To maintain high content standards, a Film Exhibition Licence is required for all entities that publicly exhibit films and videos rated NC16, M18 and R21 (i.e. age-restricted films). The public exhibition of films includes films streamed over the Internet or transmitted via commercial satellite links to a public audience. There are two types of Film Exhibition Licences for the exhibition of films in Singapore adhering to film classification regulations by IMDA:
- Film Exhibition (Restricted) Licence (1-year or 3-years)
- Film Exhibition (Restricted) Licence (Temporary)
A Film Exhibition Licence is not required for exhibition of films and videos classified as G, PG or PG13, or if exempted. Please see here for IMDA’s Film Exemption Guidelines.
For the definition of film exhibition, please refer to ‘exhibit’ under Section 2(1) of the Films Act 1981.
Who is this for?
- Film Exhibition (Restricted) Licence (1-year or 3-years) for the Exhibition of Films Rated NC16, M18 and R21
If you intend to exhibit films that IMDA has classified for age-restricted viewing, i.e. films rated NC16, M18, or R21 to public audience(s) in Singapore, you will need to apply for a 1-year or 3-year Film Exhibition (Restricted) Licence. Each Film Exhibition (Restricted) Licence covers all exhibition points* owned by the same business (i.e. under the same ACRA UEN) registered under it.
- Film Exhibition (Restricted) Licence (Temporary)
If you intend to exhibit films that IMDA has rated NC16, M18, and R21 to the public audience(s) in Singapore on a temporary basis, you will need to apply for a Film Exhibition (Temporary) Licence. Each temporary licence period is for up to 30 days, and it covers all exhibition points*.
*Note: The screening of NC16 and M18 films must be held at enclosed spaces if outdoors; and the screening of R21 films must only be held indoors e.g. cinema theatre.
The following activities are exempted from licensing:
A Film Exhibition 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) Publicly exhibiting films that are broadcast on television (“TV”) services received from free-to-air TV, or subscription nationwide TV using cable or Internet protocol with scheduled programming;
(ii) Publicly exhibiting any exempt films and exempt video games; and
(iii) Publicly exhibiting G, PG, or PG13 films assigned by IMDA under the Films Act.
From 1 July 2021, IMDA has removed all licence fees for film exhibition licences.
1. Film Exhibition (Restricted) Licence (1-year or 3-years)
- Licence Fees: None
- Security Deposit: S$20,000 per licence will have to be furnished via GIRO or a bank guarantee upon IMDA’s licence application approval. The security deposit will be returned upon licence termination, expiry, or after one year of operations if eligible.
2. Film Exhibition (Restricted) Licence (Temporary)
- Licence Fees: None.
- Security Deposit: S$10,000 per exhibition point will have to be furnished via GIRO or a bank guarantee upon IMDA’s licence application approval. The security deposit will be returned upon licence termination or expiry.
- Note: The banker’s guarantee must be issued by any of the financial institutions listed at https://eservices.mas.gov.sg/fid.
How to apply?
1. For Film Exhibition (Restricted) Licence
The company or business applying for a Film Exhibition (Restricted) Licence to exhibit films rated NC16, M18, or R21 must be registered with the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).
To apply for a new Film Exhibition (Restricted) Licence:
Step 1: Submit Exhibition Plan (allow at least 15 working days)
The licence applicant prepares a exhibition plan to describe its plans for the exhibition 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 exhibition plan and its cover letter are to be provided on the company’s official business letterhead and undersigned by the licence applicant. The proposal is to address the points listed in this Guide for Exhibition Plan - For Film Exhibition Licence (179.99KB), which include:
- Film exhibition mechanics – How would you be exhibiting the age-restricted films?
- Age-check mechanisms – How would you conduct age-checks to ensure the films are accessed and viewed by patrons of appropriate age? To describe with reference to a location layout diagram and location map.
Step 2: Online Application via GoBusiness (allow 4 working days for the application to be processed)
When IMDA has received the exhibition plan and it is in good order, we will inform the licence applicant to submit a ‘New’ licence application via GoBusiness. Please attach the finalised exhibition plan (in PDF) in the GoBusiness online application form.
2. For Film Exhibition (Temporary) Licence
The company or business applying for a Film Exhibition (Temporary) Licence to exhibit films rated NC16, M18, or R21 must be registered with the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).
To apply for a Film Exhibition (Temporary) Licence:
Applicants of the temporary licence is to first submit the films for classification to obtain the film ratings, consumer advice, and classification certificate numbers.
- If all films for the intended film exhibition are rated G, PG, or PG13, you are exempted from licensing requirements to screen the films to the public in Singapore.
- If however, any of the films intended for public exhibition is rated NC16, M18, or R21, you will then need to apply for the temporary film exhibition licence. Follow the steps for Film Exhibition (Restricted) Licence as given above, but the proposal is to address the points listed in this Guide for Exhibition Plan - For Film Exhibition (Temporary) Licence. (152.74KB)
Onsite Survey (allow at least 10 working days)
IMDA may need to conduct onsite surveys of the proposed film exhibition location to review the proposed location, layout, and age-check mechanisms for the film exhibition event.
Reminder: All films meant for exhibition need to be classified by the 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 Exhibition (Restricted) licensee is required to seek IMDA’s prior approval on each new “permanent” or “temporary” exhibition point.
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