Video ratings

We assign age ratings to video content released on physical media (e.g. DVD/Blu-ray) under the Video Recordings Act 1984 (VRA).

When do I need to get an age rating for my content?

Video content (films, TV programmes, VAM/bonus material, trailers, adverts, public information/campaigning films, menus and any other video content) to be released in the UK usually needs a BBFC VRA age rating.

Video distributors may claim exemption for certain video content that is 'designed to inform, educate or instruct' or is ‘concerned with sport, religion or music', as long as it doesn’t contain any of the content issues listed in the Video Recordings Act 1984 (Exempted Video Works) Regulations 2014, as each of these issues mean the content loses any exemption and needs a BBFC rating. The effect of these Regulations is that if content is likely to be classified above PG it is not exempt.

Distributors should assess each different version of a piece of content (in terms of different visuals and/or different sound, including audio commentaries), as each version will require its own BBFC VRA certificate unless the content is exempt. Please see our further advice regarding different audio, language and subtitle tracks.

All videos issued with an age rating under the VRA are automatically issued with a digital age rating that can be used on digital video services licensed by the BBFC.

What can/can't I submit?

You can submit video to us by digital file delivery or finished check discs and single-element linear recordings on DVD or Blu-ray. Please note the content needs to be the same as the version that will be released to the public. All content submitted to us for classification therefore needs to be the full, final edit in the correct screen ratio with final sound mix.

Historic BBFC 'black cards' or ratings cards issued by another regulator or classification body should be removed prior to submission. This is to avoid any potential misunderstanding or conflict with the current BBFC classification.

The only exception whereby historic BBFC rating cards or non-BBFC rating cards/symbols may appear is when they are part of a VAM/bonus material submission for home entertainment release. Any trailers intended for promotional use on packaged media content or online must not carry a historic or non-BBFC rating card or symbol, and must be submitted as a 'Trailer' rather than 'Bonus Material'.

Please see our Technical Requirements for information on what file formats we accept.

How do I submit?

In order to submit content please make an entry on our client portal, Horizon.

If you do not have an account please complete our Customer Account Request form.

How much does it cost?

Please see our Fee Tariff for a full list of costs.

Is there anything else I need to consider?

  • If your content has received an age rating in the past, or you have both a 2D and a 3D version that need to be rated then we may be able to reissue an age rating.  If the new version is the same then it can be processed for a reduced fee.  You can request a reissue when making your submission in Horizon.
  • If a video version of a previously classified theatrical feature is found to be identical once it has been examined it will be charged at a reduced rate.  Please note this does not apply to audio commentaries, audio descriptive content or those submited alongside other DVD extras.  
  • We can also give you advice as to what rating an unfinished piece of content may receive. 

If you have not previously submitted content for a VRA age rating you will be entered into the Video Packaging Review Committee scheme. This is a voluntary scheme of self-regulation by the industry which regulates the sleeves of packaged media.

Customers wishing to opt out of the scheme should get in touch with the team.

Please note that video content submitted by members of the scheme are not officially rated until the packaging has been approved by the VPRC.