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Tips for Christmas shopping: films, DVDs & games

Posted on 06 December 2013 by Michelle

It's that time of year when the tills are ringing with the sales of DVDs and games, and summer blockbusters are being released at the cinemas. It's also a time of year when we get questions about what the classification labels mean, and what the rules around enforcing them are.

To make the whole process a lot easier for everyone involved, here are a few tips:

If you're a customer buying a restricted DVD or game:

You should know that it's against the law for a store to sell a restricted DVD or game to an underage person. It's also against the law for a store to sell a restricted DVD or game to an adult if it's clear that the adult is getting it for someone who's underage.

Take a look at the information for parents and caregivers on our website if you want to know more.

If you're a retailer selling DVDs or games:

Staff need to know what the classifications mean. This includes understanding that the 'M' classification is not a restriction, and anyone of any age can purchase an 'M' DVD or game. Restrictions need to be enforced, and the store will be liable if restricted items are sold to underage people. At the same time, we advise a commonsense approach. If your store has a photo-ID policy for teenagers buying restricted items, this should be made clear to customers so it's easy for them to comply.

Have at look at our information for buying and selling DVDs and games on our website.

If you're a teenager buying a DVD or game, or going to the movies:

It's against the law for cinemas to let underage people see restricted movies. Cinemas often have a photo-ID policy, so remember to take your ID with you if you're going to see a restricted film. If you don't have any, maybe give them a call and find out what other forms of ID they'll accept.

Check out the FAQs on our student site.

If you have any questions, we're here to help!

You can phone us on 0508 236 767 or email us, Please note that the Classification Office will be closed from 24 December 2013 to 6 January 2014.

Michelle works in the Information Unit at the NZ Office of Film and Literature Classification. Her views do not represent those of the Chief Censor or of the Classification Office. The Information Unit provides information to other staff, to the public, and to industry members - they are not involved in assigning classifications. Keep up with our blog posts by following us on Facebook and Twitter.

Child in a video store


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