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DVD/Blu-ray packaging

Under section 13 of the Video Recordings Act 1984 (VRA) it is an offence to supply or offer to supply a video recording not complying with the Video Recordings (labelling) regulations 2012.

When do I need to submit my packaging?

The Video Packaging Review Committee (VPRC) is a voluntary scheme of self-regulation for the sleeves of DVDs/Blu-rays. The VPRC’s objective is to prevent offence to members of the public caused by explicitly violent or sexual imagery being displayed in public places on the covers of videos and DVDs. It also checks that submitted video packaging complies with relevant legislation regarding the display of classifications.

A customer submitting content to us for the first time is automatically entered into the scheme. They may choose to withdraw from it at any time. Video works submitted by members of the scheme are not classified until the packaging is approved by the VPRC, or the customer sends notification in writing of their wish to opt out of the scheme. Approved packaging carries the VPRC logo.

Customers wishing to opt out of the VPRC scheme should email helpline@bbfc.co.uk.

How do I submit?

In order to submit packaging please make an entry on our extranet service.  

If you do not have an account you may request one here.

What can/can't I submit?

Packaging submissions can be uploaded directly to us during your online submission. The artwork should be actual size when set to 100% and should be submitted in PDF format.  We can no longer accept hard copy proofs or sleeves.

How much does it cost?

Details of fees are available here.

Is there anything else I need to consider?

It is essential that the packaging is designed in accordance with the Video Recordings (Labelling) Regulations 2012. We offer further information here but recommend you obtain your own legal advice regarding these Regulations.

It is not necessary to submit packaging for VPRC approval where the key art, key text and display of classification symbols and statements required by the labelling regulations remains unchanged from a previously approved version, provided the following course of action is followed:

The rights holder can show from their records that packaging has previously been approved and email helpline@bbfc.co.uk to this effect. If we do not receive such notification via email, we will assume that the DVD/Blu-ray is still pending packaging approval and no final age rating will be issued.

If the final age rating of the DVD/Blu-ray is not yet known then the most likely category should be represented and then changed once the content is classified.

You can contact us to obtain appropriate age rating symbols and templates.

All enquiries should be sent to helpline@bbfc.co.uk.

VPRC general guidelines

Legality

Packaging must conform to the requirements of the law, including the Video Recordings (Labelling) Regulations 2012, and should not encourage illegal activity.

Decency

Questions of taste and decency are those of propriety, or respect for what might be generally held to be appropriate in a given situation. In the case of video packaging, the Committee will have regard to the fact that it will be seen in shops, public places to which children have access. Packaging likely to cause serious or widespread offence is unlikely to be approved. Some allowance will be given according to genre, classification category and appeal.

Honesty

Packaging must not exploit the credulity, lack of knowledge or inexperience of consumers e.g. by leading the consumer to expect a product which is very different to the one being offered.

Truthfulness

Packaging must not mislead through inaccuracy, ambiguity, exaggeration, omission or otherwise. For example, a film may not be advertised as ‘uncut’ if in fact it is not. Certain licence is extended to copy where it is clear that the facts are being comically distorted and no misunderstanding could therefore exist.

Safety

Packaging must not condone or encourage unsafe practices.

Anti-social Behaviour

Packaging must not condone or provoke violence or anti-social behaviour.

With these broad definitions in mind there follows a list of specific areas which should either be avoided (especially in works aimed at children) or treated with caution:-

Areas to avoid or to treat with care

Sexual violence and threats of sexual violence

  • Juxtaposition of nudity and violence
  • Strong and realistic threats to defenceless victims
  • Torture
  • Excessive gore
  • Details of strong violence
  • Excessive blood – especially on real, contemporary weapons
  • Glamorisationof real, contemporary weapons
  • Overt sexual activity – including clear suggestion of genital/anal sex
  • Vulgar nudity
  • Strong sexual references
  • Text that promises brutality, torture, sexual violence, or humiliation
  • This is not an exhaustive list.

The VPRC will take into account the fact that each item of packaging is a separate entity and therefore has a separate context. Some allowance will be given according to the genre, classification category and appeal of the work.

The overall impression of a video sleeve is also important and the following factors should be borne in mind -

  • Size of image
  • Number of times an image is repeated
  • Combination of images
  • Combination of images and text

Appeals procedure

The VPRC is willing to consider appeals against its decisions. Requests for appeal should be addressed to helpline@bbfc.co.uk.

 

 

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