Marking requirements.

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§ 117.14 Marking requirements.

(a) Purpose for marking.

(1) Physically marking classified information with appropriate classification markings serves to warn and inform holders of the information of the degree of protection required. Other notations facilitate downgrading and declassification, and aid in derivative classification actions.

(2) Contractors will clearly mark all classified information and material to convey to the holder the level of classification assigned, the portions that contain or reveal classified information, the period of time protection is required, the identity (by name and position or personal identifier) of the classifier, the source(s) for derivative classification, and any other notations required for protection of the information.

(b) Marking guidance for classified information and material. Contractors will use the marking guidance conveyed in 32 CFR 2001.22 through 2001.26, and its companion document, ISOO booklet “Marking Classified National Security Information,” (available at: or CSA specific provided guidance for marking derivatively classified information and material and as required by applicable security classification guide. The special requirements for marking documents containing RD, FRD, and TFNI are addressed in § 117.23.

(c) Marking guidance for CUI. Contractors will use marking guidance conveyed in 32 CFR 2002.20, the CUI Marking Handbook (available at:, and agency policy to mark CUI in accordance with contract requirements.

(d) Working papers. Working papers will be marked, destroyed, and retained in accordance with § 117.15(e)(3).

(e) Translations. The contractor will mark translations of U.S. classified information into a language other than English with the appropriate U.S. markings and the foreign language equivalent to show the United States as the country of origin.

(f) Marking wholly unclassified material. The contractor will not mark or stamp wholly UNCLASSIFIED material as UNCLASSIFIED unless it is essential to convey to a recipient of such material that:

(1) The material has been examined specifically with a view to impose a security classification and has been determined not to require classification by the GCA.

(2) The material has been reviewed and has been determined to no longer require classification and it has been declassified by the applicable GCA.

(g) Marking miscellaneous material. The contractor will:

(1) Handle miscellaneous material developed in connection with the handling, processing, production, storage, and utilization of classified information in a manner that ensures adequate protection of the classified information involved.

(2) Destroy the miscellaneous material at the earliest practical time, unless a requirement exists to retain such material. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (a) of this section, there is no requirement for the contractor to mark such material, but disposition and retention requirements in § 117.15(i) and (j) apply.

(h) Marking training material. The contractor will clearly mark unclassified documents or materials that are created to simulate or demonstrate classified documents or material to indicate the actual UNCLASSIFIED status of the information. For example, the contractor may use: MARKINGS ARE FOR TRAINING PURPOSES ONLY, OTHERWISE UNCLASSIFIED or UNCLASSIFIED SAMPLE, or other similar marking.

(i) Downgrading or declassification actions. When a contractor removes documents or material that have been downgraded or declassified from storage for use or for transmittal outside the contractor location:

(1) The documents or material must be re-marked pursuant to paragraph (i)(1)(i) or (i)(1)(ii) in this section.

(i) Prior to taking any action to downgrade or declassify information, the contractor will seek guidance from the GCA. If the GCA approves such action, the contractor will cancel all old classification markings with the new markings substituted, whenever practical. For documents, at a minimum the outside of the front cover, the title page, the first page, and the outside of the back will reflect the new classification markings, or include the designation UNCLASSIFIED. The contractor will re-mark other material by the most practical method for the type of material involved to ensure that it is clear to the holder what level of classification is assigned to the material.

(ii) When the GCA notifies contractors of downgrading or declassification actions that are contrary to the markings shown on the material, the contractor will re-mark material to indicate the change and notify other holders if further dissemination was made. The contractor will mark the material to indicate the:

(A) Authority for the action.

(B) Date of the action.

(C) Identity and position of the individual taking the action.

(2) If the volume of material is such that prompt re-marking of each classified item cannot be accomplished without unduly interfering with operations, the contractor may attach a downgrading and declassification notice to the inside of the file drawers or other storage container instead of the re-marking otherwise required.

(3) When such documents or materials are withdrawn from the container solely for transfer to another container, or when the container is transferred from one place to another, the transfer may be made without re-marking if the notice is attached to the new container or remains with each shipment.

(4) For the purpose of paragraphs (i)(2) and (i)(3) in this section, the contractor must include in the downgrading and declassification notice:

(i) The authority for the downgrading or declassification action.

(ii) The date of the action.

(iii) The storage container to which it applies.

(j) Upgrading action.

(1) When the contractor receives notice from the GCA to upgrade material to a higher level; for example, from CONFIDENTIAL to SECRET, the contractor will:

(i) Immediately enter the new markings on the material according to the notice to upgrade, and strike through all the superseded markings.

(ii) Enter the authority for and the date of the upgrading action on the material.

(iii) Ensure all records affected are stored at the appropriate level of security, including digital networks and systems. Upgrades requiring network or system adjustment will be coordinated with the GCA to mitigate or account for impact on the execution of the contract.

(2) The contractor will notify all holders to whom they disseminated the material. The contractor will not mark the notice as classified unless it contains additional information warranting classification.

(3) In the case of material which was inadvertently released as UNCLASSIFIED, the contractor will mark and protect the notice as classified at the CONFIDENTIAL level, unless it contains additional information warranting a higher classification. The contractor will cite the applicable Contract Security Classification Specification, or equivalent, or other classification guide on the “Derived From” line and mark the notice with an appropriate declassification instruction.

(k) Dissemination of improperly marked information. If the contractor inadvertently distributes classified material without the proper classification assigned to it, or without any markings to identify the material as classified, as appropriate, the contractor will:

(1) Determine whether all holders of the material are cleared and authorized access to it.

(2) If recipients are authorized persons, and the contractor disseminated the information through authorized channels, promptly provide written notice to all holders of the proper classification to be assigned. The contractor will also include the classification source as well as declassification instructions in the notification.

(3) Report compromises to the CSA in accordance with the provisions of § 117.8(d), if:

(i) Any of the recipients of the material are not authorized persons.

(ii) Any material cannot be accounted for.

(iii) The material was transmitted through unauthorized channels.

(l) Marking foreign government classified material. Foreign government classified information will retain its original classification markings or will be assigned a U.S. classification that provides a degree of protection at least equivalent to that required by the foreign government entity that furnished the information in accordance with 32 CFR 2001.54. The equivalent U.S. classification and the country of origin will be marked on the front and back in English.

(m) Foreign government restricted information and “in confidence” information.

(1) Some foreign governments have a fourth level of classification that does not correspond to an equivalent U.S. classification that is identified as RESTRICTED information. In many cases, security agreements require RESTRICTED information to be protected as U.S. CONFIDENTIAL information.

(2) Some foreign governments may have a category of unclassified information that is protected by law. This latter category is normally provided to other governments with the expectation that the information will be treated “In Confidence.” The foreign government or international organization must state that the information is provided in confidence and that it must be protected from release.

(i) 10 U.S.C. 130c protects information provided “In Confidence” by foreign governments which is not classified but meets special requirements.

(ii) This provision also applies to RESTRICTED information which is not required by an agreement to be protected as classified information.

(iii) The contractor will not disclose information protected by this statutory provision to anyone except personnel who require access to the information in connection with the contract.

(3) It is the responsibility of the foreign entity that awards the contract to incorporate requirements for the protection and marking of RESTRICTED or “In Confidence” information in the contract. The contractor will advise the CSA if requirements were not provided by the foreign entity.

(n) Marking U.S. documents containing FGI.

(1) U.S. documents containing FGI must be marked on the front, “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS (indicate country of origin) INFORMATION.” In addition, the portions must be marked to identify both the country and classification level, (e.g., (UK-C), (GE-C)). The “Derived From” line will identify U.S. as well as foreign classification sources.

(2) If the identity of the foreign government must be concealed, the front of the document will be marked “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS FOREIGN GOVERNMENT INFORMATION;” paragraphs will be marked FGI, together with the classification level (e.g., (FGI-C)); and the “Derived From” line will indicate FGI in addition to any U.S. source. The identity of the foreign government will be maintained with the record copy of the document.

(3) A U.S. document that contains FGI will not be downgraded below the highest level of FGI contained in the document or be declassified without the written approval of the foreign government that originated the information. Recommendations concerning downgrading or declassification will be submitted to the GCA or foreign government contracting authority, as applicable.

(o) Marking documents prepared for foreign governments. Documents prepared for foreign governments that contain U.S. classified information and FGI will be marked as prescribed by the foreign government. In addition, they will be marked on the front, “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS UNITED STATES CLASSIFIED INFORMATION.” Portions will be marked to identify the U.S. classified information.

(p) Marking requirements for transfers of defense articles to Australia (AUS) or the United Kingdom (UK). Marking requirements for transfers of defense articles to AUS or the UK without a license or other written authorization are pursuant to § 117.19(i).

(q) Commingling of RD and FRD. Commingling of RD, FRD, and TFNI with national security information (NSI) in the same document should be avoided to the greatest degree possible. When mixing this information cannot be avoided, the marking requirements in 10 CFR part 1045, section 140(f) and declassification requirements of 10 CFR part 1045, section 155 apply.

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