18 CFR 3a.31 - Classification markings and special notations.
(a) After the chairman, the vice chairman, or the executive director determines that classified information is contained in an original document or other item, the appropriate marking, i.e., Secret or Confidential, will be applied as indicated herein. In addition, each classified document will reflect its date of origin and the Bureau, Office, or Regional Office responsible for its preparation and issuance, and the identity of the highest authority authorizing the classification. Where the individual who signs or otherwise authenticates the document or other item has also authorized the classification, no further annotation as to his identity is required. Each classified document will also show on its face whether it is subject to or exempt from the General Declassification Schedule described in § 3a.22(b).
(1) For marking documents which are subject to the General Declassification Schedule, the following stamp will be used:
(Top Secret, Secret, or Confidential) Classified by ______. Subject to General Declassification Schedule of E.O. 11652, automatically downgraded at 2-year intervals and declassified on December 31, ______ (insert year).
(2) For marking documents which are to be automatically declassified on a given event or date earlier than the General Declassification Schedule the following stamp will be used:
(Top Secret, Secret, or Confidential) Classified by ______. Automatically declassified on __________ (effective date or event).
(3) For marking documents which are exempt from the General Declassification Schedule the following stamp will be used:
(Top Secret, Secret, or Confidential) Classified by ______. Exempt from General Declassification Schedule of E.O. 11652, Exemption Category (section 5B (1), (2), (3), or (4). Automatically declassified on __________ (effective date or event, if any).
(b) Should the classifier fail to mark such document with one of the foregoing stamps, the document shall be deemed to be subject to the General Declassification Schedule. The person who signs or finally approves a document or other material containing classified information shall be deemed to be the classifier. If the classifier is other than such person he shall be identified on the stamp as indicated.
(c) On documents, the classification markings Secret and Confidential will be stamped in red ink, printed, or written in letters considerably larger than those used in the text of the document. On documents which are typewritten in elite, pica or executive size type, the above markings should be in letters not less than three-sixteenths inch in height. No markings, other than those indicated above, are authorized to designate that a document or material requires protection in the interests of national security. The overall classification assigned to a document will be conspicuously marked on the top and bottom of each page and on the outside of the front and back covers, if any. Letters of transmittal, endorsements, routing slips, or any other papers of any size which conceal or partially conceal the cover, the title page, or first page, will bear the marking of the overall classification.
(d) Whenever a classified document contains either more than one security classification category or unclassified information, each section, part or paragraph should be marked to the extent practicable to show its classification category or that it is unclassified.
(e) Letters of transmittal or other covering documents which are classified solely because of classified enclosures or attachments, or which are classified in a lower category than such enclosures or attachments, will bear either of the following markings, as appropriate.
(1) If the covering document is classified on its own, but has enclosures or attachments of a higher classification, or is a component (i.e., an endorsement or comment) or a file in which other components bear a higher classification:
(2) If unclassified when separated from its classified enclosures or attachments:
(f) In addition to the classification category markings prescribed above, the first or title page of each classified document will contain instructions as appropriate, in accordance with the following:
(1) Regarding instructions. The declassification and downgrading notation, as described in § 3a.31(g) will be applied to classified documents only. The notation will not be carried forward to unclassified letters of transmittals or other cover documents. When such cover documents are classified by their own content, they will be annotated with the notwithstanding instructions which pertain to the enclosures.
(2) “Special Handling” notation. Classified information will not be released or disclosed to any foreign national without proper specific authorization. This applies even when the classified material does not bear the special handling notice described below. The special handling notice indicated only that the material has been reviewed and a specific determination made that the information is not releasable to foreign nationals. If it is anticipated that the handling or distribution of a classified document will make it liable to inadvertent disclosure to foreign nationals it will be marked with a separate special handling notation, which will be carried forward to letters of transmittals or other cover documents. The notation reads:
(g) Whenever classified material is upgraded, downgraded, or declassified, the material will be marked to reflect:
(1) The change in classification.
(2) The authority for the action.
(3) The effective date.
(4) The person or unit taking the action.
(h) In addition to the foregoing marking requirements, warning notices shall be displayed prominently on classified documents or materials as prescribed below. When display of these warning notices on the documents or other materials is not feasible, the warnings shall be included in the written notification of the assigned classification.
(1) Restricted data. For classified information or material containing restricted data as defined in the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended:
This document contains restricted data as defined in the Atomic Energy Act of 1954. Its dissemination or disclosure to any unauthorized person is prohibited.
(2) Formerly restricted data. For classified information or material containing solely Formerly Restricted Data, as defined in section 142.d, Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended:
Unauthorized disclosure subject to administrative and criminal sanctions. Handle as restricted data in foreign dissemination, section 114.b., Atomic Energy Act, 1954.
(3) Information other than restricted data or formerly restricted data. For classified information or material furnished to persons outside the Executive Branch of Government other than as described in paragraphs (h)(1) and (2) of this section.
Unauthorized disclosure subject to criminal sanctions.
(4) Sensitive intelligence information. For classified information or material relating to sensitive intelligence sources and methods, the following warning notice shall be used, in addition to and in conjunction with those prescribed in paragraph (h)(1), (2), or (3), of this section, as appropriate: