Get your content rated
In BC, all motion pictures must be classified (rated) before being shown in theatres, and all Adult and Restricted DVDs must be submitted for review and decaled before being sold or rented by retailers.
A motion picture may include, but is not limited to:
- a movie or “feature”
- a documentary
- a short film
- a featurette or “sneak preview”
- an encore exhibition of a simultaneous broadcast
- an advertising trailer
If you are already a licensed distributor, access our online submission forms directly.
How to get a rating
Step 1: Become licensed as a distributor
You must be licensed with us as a distributor if you intend to distribute:
- motion pictures to theatres for public exhibition
- Adult or Restricted DVDs to retailers or other distributors
- general release home videos to retailers or other distributors
Step 2: Submit your classification request
We schedule specific dates and times to classify all motion pictures except trailers. We classify trailers on a first-come, first-served basis.
Adult & Restricted
Adult or Restricted DVDs (adult motion pictures or “adult videos”) that are distributed in a physical form (not online/through streaming) must be submitted to our office for review before being sold or rented in BC.
We review submissions within five to seven business days of receiving the screening copies.
The Motion Picture Act (MPA) does not require distributors to get (most) home videos classified. A distributor may choose to submit a home video not captured by the MPA to us for voluntary classification. Distributors of home video may still be subject to compliance with federal laws and/or other provincial laws where the home video is being distributed.
Films eligible for submission under our voluntary home video service include general release motion pictures sold in retail stores or distributed online, and Restricted films that are distributed virtually only (i.e. online or streaming). The retail distribution of an adult film requires classification. If you are distributing a Restricted or Adult film in DVD or another physical form, refer to the information in the “Adult and Restricted” section above.
Submissions are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis, subject to schedule availability. We will apply a G, PG, 14A, 18A or R rating and attach a maximum of two content descriptions from the Canadian Home Video Rating System (CHVRS).
Step 3: Send us a screening copy
Send your DCP, DVD, Blu-ray or online link to:
Consumer Protection BC
#200 – 4946 Canada Way, Burnaby, BC V5G 4H7
Your screening copy must:
- be a clean and finished copy of your motion picture;
- contain no watermarks or timecodes;
- be identical to all copies you intend to distribute in BC; and
- contain all title cards, end credits, cast lists, subtitles, special effects, sound effects, music, etc. that will be present in the final copy.
Step 4: Order copies, decals or certificates
An additional copy fee applies for each copy of a motion picture you distribute to BC theatres (this includes trailers). Your first copy is covered by the initial review fee, which means that copy fees only apply if you are distributing two or more copies of a motion picture in BC.
You must report the number of additional copies (after the first) that you are distributing to BC theatres. If you are unsure whether you need to report additional copies, consider the following:
- How many individual copies of your motion picture are you sending to theatres?
- How many theatres are screening your motion picture at the same time?
When we audit for additional copies, overlapping screenings of the same motion picture are one of the indications that multiple copies have been distributed.
Adult & Restricted
By law, each copy of an Adult or Restricted DVD that you distribute to retailers must have a decal on it. Decal orders typically take one to two business days to process. We can ship your decals to you using a courier service of your choice, but you will be responsible for the shipping fees.
If your Adult DVD is intended for exhibition in a single-seat theatre (booth) you must order a certificate for each location. You may order these certificates when you submit your Adult DVD for review or separately.
Read the Motion Picture Act, section 3(3).
Step 5: Pay your fees
Fees for review and classification, additional copies, decals and certificates are applied and processed separately from licence application fees.
Submit your payment by cheque, credit card, or electronic funds transfer.
When do I pay?
If your distribution licence has a limit of one to six submissions per year, or if there are conditions on the licence, then you may be required to pay by credit card and/or submit your payment before we perform any classification services.
If your distribution licence has no annual submission limit, and no conditions on the licence, we may invoice you for classification services. We issue invoices bi-weekly and each invoice is due two weeks after its invoice date. If your account is being invoiced, you may receive your classification or approval certificate before you receive your invoice.
Step 6: Receive your classification
After we have classified or reviewed your submission we will provide you with a certificate.
We publish classification details on our website for all motion pictures submitted by licensed distributors and classified for theatrical screenings in BC.
We do not post classification information for Adult, Restricted, or general release DVDs intended for retail only.
Distributing to another province?
Learn more about distributing to Manitoba or Saskatchewan.