Nice 'n' Naughty
 

 FAQ: Importing Adult Films

 Is it legal?



Hardcore is Legal in the UK

The year 2000 was an important year for adult video and DVD, it was the year when hardcore was effectively legalised.

First of all lets make it clear that it is now perfectly legal to buy and own consensual adult porn.

In particular it is now legal to import hardcore.

Note that the legality of importing porn is stricter than possession. It is legal to posses 'obscene' material (except for Dangerous Pictures described below) but is not legal to import 'obscene' material


  What is Legal to Import?

At about the time when hardcore was legalised, the law enforcement agencies including customs got together and agreed that they would all adhere to the BBFC guidelines for R18 videos:

The following content is legal to import:

  • aroused genitalia
  • masturbation
  • oral-genital contact including kissing, licking and sucking
  • penetration by finger, penis, tongue, vibrator or dildo
  • non-harmful fetish material
  • group sexual activity
  • ejaculation and semen

These guidelines make no distinction between heterosexual and homosexual activity.

 

  What is Not Legal to Import?

At about the time when hardcore was legalised, the law enforcement agencies including customs got together and agreed that they would all adhere to the BBFC guidelines for R18 videos:

The following content is not acceptable:

  • any material which is in breach of the criminal law
  • material likely to encourage an interest in abusive
  • sexual activity (eg paedophilia, incest) which may include depictions involving adults role-playing as non-adults
  • the portrayal of any sexual activity, whether real or simulated, which involves lack of consent
  • the infliction of pain or physical harm, real or (in a sexual context) simulated. Some allowance may be made for mild consensual activity
  • any sexual threats or humiliation which do not form part of a clearly consenting role-playing game
  • the use of any form of physical restraint which prevents participants from withdrawing consent, for example, ball gags
  • penetration by any object likely to cause actual harm or associated with violence
  • activity which is degrading or dehumanising (examples include the portrayal of bestiality, necrophilia, defecation, urolagnia)

The Obscenity laws apply which theoretically defines material that juries judge to deprave or corrupt the likely audience. In practice the CPS define what is legal and what is not. Golden showers, fisting and scat are all deemed to be obscene.

Dangerous Pictures are Illegal to import or even possess

Section 63 of the Criminal Justice & Immigration Act passed in 2008 bans the possession of an extreme pornographic image. An image falls within this subsection if it is pornographic and portrays, in an explicit and realistic way, any of the following

  • an act which threatens a person's life
  • an act which results, or is likely to result, in serious injury to a person's anus, breasts or genitals
  • an act which involves sexual interference with a human corpse
  • a person performing an act of intercourse or oral sex with an animal (whether dead or alive), and a reasonable person looking at the image would think that any such person or animal was real.

See further details and note that the Scottish equivalent law is even stricter with depictions of rape being added to the list

Dangerous Cartoons are Illegal to import or even possess

The Coroners and Justice Act 2009. Part 2 Chapter 2 introduced a ban on non-photographic pictures, eg cartoons, drawings etc, featuring depictions of people under the age of 18 (however one is supposed to judge that)

Section 62 Possession of prohibited images of children

(2) A prohibited image is an image which—

(a) is pornographic, ie if it is of such a nature that it must reasonably be assumed to have been produced solely or principally for the purpose of sexual arousal.
(b) falls within subsection (6), and
(c) is grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise of an obscene character.

Note that photographic and near photographic images are not covered by this law as they are already prohibited by other more serious laws.

(6) An image falls within this subsection if it—

(a) is an image which focuses solely or principally on a child's genitals or anal region, or
(b) portrays any of the acts:

(a) the performance by a person of an act of intercourse or oral sex with or in the presence of a child;
(b) an act of masturbation by, of, involving or in the presence of a child;
(c) an act which involves penetration of the vagina or anus of a child with a part of a person's body or with anything else;
(d) an act of penetration, in the presence of a child, of the vagina or anus of a person with a part of a person's body or with anything else;
(e) the performance by a child of an act of intercourse or oral sex with an animal (whether dead or alive or imaginary);
(f) the performance by a person of an act of intercourse or oral sex with an animal (whether dead or alive or imaginary) in the presence of a child.

See further details

 

  What about unclassified videos and DVDs?

Videos and DVDs do not have to have a BBFC certificate for them to be legal to import. As long as the content is in line with the R18 guidelines then it totally legal to import them.

 

  How can I import Hardcore videos and magazines?

Hardcore videos may now be legally bought from:

  • Any shop abroad and hand carried back into the UK
  • Any overseas based online sex shop and import via mail
  • Any mail order company based overseas
  What about import duty?

Customs VAT/duty may only be charged on orders from outside of the EU. Orders below £18 are exempt (£36 if an unsolicited gift). If the order exceeds this limit, the VAT/duty will apply to the entire order. The net result of the charge is about 25% of the total order plus a possible Royal Mail charge for opening and resealing the packet. This charge is extracted via the Royal Mail who will refuse to deliver the package until the charge is paid.

  Any Suggestions For Good Shops?

Online Shops

  • I maintain a list of online shops selling DVDs

Video on Demand