05B4 GSA Approved Containers
Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center

GSA Approved Containers

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Introduction

 

GSA approved containers are primarily used to store classified documents, components, materials, and equipment.  They are also used to secure funds, valuables, and weapons.    There are several types and classes of GSA approved containers.  Presently there are two classes of containers being manufactured: Class 5 and Class 6.  Classified and non-classified materials should never be stored together.

GSA approved containers must have a GSA label affixed to the front of the door, the front of the top drawer or  the front of the control drawer.  If the container no longer has the GSA label attached to it, it is no longer an approved container.  If your container is no longer approved, see "Container Recertification " information.  GSA approved containers manufactured before October 1990 are identified by their GSA label that has either black lettering on a silver background (or silver on black).  Since October 1990 only Class 5, 6, and 7 containers have been manufactured.  GSA approved Class 5 and 6 containers manufactured after October 1990 have a silver label with red lettering (or red with silver lettering).  GSA approved Class 7 containers have a silver label with green lettering.  Class 7 containers were available in filing cabinet style only and are no longer manufactured.  Information Processing System (IPS) containers are GSA approved containers for protection of computers.  Their GSA approval labels have blue lettering.

Class 5 containers are typically used for storage of weapons and sensitive items such as funds, jewels, precious metals, etc.  Class 5 containers may also be used for storage of classified documents, components, materials, and equipment.  They provide the same protection as Class 6 plus ten minutes  against forced entry attack.  Class 5 containers come in several types:  file cabinet, map and plan, weapon storage, and IPS.

Class 6 containers are typically used for storage of classified information such as documents, maps, drawings, and plans.  They come in file cabinet and map and plan styles.

For guidance concerning storage of classified information see DoD Manual 5200.01, Volume 3, DoD Information Security Program: Protection of Classified Information.  For guidance concerning storage of AA&E and sensitive items see DoD Manual 5100.76, Physical Security of Sensitive Conventional Arms, Ammunition, And Explosives.

The Defense Security Service (DSS) has issued an Industrial Security Letter, ISL 2011-01, dated January 13, 2011, for all cleared Contractors, User Agencies, and DoD Activities indicating contractors will not be allowed to use non-GSA approved security containers for storage of classified documents effective October 1, 2012.  Please contact DSS at (888) 282-7682 or the DoD Lock Program Hotline at (800) 290-7607 for more information.

 
CLASSIFICATION OF GSA APPROVED CONTAINERS
CLASS FEDERAL SPECIFICATION INSULATED AVAILABLE PROTECTION1
1 AA-F-357
(canceled)
Yes No 10 minutes forced entry
30 minutes surreptitious*
1 hour fire
2 AA-F-357
(canceled)
Yes No 5 minutes forced entry
20 minutes surreptitious*
1 hour fire
3 Class 3 replaced by Class 6 No No No forced entry requirement
20 minutes surreptitious*
4 Class 4 replaced by Class 5 No No 5 minutes forced entry
20 minutes surreptitious*
5 AA-F-358
AA-F-3632
AA-C-27863
No Yes 10 minutes forced entry
30 minutes covert entry
20 hours surreptitious*
5 AA-C-2859 No Yes 10 minutes forced entry ONLY
6 AA-F-358
AA-F-3632
No
Yes No forced entry requirement
30 minutes covert entry
20 hours surreptitious*
7 AA-F-2815
(canceled)
No No No forced entry requirement
15 minutes covert entry
20 hours surreptitious*
  1 Protection as listed in newest or current version of the specification.
2 The AA-F-363 specification has one amendment: Amendment 3
3 The AA-C-2786 specification has one amendment: Amendment 2
* "Surreptitious" in products made before 10/1/90 included "covert".
 

 

Side 1

   

Side 2

   

The DoD Lock Program provides "Open/Secured" two-sided magnetic signs to the DoD community free of charge.  It is good practice to use these signs on containers or vault doors in order to provide a visual status of the equipment to personnel working in the area.  These signs will include the Technical Support Hotline contact information for quick reference in getting support for your security equipment.  To place your order click here or on the magnet images.

 

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