Videos, DVDs and computer games

This advice is designed to provide basic guidance to traders. It is not a complete or authoritative statement of the law. Please note that some of the advice we provide to businesses is chargeable.

Video recordings

It is an offence to supply, or offer to supply, a video recording to any person who has not attained the age specified on the recording. This legislation applies to video films, video games, computer games and DVDs.

Video recordings factsheet

Defence

It is a defence to show that you neither knew or had reasonable grounds to believe that: 

  • the classification certificate contained the statement in relation to the specified age, or
  • the person concerned had not attained the specified age
Classification

The PEGI Classifications are now in force. They are for ages 3, 7, 12, 16+, 18.

Videos/DVDs do not have to be classified if the material on the video/DVD, taken as a whole is: 

  • designed to be informative, educational or instructive
  • concerned with sport, music or religion
  • a video game

However, if the material depicts, or is designed to stimulate, human sexual activity or violence towards humans or animals then it is not exempt.

Penalties

There are ranges of penalties contained in the Video Recordings Act. Failure to comply could result in seizure of goods and prosecution.

On conviction for the most serious aspects, eg supplying or possessing for supply, unclassified works or supplying to persons under age, the courts may impose a fine of up to £20,000, up to 2 years imprisonment or both.