Guidelines for the Classification of Publications 2005 - Australian Government

Service summary

You may be required to comply with these guidelines if you intend to make a publication. A publication is any written or pictorial matter that isn't a film, computer game or advertisement of a film or computer game.

There are four types of classifications for publications. These are:

  • Unrestricted
  • Category 1 restricted
  • Category 2 restricted
  • Refused classification (RC).

Certain publications, whether they are locally made or come from overseas, have to be classified before they can be sold, distributed or advertised in Australia. When making its classification decisions, the Board is required to reflect contemporary community standards and must apply criteria which are set out in the National Classification Code (the Code).

The guidelines describe in more detail the scope and limits of material suitable for each classification category.

Please consult the Contact Officer for more information and to ascertain the level of compliance (if any) that may be required.

Service type

Code of Practice

A code of practice can be either a legal requirement or non-legal requirement. Legal codes of practice are defined as a result of legislation. Non-legal codes of practice are defined by industry regulators and bodies.

Administering agency

Department of Communications and the Arts

Act(s) name

Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 (Australian Government)

Regulation(s) name

Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Regulations 2005 (Australian Government)

Contact details

General Enquiries
Department of Communications and the Arts

Operating address:
38 Sydney Avenue
Australian Capital Territory 2603
Mailing address:
GPO BOX 2154
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601


1800 254 649


02 6271 1000

Supporting information


The information contained on the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) web site, or via packages or other sources is intended for general guidance only.

To the full extent permitted by law, the Federal, State, Territory and Local Governments make no representations or warranties (expressed or implied) in relation to the information, including its accuracy, currency or completeness.

The business information provided does not constitute professional or legal advice, nor is the use of any third party resource an endorsement of the information contained, the associated organisation, product or service. It is recommended that you obtain appropriate professional and /or independent legal advice to ensure that the material provided here is relevant to your particular circumstances.

To the full extent permitted by law the Federal, State, Territory and Local Governments, their employees and agents do not accept any liability for any reason, including without limitation, liability in negligence, to any person for the general information which is provided herein, or in respect of anything, including the consequences of anything done, or not done, by any such person in whole or partial reliance upon the information.