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Film Classification and Control of Obscene Articles
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POLICY ON FILM CENSORSHIP

FILM CLASSIFICATION

*Our policy is to allow adults wide access to films while protecting young people under the age of 18 from exposure to material which might be harmful to them.
*Hong Kong has a film classification system under which films are classified into one of the following categories -

Category I suitable for all ages
Category IIA     not suitable for children
Category IIB not suitable for young persons and children
Category III for persons aged 18 or above only

While Categories I, IIA and IIB are advisory in nature, the age restriction (18 or above) for Category III films is strictly enforced.
*The film classification standards are kept in line with community standards by regular surveys of community views and consultation with a statutory panel of advisers comprising over 300 members drawn from a wide cross-section of the community.
*Findings of a survey conducted in 2010-11 indicated that there is general community support and acceptance of the existing film classification system and the existing film classification standards are generally in line with the expectations of the community.

FILM CENSORSHIP

*The Film Censorship Ordinance (the Ordinance) was enacted in 1988. Since then, a three-tier film classification system has been adopted. The Ordinance was amended in November 1995 to provide, among other things, a finer classification by dividing Category II into two sub-categories, namely Category IIA and Category IIB. This is intended to give more information to movie-goers, particularly parents, in the selection of films for themselves or their children.
*Films intended for public exhibition have to be submitted to the Director of Film, Newspaper and Article Administration, who is the Film Censorship Authority (FCA) under the Ordinance, for approval. Films approved for public exhibition are then either classified or exempted from classification. As one of the measures to improve the operation of the Ordinance and make the regulatory regime as user and business friendly as possible, the Ordinance was amended on 17 June 1999 to exempt non-commercial still films (including slides), of a cultural, educational, instructional, promotional or religious nature from the classification requirement.
*Apart from films, packagings of Category III videotapes and laserdiscs and advertising materials of Category III films must be approved by the FCA before they can be published or publicly displayed.
*The decision of the FCA could be reviewed by the Board of Review (Film Censorship) which is a statutory body established under the Ordinance. It comprises nine non-official members and the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development as an ex-officio member.