U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Was this page helpful?

Containers and Documents

Beginning October 1, 2024, GSA-Approved Security Containers (Security Containers) manufactured prior to 1989 (identifiable by a label with black lettering on the face of the container) begin a phase out and will no longer be approved to store Classified National Security Information (CNSI). The below guidance details the actions program offices must take to ensure that black label Security Containers are removed, replaced, and/or no longer contain any CNSI.


The Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) and the GSA determined that departments and agencies must phase out the use of all Security Containers manufactured from 1954 through 1989 or “black labels” for the storage of CNSI.

To implement this decision, the GSA has issued a four-year phase-out plan beginning October 1, 2024. The phase-out plan begins with rescinding the approval of CNSI storage containers produced between 1954 and 1970.

GSA Approved Safe
GSA Approved Safe

Figure 1: GSA-Approved Security Containers


Security Containers (Figure 1)—commonly referred to as safes—within all bureaus and offices may identify containers made prior to 1989 by a silver and black GSA Approval Label (Figure 2) on the exterior face and/or by the data label displaying the manufacture date. The data labels are located on the inside of the container control drawer.

To determine whether a Security Container was manufactured between 1954-1970, the containers required in phase 1, check the data plate manufactured date located on the side of the control drawer when opened. The control drawer is typically the drawer that possesses the lock. If assistance is needed to identify the location of the data plate, contact your Field Servicing Security Office (FSSO).

Figure 2: GSA Black Certification Label

GSA approved container

Next Steps:

Offices with Security Containers subject to the phase-out determination must decide how to remove and replace them. New containers must be acquired through GSA Global Supply. Instructions for ordering new containers are available here.

Recommendations to bureaus and offices:

  • Ensure a plan is in place for transferring CNSI to a red label Security Container. The Security Container custodian or qualified personnel with an active security clearance equal to or higher than the contents of the container must be on site to direct any movement of CNSI from one container to another.
  • Review CNSI holdings in accordance with records retention policy, declassification, destruction, or retention requirements.
  • Avoid printing CNSI to minimize the national security impact of transfers from one Security Container to another.
  • When ordering new Security Containers, allow a minimum of 90 days for arrival to account for any shipping delays due to demand or supply chain issues.
  • Contact your Field Servicing Security Office (FSSO) for additional information on the timetable for phasing out Security Containers subject to the determination by ISOO and GSA.

When an employee is separating from the Department, prior to debriefing and other measures, they must have first reassigned any classified national security documents and/or Security Containers. Furthermore, once an employee has separated, their former supervisor or the Security Container’s new custodian must submit a request to the Security Service Center or their nearest field office to have their Security Container’s combination changed and a new Security Container Information form completed.