UK censor the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) is to relax its 12 certificate, introducing a new advisory 12A label from tomorrow (30 August), bringing the territory into line with the rest of Europe and the US.

The new rating will enable children under 12 to watch 12A certificate films at the cinema if accompanied by parents. Previously, younger children could not see films carrying a mandatory 12 certificate at the cinema, with or without parental supervision. As a result, many parents complained to the BBFC that their children had been barred from seeing films such as Spider-Man, which carried the old 12 certificate.

Spider-Man's prohibitive rating made headlines on its release in June. Columbia TriStar is to re-release Spider-Man in the UK with a 12A rating on September 6.

"The BBFC receives a steady stream of letters from parents asking why they cannot make the decision about whether their child can see a 12 rated film,' said BBFC director Robin Duval. 'Advisory ratings for this age group are now the norm in most of Europe, America, Australia, Canada and elsewhere.'

The BBFC will use the same guidelines to classify 12A films as it used to classify 12 films and videos, and the 12 category, which was introduced for films in 1989 and videos in 1994, will remain in force for videos.