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reviewing decisions

For distributers and others with a special interest

If you disagree with the classification assigned to a publication, such as a film or a book, you can apply to have the publication reviewed by the Film and Literature Board of Review. The Board of Review is an independent appeals body administered by the Department of Internal Affairs.

If you are a member of the public with no special interest in a publication, please see the Reviews page in the Public section of our website.

The following people have an automatic right to apply for a publication’s review by the Board:

  • the person who submitted the publication to the Classification Office
  • the labelling body
  • any party to court proceedings (if a publication has been referred to the Classification Office by a court)
  • the owner, maker, publisher, or authorised distributer of the publication

The Classification Office publishes a monthly List of Decisions by the 10th working day of each month. The List of Decisions contains a full record of classification decisions made in the preceeding month.

If you have an automatic right to a apply for a review, as above, applications should be made to the Secretary of Internal Affairs, and must be received within 30 working days of the publication of the List of Decisions in which the decision appears.

Your submission should include:

  • a copy of the publication you want to have reviewed
  • a submission form and the appropriate fee (available from Internal Affairs)

The Board of Review will review the publication against the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993; it will not review the decision made by the Classification Office. The Board will then issue a new decision which replaces the decision of the Classification Office.

You can contact the Board of Review via email at

Getting a publication reconsidered

You can apply to have a publication reconsidered by the Classification Office under section 42 of the Act if:

  • the publication was classified three or more years ago; or
  • it has been substantially altered since the original classification decision; or
  • you can satisfy the Chief Censor that there are special circumstances that justify reconsideration of the decision.

In most cases, you will need the permission of the Chief Censor to make an application.

Your application should include:

  • a copy of the publication to be reconsidered
  • any advertising material associated with the publication
  • an application form (PDF v6.0, 167kb) and the correct fee
  • a covering letter (optional) outlining:
    - why you want the publication reconsidered
    - how the film has been altered if applicable
    - any special circumstances justifying reconsideration

If you are not sure whether a publication has been classified, or are unsure of the classification date, you can check the Office's Register of Classification Decisions, or contact the Information Unit.




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