Government makes Video Recordings (Labelling) Regulations 2020 to make changes to requirements for age rating symbols on physical video recordings

According to the Explanatory Memorandum, the instrument amends the Video Recordings (Labelling) Regulations 2012 in order to change the requirements for certain age rating symbols, which must be shown on video recordings and other products containing video works for which a classification certificate has been issued by the video works authority.

The intention is to refresh the statutory requirements as to age-rating symbols by simplifying the way they appear visually, making them more logical and easier to read in order to improve consumer decision-making and increase public protection from inappropriate material.

The instrument makes a number of changes to the 2012 Regulations. It removes the requirement to include the word “restricted” in classification symbols relating to video work that can only be supplied in a licensed sex shop, and reduces the minimum height of the classification symbol required to be shown on physical copies of video recordings from five to four millimetres.

The instrument also amends the 2012 Regulations by replacing the single under 18 age classification symbol, where the relevant age limit was required to be displayed in red on a white background, with two new symbols; one for the rating from ages 15, but under 18, and the other for age ratings below 15, which must be white and set on pink and orange backgrounds, respectively.

The instrument also provides for a six-month transitional period during which products may continue to be labelled or marked in accordance with the existing requirements under the 2012 Regulations, and also provides that for products first placed on the market before the Regulations come into force, the 2012 Regulations will continue to apply.

Video games labelling requirements remain unchanged.

The new Regulations come into force on 6 April 2020. To access the legislation, click here.