British Board of Film Classification

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Labelling regulations

How to label your product - Labelling regulations advice

The Video Recordings (Labelling) Regulations 2012 state the letter or number (U, PG, 12, 15, 18, R18) within the triangle, circle or square must be no less than 5mm in size.  The size refers to the letter or number and does not include any shadow or other design elements. For example:

For DVD/Blu-ray packaging the symbol must be shown on one of the largest faces (normally front cover) and on another of the largest faces or another face which includes the explanatory statement within a rectangle (normally back cover).

The unique registration number (comprising the BBFC classified title, register number and category symbol) which is issued by the BBFC to the UK rights holder must also appear on face label of the DVD/Blu-ray. 

On one of the faces of the packaging, the category symbol must appear with the appropriate explanatory statement within a single rectangular shaped frame on a white background.

 

For double-sided discs, the symbol can be replaced with ‘UK – U/PG/12/15/18/R18′ on one face of the disc and can be a minimum height of 2mm in black and white. This height amendment applies to the double-sided disc alone and not the packaging in which it is contained which must still comply with the 2012 Regulations.

Guidance for packaging

UK and Republic of Ireland Dual Category Symbols

UK and Republic of Ireland category symbols may appear together on external packaging only in cases where the certificates awarded by the BBFC and IFCO are identical (i.e. works classified ‘PG’, ’12′, ’15′ or ’18′ by both bodies). In the case of works classified ‘U’ by the BBFC and ‘G’ by IFCO (both categories having the same basic meaning), the ‘U’ and ‘G’ may also be used alongside one another.

On the reverse of the packaging, the IFCO category symbol and explanatory statement must not be included within the same box as the BBFC category symbol and explanatory statement (eg “Suitable for persons of 18 years and over. Not to be supplied to any person below that age”). The BBFC and IFCO category symbols and their explanatory statements must appear separately and in full.

Added value material at a higher classification than feature

Occasionally, DVDs and Blu-rays may contain added value material which is classified at a category higher than the main feature. For instance, a director’s commentary or blooper reel may contain use of strong language which attracts a ‘15’ category even though the main feature is a ‘PG’ film with no strong language.

In such circumstances the BBFCinsight written for the main feature will not accurately reflect the content of the video recording as a whole. Distributors can request combined BBFCinsight for the feature and the value added material by e-mailing insight@bbfc.co.uk.

Products Containing More Than One Work

For products containing more than one work, the labelling must relate to the work that carries the most restrictive classification. If, for example, the work that carries the most restrictive classification is a piece of value added material, it is this work that determines the labelling of the product.

Where two or more works of equal importance appear on the recording, the label should carry the unique title of the work most prominently advertised on the front of the case or cover, on the understanding that this work will also carry the most restrictive classification. It is an offence under the Trade Descriptions Act to display a category symbol on the label or packaging which does not apply to the title most prominently carried near it, since this constitutes a misleading trade description.

In the case of anthologies, where no work is more prominently advertised on the cover than any other, the unique title of any work on the cover may be displayed on the label provided that this work carries the most restrictive classification.

If no individual work in an anthology is advertised on the front cover, the anthology must display on the label the unique title of at least one work with the most restrictive classification.

 

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