South Korea (대한민국, 大韓民國)
Website www.kmrb.or.kr
KMRB is the organization responsible for film classification in South Korea.

Current Classifications

Logo Name Description
Universal Universal (전체관람가) Suitable for all ages.
12 12 (12세이상관람가) Suitable for persons 12yo +, younger to view with a parent/guardian.
15 15 (15세이상관람가) Suitable for persons 15yo +, younger to view with a parent/guardian.
18 18 (청소년관람불가) Suitable only for persons 18yo +.
R Restricted (제한상영가) Film needs a certain restriction in screening or advertisement as it is considered a highly bad influence to universal human dignity, social value, good customs or national emotion due to excessive expression of nudity, violence, social behavior, etc. (based on Article 29, the Act of Promotion of Film and Video)

Media Council for Children and Young People (MCCYP)

Established ?
Country Denmark (Danmark)
Website www.dfi.dk
The MCCYP is the organization responsible for film classification in Denmark.

Current Classifications

Logo Name Description
A A Films that are allowed for all. Films that do not contain any frightening elements. Fast pace, high-pitched sounds and dynamic clipping along with scenes in which parents and children argue are all elements that may frighten children.
7 7 Films that are allowed for all but not recommended children under the age of 7. Films that are considered harmless in full, though, containing a few frightening elements that may seem fightening to young children. E.g. scenes with children or baby animals which suffer, are abandoned or scoulded at often falls under this category whatever the outcome of the film..
11 11 Films that are allowed for children over the age of 11. Films that contain frightening scenes or have a root of eeriness and threat, however, not actual violent scenes or expanded violent elements. Catastrophe and science-fiction films and some action-comedies often fall under this category.
15 15 Films that are allowed for children over the age of 15. Films that contain expanded violence or films with downplayed violence, however, in which the violence is glorified or ligitimised. The degree of realism in the illustrations of violence are vital to whether or not the films gets an age limit of '11' or '15'.

Mediakasvatus- ja kuvaohjelmayksikkö (MEKU)

AKA Enheten för mediefostran och bildprogram
Former name (Finnish) Mediakasvatus- ja kuvaohjelmakeskus (MEKU)
Former name (Swedish) Centralen för mediefostran och bildprogram
Established 2012
Country Finland
Website www.kavi.fi/meku
MEKU is responsibe for the supervision of audiovisual programme provision and the coordination and promotion of national media education, and is subject to the Ministry of Education and Culture. Established in 2012 as the follower of Valtion elokuvatarkastamo (VET). It became part of the Kansallinen audiovisuaalinen instituutti (KAVI) in 2014, and the name was changed from "Mediakasvatus- ja kuvaohjelmakeskus" to "Mediakasvatus- ja kuvaohjelmayksikkö", while the abbreviation and the classifications stayed the same.

Current Classifications

Logo Name Description
S S Suitable for all. (Finnish)
T T Suitable for all. (Swedish)
7 7 Suitable for 7 years and older.
12 12 Suitable for 12 years and older.
16 16 Suitable for 16 years and older.
18 18 Only for adults (18 years and older).
Violence Contains violence.
Sex Contains sex scenes.
Anxiety May cause anxiety.
Drugs Contains drug use.

Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA)

Established 1930
Country United States of America (USA)
Website www.mpaa.org
MPAA is the organisation responsible for film classification in the United States of America.

Current Classifications

Logo Name Description
G General Audiences (G) All ages admitted. Nothing that would offend parents for viewing by children.
PG Parental Guidance (PG) Some material may not be suitable for children.
PG-13 Parental Guidance 13 (PG-13) Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
R Restricted (R) Persons under 17yo require accompanying parent/guardian. Contains some adult material.
NC-17 No Children under 17 (NC-17) Not suitable for persons 17yo or younger. Unsuitable for children.
NR Not Rated (NR) Film that has not yet been given a classification by the MPAA.
UR Unrated (UR) Film that has not yet been given a classification by the MPAA.

Historical Classifications

Logo Name Years Description
M Mature (M) 1968-70 Suitable for mature aduiences. Parental guidance advised.
X Rated-X (X) 1968-90 Suitable for persons 16yo + (1968-70). Raised to 17 (1970-1990)
GP General Parental Guidance (GP) 1970-72 Suitable for all ages, paretnal guidance suggested.

Netherlands Institute for the Classification of Audiovisual Media (NICAM)

AKA Nederlands Instituut voor de Classificatie van Audiovisuele Media, Kijkwijzer
Established 1999
Country Netherlands Website www.kijkwijzer.nl
NICAM is the organisation responsible for film classification in the Netherlands.

Current Classifications

Logo Name Description
AL AL All ages admitted. Not harmful.
6 6 Take care with children under 6.
9 9 Take care with children under 9.
12 12 Take care with children under 12.
16 16 Take care with children under 16.

National Media- and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH)

AKA Nemzeti Média- és Hirközlési Hatóság
Established ?
Country Hungary (Magyarország)
Website www.nmhh.hu
NMHH is the organisation repsonsible for film & tv classifications in Hungary.

Current Classifications

Logo Name Description
Everyone Everyone (Film) The film can be viewed by any age.
6 6 (Film) Film is not recommended for children below the age of 6.
12 12 (Film) Film is not recommended for children below the age of 12. Mostly shows with light sexual content or explicit language use are marked with this. Most films without serious violence or sexual content fit into this category also.
16 16 (Film) Film is not recommended for children below the age of 16. Films displaying violence and obvious sexual content.
18 18 (Film) Film is not recommended for children below the age of 18 (age of becoming adult according to Hungarian laws). Films displaying particular violence and unvarnished sexual content.
AO Adults Only (Film) Film is not recommended for children below the age of 18 (age of becoming adult according to Hungarian laws). Film can be only watched by adults. These can contain intense violence or sexual themes as well.
Children Children-Friendly (TV) The show is intended for children. These programs may be streamed all day, and the display of this sign is optional, most of the TV Channels don't use it at all
Everyone Everyone (TV) The show can be viewed by any age.
6 6 (TV) Show is not recommended for children below the age of 6. Does not contain any violence or sexual content. These programs can be only shown between 5.00 and 21.00.
12 12 (TV) Show is not recommended for children below the age of 12. Mostly shows with light sexual content or explicit language use are marked with this. Most films without serious violence or sexual content fit into this category also. These programs can be only shown between 5.00 and 21.00.
16 16 (TV) Show is not recommended for children below the age of 16. Films displaying violence and obvious sexual content. These programs can be only shown between 21.00 and 5.00.
18 18 (TV) Show is not recommended only for those over 18 (age of becoming adult according to Hungarian laws). Films displaying particular violence and unvarnished sexual content. These programs can be only shown between 22.00 and 5.00

Norwegian Media Authority (NMA)

AKA Medietilsynet, Statens filmtilsyn
Established 2005
Country Norway
Website www.medietilsynet.no
Norwegian Media Authority is the organisation responsible for film classification in Norway. The organization responsible for film rating prior to 2005 was Norwegian Board of Film Classification (Statens filmtilsyn).

Current Classifications

Logo Name Description
A All Ages ???
6 Age 6 ???
9 Age 9 ???
12 Age 12 ???
15 Age 15 ???
18 Age 18 ???.
***

Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC)

AKA Te Tari Whakarōpū Tukuata, Tuhituhinga
Established 1916 (?)
Country New Zealand (NZ)
Website www.classificationoffice.govt.nz
OFLC is the organisation responsible for film and literature classification in New Zealand.

Current Classifications

Logo Name Description
G General (G) Suitable for general audiences.
PG Parental Guidance (PG) Parental guidance recommended for younger viewers.
M Mature (M) Suitable (but not restricted to) mature audiences 16yo +.
R13 Restricted 13 (R13) Restricted to persons 13yo +.
RP13 Restricted Parental 13 (RP 13) Restricted to persons 13yo +. Younger require adult/gaurdian present.
R15 Restricted 15 (R15) Restricted to persons 15yo +.
R16 Restricted 16 (R16) Restricted to persons 16yo +.
RP16 Restricted Parental 16 (RP 16) Restricted to persons 16yo +. Younger require adult/gaurdian present.
R18 Restricted 18 (R18) Restricted to persons 18yo +.
R Restricted (R) Restricted to a particular class of persons, or for particular purposes, or both.

Schweizerischer Video-Verband (SVV)

Established ?
Country Switzerland
Website www.svv-video.ch
The SVV is the organization responsible for home video film classification in Switzerland.

Current Classifications

Logo Name Description
0 0+ Films that are suitable for all.
6 6+ Films that are suitable for persons aged 6 years or more.
7 7+ Films that are suitable for persons aged 7 years or more.
10+ 10+ Films that are suitable for persons aged 10 years or more.
12+ 12+ Films that are suitable for persons aged 12 years or more.
14+ 14+ Films that are suitable for persons aged 14 years or more.
16+ 16+ Films that are suitable for persons aged 16 years or more.
18+ 18+ Films that are suitable for persons aged 18 years or more.

Valtion elokuvatarkastamo (VET)

AKA Statens filmgranskningsbyrå (SFB)
Established 1946
Dissolved 2011
Country Finland
Website www.vet.fi [No longer exists]
Former official institution of the Finnish Ministry of Education responsible for inspecting and rating the content of movies and video games from 1946 to 2011. In the beginning of 2012, the VET/SFB was dissolved and its functions were transferred to Mediakasvatus- ja kuvaohjelmakeskus (MEKU), likewise operating under the Ministry of Education. The "XXXXXXX" is an identification number either issued by VET, or the EAN code of the programme. If the EAN code is used, the name of the company distributing the programme shall be printed instead of the identification number.

Classifications

Logo Name Years Description
K-3 K-3 2004-2012 For all ages.
S/T S/T 2001-2003 For all ages.
K-7 K-7 2001–2011 Only for persons over 7 years.
K-11 K-11 2001–2011 Only for persons over 11 years.
K-13 K-13 2001–2011 Only for persons over 13 years.
K-15 K-15 2001–2011 Only for persons over 15 years.
K-18 K-18 2001–2011 Only for persons over 18 years.
S/T S/T Until 2000 For all ages.
K-XX K-XX Until 2000 Recommended for persons over XX years (anything between 6 and 15).
K-16 K-16 Until 2000 Only for persons over 16 years.