Australian Classification Board

From Audiovisual Identity Database


The Australian Classification Board (shortened as ACB) is a statutory 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.


Bumper: We see the film's name at the top in capital letters, then the film's certificate, and finally a description of the certificate.

Certification Symbols:

  • G - General. (formerly For General Exhibition.) Contains material intended for general viewing. G does not necessarily designate a children’s film or game. The content is very mild in impact.
  • PG - Parental guidance suggested. Contains material that young children may find confusing or upsetting, and may require parental supervision. The content is mild in impact.
  • M - Recommended for mature audiences. (formerly For mature audiences; the highest unrestricted rating.) Contains material that may require a mature perspective but is not deemed too strong for younger viewers. The content is moderate in impact.
  • MA15+ - Not suitable for most people under 15. Under 15s must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. Contains material that is considered unsuitable for exhibition by persons under the age of 15. People under 15 may only legally purchase, rent, exhibit or view MA15+ rated content under the supervision of an adult guardian. The content is strong in impact.
  • R18+ - Restricted to 18 and over. Contains material that is considered unsuitable for exhibition by persons under the age of 18. People under 18 may not legally buy, rent, exhibit or view R18+ classified content. The content is very strong in impact.
  • X18+ - Same as R18+. People under 18 may not buy, rent, exhibit or view these films. The exhibition or sale of these films to people under the age of 18 years is a criminal offence carrying a maximum fine of $5,500. This rating applies to films with explicit content only. Films classified as X18+ are banned (via state government legislation) from being sold or rented in all Australian states and are only legally available in the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory. Importing X18+ material from these territories to any of the Australian states is legal (as the Australian Constitution forbids any restrictions on trade between the states and territories). Does not exist for video games.

Trivia: The censors also have RC (Refused Classification), specially appended to content that contains material that is considered to offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that it should not be classified. This indicates a ban. The content is very high in impact. Films and games that exceed the R18+ and X18+ ratings are Refused Classification by the ACB.

Variant: On most G-rated films in Australia, there is no description of that certificate at all. However, The Dark Crystal and Space Chimps used the description of the G rating.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Common. Seen at the start of most films and VHS tapes and on packaging.

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