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1.What is the role of the Office of Censorship?

The Office of Censorship was established under Sections 13 and 14 of the Classification of Publication (Censorship) Act, 1989, to provide administrative support to the Censorship Board. It is also responsible in carrying out any duties/functions that may be stipulated under the same Act. The role of the Office of Censorship is to classify films and publications as directed by the Chief Censor

2.What are the powers of the Board?

The Board is responsible under Sections 11 and 12 of the Classification of Publication (Censorship) Act,1989 , in formulating policies on censorship; decide on matters or goods including publications either on it's own motion or as referred to it by the Chief Censor, whether or not matters or goods are matters or goods which this Act applies; and perform any function as may be required under this Act or any other law. The Board has and may exercise such powers as are conferrd by this Act and such other powers as are neccessary or convient to enable the Board to carry out it's Functions.

3.What is the difference between the Censorship Board and the Office of Censorship?

The "Censorship Board" is a policy or decision making body headed by the Chairman and Deputy Chairman while the "Office of Censorship" is the administrative arm of the Censorship Board and is vested with the powers of monitoring and regulating the information traffic in regard to it's content.

4.Where do we operate?

The Office of Censorship is centralised in Port Moresby but has MOA's with PNG Customs Services which allows Customs Officers to screen/detain and refer consignments related to Censorhip at every Customs Port Entry Points throughout Papua New Guinea. This includes the annual provincial operations.

5.What is a Publication Premises?

A "Publication Premises" is a premises in or on which a prescribed activity is to be established or is being operated as stipulated under Section 27 of the Classification of Publication (Censorship) Act,1989.

6.What kind of prescribed activities are listed under the Registration of Publication Premises?

Prescribed Activities are listed under Section 26 of the Censorship Act as well as any other activity declared by the Minister to be an activity to which this Part applies. "Schedule 2" Form has the following Prescribed Activites;

  • Publisher
  • Television Station
  • Radio Station
  • Public Cable Television
  • Limited Hotel Cable Television
  • Special Cable Television
  • Film Theatre
  • Video Dealer
  • Video Library
  • Video Theatre
  • Video Cinema
  • Literature Distributor
  • Literature Dealer
  • Audio Distributor
  • Audio Dealer
  • Film Production
  • Internet Service Provider
  • Internet Gateway
  • Video Outlet


7.Why do you need to register as a Publication Premises?

As stipulated under Section 25 of the Censorship Act 1989, 'The Chief Censor shall keep or cause to be kept a register of publication premises under this Act'.

8.What items/materials are prohibited by the Censorship Board?

The Censorship Board prohibits the Importation/Production/Distribution of Objectionable Films & Publications as stipulated under the Censorship Act (1989). These includes;

  • Refused Classification of Films & Publications
  • Pornography (Films & Publications)
  • Other items other than Films or Publications

In accordance with Section 11 and 12 of the Act, the Censorship Board resolved to issue the following as directives to the Chief Censor pertaining to goods other than films and publications:

  • Sex Enhancement Products (Imports)

All imported SEPs in whatever state, form or shape are not permitted unless specifically prescribed by a resident doctor who can be contacted to verify it's use. Such products in this category would include capsules, tablets, sprays, creams, powders, vibrators, penis enlargers, vibe condoms, sex novelties, etc.

  • Medical Drugs

Medical drugs purposely made to cure or correct a sexual dysfunction are permitted on the condition that the drug is registered by the Medical Supplies Branch of the Health Department to be used as directed by a doctor.

  • Dietary Supplements (Vitamins ETC)

Dietary supplements intended for consumption by Papua New Guineas are permitted provided the prescription or inscriptions on the package or on inserted leaflets are in English.


9. What is the Classification Rating System?

The Classification Rating System is designed to classify films with regard to suitability for audiences in terms of issues such as sex, violence, substance abuse, profanity, impudence or other types of mature content. Under Section 48 of the Censorship Act (1989), the following description explains the Classification Rating System:

"G" - This rating is used to classify Films or Publications for General Exhibition

"PGR" - This rating is used to classify Films or Publications that may require parental guidance or the company of an adult to a minor.

"M" - This rating is used to classify Films or Publications for Mature Audiences above the ages of 15 years.

"R" - This rating is used to classify Films or Publications Restricted for Adults only above the ages of 18 years.

"RC" - This rating is used to classify Films or Publications that are Refused and cannot be viewed by any audience at  all. It is banned.

10. What other enforcement agencies are involved with the Censorship Board?

The Royal Police Constabulary and the PNG Customs Services as stipulated under Section 66 & 78 of the Censorship Act, ' A reference in part to an officer shall be read as including a member of the Police Force or a Customs Officer'.

There are existing MOA's between PNG Customs Services and the Office of Censorship which assist in the work of the Censorship Board. The PNG Royal Police also assist in inspection escorts, charging and arresting of offenders.

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