Games Refused Classification Are "Prohibited", Can Be Seized By Customs

potato_left.jpgLooking to import Fallout 3? Might not be such a wise idea - at least while the game remains without classification. Australian Gamer decided to get the final word on the legalities by contacting someone at the Australian Customs Service. Here's what it came up with:

...this was also confirmed by the Senior Customs Officer I spoke to, who told me "if they are refused classification they are deemed to be prohibited imports". When I pressed him as to what the repercussions of this would be if you went ahead and tried to import it anyway, he told me "Generally, Customs will seize the goods".

Well, "seize" is better than "fine", which is better than "gaol", which is better than "strip search", etc. The lesson? It's not so much you can't do it, just that you do so at your own risk.

The plot thickens ... Fallout 3 importation rules [Australian Gamer][Pic]


    I would imagine that the holdup is our backwards classification system.
    Any game available would have to be rated by the OFLC which would slow things down a lot, the countries listed have more lax systems.

    There goes plan B!

    Here's hoping this all gets sorted out by the release. Frankly I don't care if they have to change the visual imagery associated with the drugs or the word 'Morphine' to 'Pain Killers' or whatever. I know it's the principle of the thing, but when it comes down to it - i really just want to play the damn game.

    Customs don't inspect the contents of every package though, do they?

    Risking a fine? Sadly, this sort of thing just forces most Aussies to pirate I would expect.

    Which hurts the game devs... so is the OFLC then responsible for piracy?

    I love how the RC rating is the only rating that is enforced by law hahahah

    what a backwards fuckup country we are

    what a load of crap!
    banned and refused classification are totally different things.
    wasnt there a post about that LAST week...

    I imported GTA 4, without a issue my guess these are just threats.

    Well, to be fair, Yug got pulled up after The Escapist pulled some lazy journalism and decided to quote him without doing any research. Yug came out, fists flying, and implied heavily to the general world that there were no issues with importing Fallout 3 into Australia.

    Not too surprisingly, this was pretty far off the truth. After he and The Escapist got pulled up on providing bad information and potentially negligent advice (by someone else), The Escapist decided to ignore the issue after forwarding the link to Yug.

    So, thus far, it's looking like Australiangamer is trying to back-track and show their insight by quoting people who have called out their poor research and 'insight'.

    If you feel like a laugh, have a read through here for where it started from:

    Jim - GTA IV wasn't banned you fool. This only applies to games that have been RC'd (Refused Classification)

    On the actual article, I wasn't planning on getting Fallout 3 anyway but this is just stupid.

    Customs are not going to search through every tiny little package that comes through unless the x-rays or drug dogs spot something odd.

    They don't check every package, I've ordered a fair bit overseas and only had a couple of opened packages.

    So this game is refused classification. In the past this was an issue, remember the game Postal. The only reason i never got to play that game was i never had the internet. Now with so much digital media crossing borders, there is no way anyone can stop the juggernaut called free information. Censorship .... is old hat. I think we as people can decided what is good and what is not good for ourselves.

    -rant over

    Looks like it's time to barrage Michael Atkinson again, and the rest of his cabinet, and the rest of the State Attorneys General, and anyone else with the power to lean on him.

    Anyone got his wife's email address?

    I find the image of the Mr potato head (that was used for drug smuggling) to be amusingly fitting for this story. Banning fallout 3 isn't going to stop people having access to it, either.

    It's guaranteed now that many more Australian's will pirate the game. It's a shame that there is no (legal) way we can support the developers.

    It's called the internet

    Maybe we should all import two copies... and put the spares into a pool to supply all those unfortunate enough to have their post opened...

    But seriously, customs won't be opening the packages and, even if they do, there's an excellent chance the official that opens it will not realise the game is not classified, and therefore illegal to import. He'll just think it's 'some video game'. These guys have far more important things to worry about.

    I'll be very surprised to hear any stories of importers losing their copy of the game.

    Import away...

    @TRJNRABBIT: What wife?

    Anyway, right now, I have two options. Order now, and hope for the best, or I could wait till it is nerfed and re-rated, and THEN import it.

    I'll probably try both.

    What a shame that this game will be highly pirated in Australia. I was glad to hand over a wad of cash for this game, but that offer is now off the table unfortunately.

    no boys and girls, customs are too busy to open every single little package. Not to say they won't xray it, but if the front just says item game and doesn't mention which game then it will look normal and pass right through, I doubt they have a big sheet of non classified games on the wall for this sort of thing, if opened and its just a game what are the chances so one in customs will even know which games are banned or not? Unless a nerd is working there and again which nerd would point that out? Import one, why not two, because unless something organic or weird is in there with it, you will have no trouble at all. shippers never mention the title on the front of packages, just what it is, game, dvd something like that. So plan B is quite safe. I've been in the importing business for 5 years and shipping larry over that got banned, was crap too, but the point was I didn't have a problem with any titles getting through customs.

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