The National Media and Communications Authority (“NMHH”) has recently passed a new decree (“the Decree”) on the indication of motion picture ratings in Hungary. The detailed provisions complete the new and stricter regulation of motion picture classification and distribution, in effect since 1 January 2012 as set out in Act II of 2004 on Motion Picture (“Motion Picture Act”). The amendment of the Motion Picture Act and the Decree include the following main changes:

  • Contrarily to the former regulation the new rules provide no exemption from the obligation of filing a copy of the motion picture for review to the NMHH together with the distributor’s request for rating and registration at least 30 days before the start of distribution. The amendment may result in unwanted delays of the motion pictures’ Hungarian premiere as the distributors usually do not receive a digital copy of the film before the international release or they are not allowed to disclose it to any third parties.
  • Similarly to the classification of the programs of media services as set out in Act 185 of 2010 (“Media Act”) there are six categories for motion pictures altogether, including the newly introduced rating: “Not recommended for audiences under the age of six.”
  • The “Under rating” (“Besorolás alatt”) label - which was applied by distributors on movie trailers during promotion before the official classification of the film - may not be used anymore. Instead, distributors may request a preliminary rating (“előzetes jelzés”) from the NMHH which serves as a separate rating for movie trailers valid only until the definitive rating of the film. The preliminary rating may be recognized by the rating sign which applies a broken line instead of the continuous circle of the definitive ratings. Save for the dedicated, non-advertising preview programs in linear media services, no trailer may be showcased before the NMHH adopts a resolution at least on preliminary rating.
  • The rules on indication of ratings are now applicable for all advertisements in any form and all communications (including non-promotional notices) of the motion picture, except those published more than 60 days prior to distribution.
  • Breach of the new regulations may result in serious fines imposed by the NMHH in the amount of up to HUF 3,000,000 (approximately EUR 10,000).

Law: Act No. 2 of 2004 on Motion Picture and Decree No. 10/2012 (III. 28.) of the National Media and Communications Authority on the terms of motion picture ratings labelling and the methods of indication of the rating categories, and on the establishment of the film production budget to be considered for state subsidy.