The purpose of the age limits is to warn viewers about content that may be harmful to the development of children.
The purpose of the age limits is not to recommend audiovisual programmes to persons of specific age but to warn viewers about content that may be harmful to the development of children.
In Finland, the age limits for films, television programmes, digital games and other audiovisual programmes are mandatory and they must be observed when audiovisual programmes are provided. The purpose of the age limits is not to recommend an audiovisual programme to persons of specific age but to warn viewers about content that may be harmful to the development of children.
The age limits are as follows:
- for all ages
- not for persons under 7
- not for persons under 12
- not for persons under 16
- not for persons under 18
The age limits are based on an assessment of which types of audiovisual programme content can be harmful to the development of children. Content harmful to the development of children include violence, sexual content, content causing anxiety, or substance use. If an audiovisual programme does not have any content harmful to children, it is allowed for all ages.
The age limit and content symbols help guardians to make safer media choices for their children. The content symbols indicate which types of content considered harmful to children have prompted the classifiers to set the age limit higher than ‘for all ages’.
Some audiovisual programmes have violent or sexual content, content causing anxiety, or other similar content that must unequivocally be considered harmful to the development of individuals aged under 18. Audiovisual programmes that are only intended for viewers aged over 18 are not classified. Such audiovisual programmes are classified with an age limit of 18 and they may only be provided if the symbol below indicating an age limit of 18 is clearly displayed on or in connection with the programme.
An audiovisual programme can be viewed by a child who is no more than three years younger than what is specified in the age limit if the child is accompanied by an adult for the whole duration of the programme. The discretion is intended for the use of an adult (usually a parent or a guardian) who knows the child well. The discretion should not be used with groups of children and it does not apply to the age limit of 18.
Most of the age limits for films and television programmes are set by the audiovisual programme classifiers trained and approved by the National Audiovisual Institute who base their decisions on the classification criteria prepared by the Institute. Setting of the age limits (classification) must be carried out in accordance with the law. The Department for Media Education and Audiovisual Media of the National Audiovisual Institute supervises the work of the audiovisual programme classifiers. You can also order an audiovisual programme classification from the National Audiovisual Institute.
For digital games, the National Audiovisual Institute applies the age limits set in the Pan-European PEGI classification scheme. Games with PEGI age limits are not classified in Finland.