IFCO is responsible for examining and certifying cinema releases and video works (e.g., DVD, Blu-ray) distributed in Ireland. The IFCO website offers a comprehensive database of our classification decisions and provides a resource for the public - parents/guardians in particular - to research the suitability of cinema or home entertainment releases for themselves or their families. We strongly encourage that parents/guardians make informed decisions, using not just the age classification awarded but also the detailed consumer advice available on the website.
Classification decisions are made by the Director of Film Classification who is supported by a team of Assistant Film Classifiers - appointed by the Minister for Justice - in this regard. The classification awarded to any given work is determined by application of the Classification Guidelines with the main issues under consideration being violence, sex, drugs and language. The overall tone and context in which this material is presented will often be the determining factor in the classification awarded. The Director of Film Classification ratifies each decision of the Assistant Classifiers.
IFCO actively encourages feedback from the public and parents/guardians, in particular. One of IFCO’s primary functions is to reflect through its decisions the prevailing values of Irish society and your views help us to achieve that goal. When contacting the office we ask that you do so by email (info@ifco.gov.ie) to assist us in maintaining a complete record of all correspondence.
The 12A and 15A ratings are for cinema releases only. The ‘A’ in these classifications mean that children under those ages may attend such movies at the cinema, but only if accompanied by a parent or guardian. It should be noted that films rated in these categories have been judged suitable for children of 12 and over and 15 and over respectively. The classifications were introduced to empower parents to make their own decisions regarding the suitability of material for their children (who they know best). In such cases, IFCO strongly recommends that parents/guardians make informed decisions by accessing the consumer advice available on this website.
In the first instance, you should establish if the child is accompanied by a parent or other adult, because that would be acceptable in the case of a 12A or 15A rated movie. If they are not, you can bring it to the attention of the cinema management, who should take appropriate action, or you can report it to the Gardaí. You are also welcome to contact us at IFCO and we will follow up appropriately.
IFCO classifies trailers for cinema films and video works. In the cinema, a trailer that has been classified 'Over 18' may only be screened with an 'Over 18' movie; a trailer classified as ’Over 16’ can only be screened with an ‘Over 16’ or 'Over 18' film, a 15A trailer can only be screened with a 15A or higher classification film, and so on. Consideration is given to the fact that parents/guardians are unlikely to have prior knowledge of the content of trailers in advance of their screening. A trailer will often get a lower cert than the movie itself, generally because it has been edited in a way that excludes scenes that may give the movie a higher cert.
Under the Video Recordings Act 1989 video games are exempt from classification unless they are deemed prohibitable under section 3 (1) of the Act. Ireland, along with 15 other European countries, is a member of PEGI, an organization which produces age ratings for video games. You can learn more about this system at www.pegi.info
The classification of online material is not currently within IFCO’s remit. However, some ‘on-demand’ services carry IFCO’s age classifications on a voluntary basis.
All works classified by this office MUST have an IFCO classification sticker on both the box and the individual disc. These are all variations of blue and white. Any product not having these should not be offered for sale/rent to the public.
According to the 1989 Video Recordings Act, works that, taken as a whole are ‘designed to inform, educate or instruct’ or are ‘concerned with religion, music or sport’ may be exempt from classification.
All businesses, whether video stores, supermarkets, shops etc. trading in video works must have a valid license from IFCO. This license should be visible to the customer on the premises.
Bring the matter to the immediate attention of INFACT at 01 818 8125, stating where and from whom it was purchased.
No. Although the prohibition of material remains within IFCO’s remit, today there is a general recognition that, so long as it is within the law, adults should be entitled to decide for themselves what they would like to see when they go to the cinema. The primary emphasis of the Office is on classification not censorship, as well as the protection of children and the promotion of parental responsibility.
If you feel you have been unfairly treated; or you are not satisfied with our decision on your complaint; it is open to you to contact the Office of the Ombudsman. By law the Office of the Ombudsman can examine complaints about everyday administrative activities as well as delays or inaction in dealings with us. The Office of the Ombudsman provides an impartial; independent and free complaints handling service. Contact details are as follows: Office of the Ombudsman 18 Lower Leeson St Dublin 2 Tel: 353 1 6395674 E-mail: ombudsman@ombudsman.gov.ie Website: www.ombudsman.gov.ie
If you are a child or young person under 18 or an adult who knows a child who you feel has been unfairly treated, or you are not satisfied with our decision on your complaint, it is open to you to contact the Ombudsman for Children’s Office. By law the Ombudsman for Children’s Office can investigate complaints about any of our administrative actions or procedures as well as delays or inaction in dealings with us. The Ombudsman for Children provides an impartial, independent and free complaints handling service. Contact details are as follows: Ombudsman for Children’s Office 52-56 Great Strand St Dublin 1 Free Phone: 1800 20 20 40 E-mail: ococomplaint@oco.ie Website: www.oco.ie.