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Policy on film classification and censorship
The policy of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government (the Government) on film classification and censorship is to allow adults wide access to films, while protecting young people under the age of 18 fromexposure 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.
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 Film Censorship Ordinance (FCO) (Cap. 392), for approval. Films approved for public exhibition are either classified or exempted from classification.
Apart from films, the packaging of physical storage medium for Category III films (such as 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 FCO.