Manifest Mailing Systems

What is a Manifest Mailing System?

A manifest mailing system is an automated, computer-supported system that allows a mailer to document postage and fees for all pieces in a mailing paid via permit imprint. Manifest systems cannot be used if you are paying postage with stamps or a postage meter. One big advantage of manifesting is that it allows mailers to pay for nonidentical weight pieces with a permit imprint.

Each piece in a manifest mailing is labeled with a unique identification (ID) number. The manifest lists each piece by ID number and shows the amount of postage claimed for that piece. The pieces may be identical or nonidentical in weight. More than one class of mail may be reported on the manifest. The mailer simply submits the manifest, a postage statement, and the mail to the designated drop off point at their local Post Office. The manifest is randomly checked for accuracy, and if all is in order, the total postage amount shown on the manifest is deducted from an advance deposit account held by the mailer and the mail is dispatched.


You can use a manifest mailing system for all classes of domestic and international mail except Periodicals. Fees for extra services such as insurance, Certified Mail, or USPS Tracking may be included on the manifest. Priority Mail Express Manifesting (PMEM) may be used to pay postage for Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail Express International, and Priority Mail Express Military Service to qualifying APO/FPO and DPO. PMEM also may be used to pay any extra service fees. PMEM documentation must be submitted electronically.

Benefits of Manifesting
  • Automated documentation provides easily maintained mailing records. Many systems can be tied into order-taking software and inventory management software.
  • Convenience of paying by permit imprint. There is no need to affix stamps or meter strips.
  • May combine different classes of mail on the same manifest.
  • May mail nonidentical weight pieces of the same class together.

Publication 401, Guide to the Manifest Mailing System, describes in detail the benefits of a manifest mailing system. It also includes the steps for getting started with manifesting. Once you are sure that a manifest mailing system is right for your business, contact your Business Mail Entry Unit for more information.

  1. Publication 401, Guide to the Manifest Mailing System