Labelling Code

In Australia, the recorded music industry provides information to enable consumers to make informed choices.

Since 1996, Australia has had a system of warning labels on audio-only recorded music products. This system is called the Recorded Music Labelling Code of Practice, and is managed by ARIA and AMRA (the Australian Music Retailers Association).

During 2002 the Code was reviewed and revised to ensure it appropriately reflected community values, and in April 2003 a revised system of warning labels was introduced. The new labelling system uses similar classification criteria and terminology to those used for TV and films.

In this section, you can view details of the code and associated labels, view lists of labelled products and titles, and find answers to frequently asked questions and view our consumer awareness guide.

The three levels are outlined below:

Level 1

This product is labelled black and white and contains:

  • Infrequent aggressive or strong coarse language;
  • Moderate impact references to drug use, violence, sexual activity or themes.

Level 2

This product is labelled blue and white and contains:

  • Frequent aggressive or strong coarse language;
  • Strong impact references to or detailed description of drug use, violence, sexual activity or themes.

Level 3

This product is labelled red and white and contains:

  • Product contains graphic description of drug use, violence, sexual activity or very strong themes, which have a very high degree of intensity and which are high in impact;
  • These products require an adult perspective and are therefore not to be sold to persons under 18 years of age.


Exeeding Level 3 - Not To Be Sold

These recordings are not permitted to be released and/or distributed by ARIA members or sold by AMRA members:
  • Product containing lyrics which promote, incite or instruct or exploitatively ("exploitative" means appearing to purposefully debase or abuse for the enjoyment of listeners, and lacking moral, artistic or other values) or gratuitously ("gratuitous" means material which is unwarranted or uncalled for, and included without the justification of artistic merit) depict drug abuse; cruelty; suicide; criminal or sexual violence; child abuse; incest; bestiality; or any other revolting or abhorrent activity in a way that causes outrage or extreme disgust to most adults.
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