The cultural test for animation programmes

Qualify for tax relief through the cultural test for animation programmes.

Further to Government advice regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Certification Team are now all working remotely until further notice. Please be aware that turnaround times will be affected. The Certification team are still accepting and processing applications. Any general enquiries should be directed to

To help all applicants we are accepting all applications electronically and you are not required to submit a hard copy of the application form and statutory declaration but you must ensure this is forwarded to us within six months of your certificate being issued, otherwise the certificate may be revoked.

For final applications we will require viewing links or downloads as we will not be able to receive physical copies of DVDs.

Animation programmes can qualify as British in one of two ways. They must meet the requirements of one of the following:

  • The cultural test for animation programmes.
  • One of the UK’s official bilateral co-production agreements that allow television co-production.

The cultural test for animation programmes

Qualifying your animation television programme as British under the cultural test for animation is the gateway to accessing the UK animation programme tax relief.

To apply for the cultural test for animation, there must be one animation production company (APC) that is registered with Companies House and within the UK corporation tax net. The APC must be set up before key animation begins and have responsibility for all aspects of the programme-making process from pre-production through to delivery.

The cultural test for animation programmes is a points-based test where the project needs 16 of a possible 31 points to pass. It comprises four sections:

  • Cultural content (up to 16 points).
  • Cultural contribution (up to 4 points).
  • Cultural hubs (up to 3 points).
  • Cultural practitioners (up to 8 points).

Applying for British animation programme certification

Applicants can apply for interim certification at any point before or during production. Interim certification is essential if you wish to claim animation tax relief during production.

A final application must be submitted once the programme is complete and ready to be broadcast to the general public. The online application form below can be used for interim and final certification.


Please read the guidance notes which will help you complete your application.

Application form

To submit an application, please proceed to the form below:

A hard copy statutory declaration must be completed in conjunction with a printed copy of your online application form (please see the Supporting Documents section below for further information).

You will be asked to set up an account before completing the application form.

To apply for final certification you have to complete a new form, even if you have previously completed an interim application.

Your account

If you have already started your application, you can continue by signing in with your existing account details:

Supporting documents

A printed hardcopy of your full application with a completed statutory declaration must be sent to us in order for us to begin our assessment.

Where an individual in a position other than the director or secretary of the Animation Production Company has signed the Statutory Declaration the company director or company secretary will need to let us know in writing that they have been authorised to do so. This can be sent via email.

The BFI requires additional supporting material to complete its assessment of your application. The following documents are requested and can be attached to your online application form:

  • Shooting scripts in the English language – the most up-to-date copy.
  • Series bible.
  • A complete synopsis (if not included in the series bible).
  • Shooting/production schedule – the most up-to-date information.
  • Production budget (interim)/final cost report (final) – the most up-to-date copy of the total long-form budget.
  • A copy of the chain of title – the most up-to-date [if applying for points under section A3(b)].

If you are applying for final certification we will also require a physical DVD copy (as few as possible) of the finished project and a hard copy of the accountant’s report if you are applying for points in sections C and D.

An Underlying Material Declaration can be accepted in place of a chain of title if applying for points under section A3(b). The below template can be downloaded, completed and brought to a solicitor, public notary or justice of the peace to be administered. Please send a draft of this document to the BFI Certification Unit for approval before having it administered. Please note that if you have provided us with this declaration at interim certification, you do not need to provide a new declaration at final certification unless the relevant details have changed.

The hardcopy application form with the Statutory Declaration and any supporting documents (that have not submitted online) must be sent to:

The Certification Unit
British Film Institute
21 Stephen Street
London W1T 1LN

We will be happy to discuss your application in person or via phone or email. Telephone Anna Mansi, BFI Head of Certification, on +44 (0)20 7173 3214 or email

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