A Film Distribution Licence is required for individuals and entities distributing films and videos, unless exempted. Please see here for IMDA’s Film Exemption Guidelines. From 1 July 2021, there are two types of Film Distribution Licences for the distribution of films in Singapore:
- Class Licensing for the distribution of films rated G, PG and PG13.
- Film Distribution (Restricted) Licence for the distribution of films rated NC16 and M18.
For the definition of film distribution, please refer to ‘distribute’ under Section 2(1) of the Films Act 1981.
Who is this for?
- Class Licensing for the Distribution of Films Rated G, PG and PG13
Distributors of films that IMDA has rated G, PG, and PG13, are automatically class-licensed. There is no need to apply or register with IMDA for the class licence.
- Film Distribution (Restricted) Licence for the Distribution of Films Rated NC16 and M18*
For distributors of films that IMDA has classified NC16 and M18, you will need to apply for a Film Distribution (Restricted) Licence. You may apply for a 1-year or a 3-year Film Distribution (Restricted) Licence, and each licence covers all distribution points/locations owned by the same business.
*Note: The distribution of films rated R21 is not allowed.
The following activities are exempted from licensing:
A Film Distribution Licence is not required if you engage in any one or more of the following activities exempted under the Films (Licence – Exemption) Notification 2019 and Films (Licence Exemption) (Amendment) Notification 2021:
(i) Importing any film for re-export;
(ii) Importing any video game on behalf of an IMDA licensed distributor of video games (whether these be licensed under Section 7(2) of the Films Act or class licensees);
(iii) Importing of any film (other than video games) on behalf of an IMDA licensed distributor of films (whether these be licensed under Section 7(2) of the Films Act or class licensees);
(iv) Distributing any film for public exhibition in cinemas;
(v) Distributing any exempt films; and
(vi) Distribution of films by supplying, in the course of any business, the contents of the film only by electronic transmission.
From 1 July 2021, IMDA has removed all licence fees and security deposits for film distribution licences:
- Class Licence for distribution of films rated up to PG13 and
- Film Distribution (Restricted) Licence.
How to apply?
1. From 1 July 2021, the distribution of films rated G, PG, and PG13 in Singapore is automatically class licensed. No application or registration is required.
2. The company or business applying for a Film Distribution (Restricted) Licence for the distribution of films rated NC16 and M18 is required:
(a) To be registered with the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA); and
(b) To have obtained prior approval from the relevant authorities (e.g. URA, HDB) for the proposed premises to be used for a film distribution business.
To apply for a new licence:
Step 1: Submit Plan for Distribution of age-restricted films (allow at least 15 working days)
The licence applicant prepares a plan for the distribution of age-restricted films (i.e. films IMDA has rated NC16 and M18), and submits it to IMDA Licensing via firstname.lastname@example.org.
The distribution plan is to be provided on the company’s official business letterhead, and undersigned by the licence applicant. The plan is to address the points listed in this Guide for Distribution Plan - For Film Distribution (Restricted) Licence. (170.37KB)
Step 2: Online Application via GoBusiness (allow 4 working days for the application to be processed)
When IMDA has received the distribution plan and it is in order, we will inform the licence applicant to submit a ‘New’ licence application via GoBusiness. Please attach the finalised distribution plan (in PDF) in the GoBusiness online application form.
Existing licensees offering temporary film distribution:
Existing Film Distribution (Restricted) licensees that intend to distribute films rated up to M18 at temporary places for no more than 1 month can submit an ‘Amend’ licence application via GoBusiness to add the temporary address for IMDA’s prior approval, and apply to amend the licence to remove the temporary address from your licence within 7 days after the temporary distribution event.
Reminder: All films meant for distribution need to be submitted for classification to IMDA, unless they fall into the exemption categories and do not contain impermissible content (please see here for IMDA’s Film Exemption Guidelines).
Please call 1800 478 5478 or email us.
Film Distribution (Restricted) licensee is required to seek IMDA’s prior approval on each new “permanent” or “temporary” distribution point.