Published: 21st April 2010

BBFC Introducing Pre-booking Express Service - 24 Hour Turnaround


I am pleased to announce a new service to our video customers. Pre-Booking Express (PBE) is a fast-track classification system for video submissions which goes live on Tuesday 4 May 2010. It enables you to get a category decision within 24 hours of delivering the submission to us.

The home entertainment and online digital delivery sectors have indicated to us that it would be extremely useful if we could offer a specific service providing rapid turnaround for works which have a very short lead time. In general, such short lead times are planned rather than accidental: the distributor knows that the content will be ready on a particular date in the future but needs to get a classification outcome shortly after that date. PBE will also help on those occasions where you require a last-minute urgent turnaround on a title. In either situation, therefore, we think that PBE will prove a very useful service. PBE does attract a slightly higher fee than the norm, due to the higher administrative costs involved. The running time you supply us with at the booking stage will be rounded up to the nearest 15 mins. (or to 5 mins. for works with a running time of less than 5 mins.). This rounded up running time is referred to as 'booked time'. The fee will be based on the booked time, and a rate of standard tariff + 10% will apply. For the past few months we have been trialling PBE, and it has proved to be a success. We are therefore able to offer PBE to all video distributors from 4 May 2010.


Why does PBE cost more?

The increased fee reflects the additional work we do to ensure that your submission receives its category decision within the extra-fast timeframe. PBE utilises a workflow stream radically different than the standard process, and as it is the only classification process in which you will know in advance when you will receive your category decision, administrative costs are higher than for other submissions.

Why are certain types of submission not allowed?

We want to make sure, as far as possible, that every work submitted under the PBE service is passed within the published turnaround times. PBE submissions are fast-tracked at every stage of the process right up to the point we deliver the category decision and register number to you. This means that the category decision has to be straightforward. In order to minimise the risk to you of not receiving the category when you thought you would, we have issued guidance (see the attached documents) designed to help you determine whether your work would be suitable for the service.

Why would a PBE work be disqualified from the service while still in progress?

Until our Examiners have completed a viewing, we can never know whether a particular work will contain issues that make the category decision difficult to arrive at. If a submission has to drop out of the service, we will let you know as soon as this comes to light. The attached 'guidance' document gives full information on how such instances are handled. The vast majority of our submissions are passed without any issues whatsoever, so it is only a small percentage of works which we can't handle under PBE.

I'd like to use PBE, but I see that you have to be on the extranet. How do I join?

Simply contact and they will set things up for you.

If I don't use the PBE service, will my submissions go through the BBFC more slowly than usual?

No. PBE submissions are viewed primarily by senior Examining staff, whose viewing hours typically operate outside those for standard submissions. One of our main objectives in the PBE trial was to develop a process that would also maintain the standard workflow and turnaround times for all other submissions, and we have achieved this.