All films to be shown to children under the age of 15 at a public screening in Sweden must be classified by the Swedish Media Council.
The age ratings of the Swedish Media Council only apply to public screenings of films. Private parties, for example film clubs, schools, associations etc., do not need to apply for classification. Neither do the ratings apply to home video, video on demand or any other types of distribution apart from public screening. Films do not have to be submitted for classification if they are screened for audiences over the age of 15.
The object of the classification process is to decide whether the film can cause harm to the well-being of children, according to the Swedish legislation “Lag (2010:1882) om åldersgränser för film som ska visas offentligt”. Harm to the well-being includes emotions such as fear, horror, discomfort and/or confusion.
The age ratings are “all ages”, 7, 11 and 15. The ratings are based on whether a film can cause harm to the well-being of children. The ratings are not recommendations. They do not reflect whether the film is appropriate or suitable for a certain age group. Religious, political or moral attitudes are not taken into account when deciding the age ratings.
Children under the age of 7, who are accompanied by an adult (a person aged 18 or over), are admitted to films that have been approved for children from the age of 7; children from the age of 7, who are accompanied by an adult, are admitted to films that have been approved for children from the age of 11. This rule, however, does not apply to the 15 rating.
If a distributor is dissatisfied with a rating decision, s/he can appeal to the administrative court of appeal. The appeal is to be submitted to The Swedish Media Council within three weeks of the rating decision.
All films that have been classified since January 1st 1956 are searchable in the agency's film database.