Ask a question
Complaints procedure in brief
· Television broadcasters and film or DVD distributors classify their productions themselves on the basis of the Kijkwijzer criteria.
· Anyone who identifies a possible breach of Kijkwijzer rules can submit a complaint to Kijkwijzer (NICAM).
· A well-founded complaint can be submitted to NICAM in writing within two weeks after the breach.
· If a possible breach of the Kijkwijzer rules is involved, the complaint will be handled by the NICAM office or the independent Complaints Committee. There are no extra costs involved.
· To submit a complaint, use the form on this page.
All organisations and companies affiliated to NICAM are obliged to classify their audio-visual productions in accordance to the Kijkwijzer rules. The Kijkwijzer classifications must also be adequately displayed. If you believe that the rules have been infringed, you may submit a complaint to NICAM within two weeks of ascertaining this. Use the complaints form on this website for this. The complaint can also be submitted by letter or email.
NB! Complaints about the thematics, good/bad taste and/or the decency of films or television programmes cannot be submitted to NICAM and the Complaints Committee. Such complaints must be submitted directly to the supplier in question, for instance the television broadcaster, the film or DVD distributor.
Examples of breaches:
• A television programme or film has a classification other than what is shown in the Kijkwijzer database or what one could reasonably expect.
• A broadcaster transmits a television programme, promo or film at a time other than that permitted by the classification (12 years after 20.00 hours, 16 years after 22.00 hours).
• The supporting programme of a film with the classification All Ages includes a promotional trailer not aimed at children of all ages.
• There is an incorrect classification on the cover of a DVD.
• A television programme, film or trailer has not been classified and is not available in the Kijkwijzer database.
Complaints are always first processed at NICAM’s office. If a possible breach of the Kijkwijzer rules has been ascertained, NICAM's office will contact the broadcaster, film or DVD distributor, with the request to adjust the classification or in the case of television the request to broadcast the production at a different broadcasting time.
If the broadcaster, film or DVD distributor doesn't follow up the request within three working days, the complaint will be forwarded to the independent NICAM Complaints Committee and a penalty or sanction may be imposed.
If the broadcaster, film or DVD distributor does follow up the request within three working days, the complainant will be informed and the complaint will not be forwarded to the independent NICAM Complaints Committee, unless the complainant still wishes to do so.
There are some exceptions to this procedure of handling complaints. For more information, you can download the Complaints Procedure Kijkwijzer (on the right side of this page).
If the complaint is forwarded to the Complaints Committee a hearing will take place. Both the complainant and the plaintiff are given an opportunity to make a verbal statement of their position. There are no costs involved. Following the session, you will receive a written judgement from the Complaints Committee within approximately four weeks.
If the Complaints Committee judges that the Kijkwijzer rules have indeed not been correctly applied, a number of options are open to the Complaints Committee. The Complaints Committee may for instance order that the classification be amended or may impose a financial penalty. The level of the penalty can reach a maximum of €135,000 per case.
The party found to be in the wrong will have the opportunity to institute an appeal against the judgement of the Complaints Committee with the Appeals Committee. The appeal must be submitted to NICAM in writing within four weeks of the date of judgement by the Complaints Committee. Depending on the findings of the Appeals Committee, the judgement against which the appeal was launched will be confirmed, overturned or referred back to the Complaints Committee for reconsideration.
It is also possible to instigate an accelerated procedure. Both the party making the complaint and the organisation against which the complaint is directed may submit a request to this end with grounds, but it is also possible for NICAM to instigate an accelerated procedure. In most cases, an accelerated procedure will concern a complaint about a cinema release. It is important that this is processed quickly, as the DVD cover will be printed within a short time and it is important that this bears the correct classification.