Under the Video Recordings Act 1984, video material in physical formats (DVD, Blu-ray discs etc) must be classified. Thus for example feature films and TV dramas on DVD carry the familiar British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) ‘U’, ‘PG’, ‘12’, ‘15’ or ‘18’ age symbols on their packaging and it is an offence to sell products rated ’12’ or above to anyone not meeting the age requirement.
However, many products which are primarily about music, sports, religion and education are exempt from this requirement. Following a full public consultation, Government announced that it would legislate so that music, sports, religion and education products will have to be BBFC classified in future if they contain material unsuitable for younger children.
This will ensure that children are better protected from inappropriate material and consumers – especially parents - can make more informed purchasing and viewing decisions. Music, sports, religious and educational video works which are suitable for children younger than 12 (ie. which would be rated BBFC ‘U’ or ‘PG’) will remain exempt from classification.
Draft Video Recordings Act (Exempted Video Works) Regulations 2014 to implement these plans are now published and we ask for any comments on these to be sent to DCMS by 31 January 2014.