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How to submit films and games for classification

This page explains how to get New Zealand classifications and classification labels to supply or exhibit films and games (including trailers for films and games) in New Zealand. This information will be useful to film and game distributors and retailers.

Classification labels

Useful links

Exemptions from classification and labelling

Generally speaking, films and restricted games must have a New Zealand classification label before they are supplied or exhibited to the public. There are a few exceptions to this rule: some types of film, and all unrestricted games, are exempt from labelling requirements.

Exemptions from labelling requirements

Submitting your film or game for classification

In order to obtain a classification you need to submit your film or game to the Film and Video Labelling Body (Labelling Body) in Auckland. The flowchart below will indicate whether your film is likely to be rated by the Film and Video Labelling Body, or if it will need to be forwarded by the Labelling Body for classification by the Office of Film and Literature Classification.

To submit your film for rating or classification, please use the Labelling Body's online submission facility.

For more information about classification, rating, and labelling fees read the following information sheet and contact the Labelling Body: 

Fees Information Sheet (PDF, 444KB)

Note that up to 75% of the fee for examination by the Classification Office can be waived if paying the full fee would be 'unfair or unduly burdensome' — when deciding whether to grant a fee waiver, the Classification Office will consider: how wide the distribution of the game is, any commercial gains likely to be derived from its distribution, and other relevant matters.

Remember to submit a good quality copy of the film or game or trailer and include a copy of any advertising material associated with the film or game, for example, posters or slicks.

Film and Video Labelling Body

By courier to:
Level 1
33 Bath Street
Parnell
Auckland 1052

By postal service to:
PO Box 37754
Parnell
Auckland 1151

Phone: +064 09 3613882
Email: enquiries@fvlb.org.nz
Web: fvlb.org.nz

What if the film or game has already been classified in New Zealand?

If the film or game has already been classified in New Zealand, the Labelling Body will issue copies of the label assigned to it.

If the film or game has not previously been classified, the Labelling Body will do one of the following:

Rating typeClassification statusLabelling decision
Unrestricted Australia:
G, PG or M

UK:
U, PG, 12 or 12A
The Labelling Body will assign an equivalent unrestricted rating (G, PG or M) and issue New Zealand labels. (Please note that while the Labelling Body may issue unrestricted labels for games, these are not required by law.)
Restricted Australia:
MA15+, R18+ or X18+

UK:
15, 18, or R18
The Labelling Body will forward your submission to the Classification Office to be examined and classified before labels are issued.The Labelling Body will act as your agent in dealings with the Classification Office.
None Australia:
Not classified

UK:
Not classified
The Labelling Body will examine it. If it does not contain restricted material the Labelling Body will assign a rating (G, PG or M) and issue labels. If it does contain restricted material the Labelling Body will forward your submission to the Classification Office to be examined and classified.

Flowchart showing the submission process for a film, DVD or game

Flowchart showing the section 12 film and game submission process

Flowchart description

Director submits film or game to Film and Video Labelling Body.

Question 1: Has film or game been rated or classified in New Zealand?
Answer: Yes - Labelling Body issues labels.
Answer: No - go to Question 2.

Question 2: Has the film or game been classified as unrestricted in Australia or the UK?
Answer: Yes - Labelling Body assigns equivalent NZ rating (NB: unrestricted games do not need an NZ rating). Labelling Body issues labels.
Answer: No - go to Question 3.

Question 3: Has the film or game been classified as restricted in Australia or the UK?
Answer: No - Labelling Body views the film and either a) Assigns an unrestricted G, PG or M rating. Labelling Body issues labels; or b) Go to Question 3, Answer Yes.
Answer: Yes - Labelling Body forwards film or game to Classification Office for classification. Classification Office directs Labelling Body to issue classification label. Labelling Body issues labels.