Under the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993 all DVDs which are supplied to the public in New Zealand must carry New Zealand classification labels. If the titles you wish to import have already been classified in New Zealand, you will need to contact the Film and Video Labelling Body to obtain the correct labels.
The Labelling Body will be able to provide you with information about the verification costs and processes involved in applying for labels.
You can check to see if the titles you wish to import have already been classified in New Zealand by searching the NZ Censorship Decisions Database, available on the homepage of our website. It is important to check whether the DVD has had excisions (cuts) made to it in New Zealand, and whether the running time on your DVD matches the time listed on our database. Classifications apply only to identical copies of the DVD.
If the DVDs you wish to import have not previously been classified in New Zealand, you will need to submit them to the Film and Video Labelling Body for classification. The Film and Video Labelling Body is the channel through which DVDs which may need to be restricted or banned come to the Office of Film and Literature Classification. The DVD will then be classified by the Office using the classification criteria set out in section 3 of the Act. An information sheet about the fees for classification is available in the downloads section of this website.
As New Zealand’s classification and censorship law is different from laws in other countries, it is important to take note of what the Act covers, in particular section 3(2) of the Act. This section establishes that publications (DVDs) which promote or support, or which tend to promote or support certain acts are objectionable (banned) and must not be imported into New Zealand.
Classifications for restricted material, such as DVDs with sexually explicit content, may include display conditions. For example, a classification decision of 'approved' for a DVD slick (i.e. the case for the DVD) may include a requirement that it is kept in a seperate room.
Inspectors from the Censorship Compliance Unit periodically visit video shops and retailers to ensure compliance with the law. For more information on the enforcement of censorship law go to the enforcement page on the censorship section of the website.