Way bill is a document issued by a carrier giving details and instructions relating to the shipment of a consignment of goods. It contains details like name of Consignor and Consignee, the point of origin of the Consignment, it’s destination and route. These typically contain “Conditions of Contract of Carriage”.
It is kind of permit for the transport of goods exceeding INR 50,000/- (Rupees Fifty Thousand Only) in value. E-way bill of abbreviation used for Electronic Way Bill.
In context of E-way bill, information has to be furnished prior to commencement of movement of goods whether in relation to supply or for a reason other than supply. The transporter has to carry the Invoice and the copy of E-way bill as support documents. Now, there will not be requirement of separate transit pass for every state, E-way will be valid for throughout the nation for movement of goods.
Purpose of E-way bill and Requirement of E-way bill
E-way bill system is part of GST compliance. It is online tool for quick an easy movement of goods without any hindrance and tax evasion. E-way bill will ensure that goods will be transported after complying with GST law.
Goods and Service Tax has been promoted as “One Nation One Tax”. The idea was to unify India as one market and remove the cumbersome processes. As per the Recent report of Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, heavy vehicles basically trucks in India spends 20% of its time at the check-post clearance, this time varies from state to state. In this process there is lots of scope for tax evasion and each state has its own set of rules for the movement of goods. This leads to increase in costs as well as complicated process for and create trade barriers in the Country.
Who generates the E-way bill?
Before commencement of movement, E-way bill should be generated electronically at common portal i.e. “ewaybill.nic.in” by the registered person in Part A of Form GST EWB-01 as a Consignor or Consignee whether in his own conveyance or hired one after furnishing information in Part B of Form GST EWB-01. In case the E-way bill is not generated by Consignor or Consignee and goods are handed over to the transporter then the E-way bill shall be generated by the transporter if the value of goods is more than INR 50,000/-.
Where goods are transported by railways or by air or vessel the E-way bill shall be generated by the Registered person being the supplier or the recipient who shall either before or after the commencement of movement, furnish the information in Part B of Form GST EWB -01.
Where the consignor or the consignee has not generated the e-way bill and the aggregate of the consignment value of goods carried in the conveyance is more than fifty thousand rupees, the transporter, except in case of transportation of goods by railways, air and vessel, shall, in respect of inter-State supply, generate the e-way bill on the basis of invoice or bill of supply or delivery challan, as the case may be, and may also generate a consolidated e-way bill on the common portal prior to the movement of goods.
In case goods to be transported are supplied through an e-commerce operator or a courier agency, information may be furnished by such e-commerce operator or courier agency.
Further, if goods are sent by the principal located in one state or Union territory to a job worker in another state or Union territory then the E-way bill shall be generated either by the principal or the job worker irrespective of the value of the consignment.
In case of handicraft goods transported from one state to another state E-way bill shall be generated although the person who is exempted from the requirement of obtaining registration under clauses (i) and (ii) of section 24, the e-way bill shall be generated by the said person irrespective of the value of the consignment.
(For this purposes “handicraft goods” has the meaning as assigned to it in the Government of India, Ministry of Finance, notification No. 32/2017-Central Tax dated the 15th September, 2017 published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part II, Section 3, Sub-section (i), vide number G.S.R 1158 (E) dated the 15th September, 2017 as amended from time to time.)
The transporter should carry the E-way bill along with the supportive documents for the movement of goods or also he can carry E-way bill number mapped to the RFID (Radio frequency identification device).
Upon generation of E-way bill on the common portal, unique E-way bill number is generated shall be made to the supplier, the recipient and the transporter on the common portal. The recipient should communicate his acceptance or rejection within 72 hours of the details being made available to him on the common portal.
Validity of E-way bill
The validity of E-way bill will be as follows:-
|Over Dimensional Cargo (ODC)||Other Than Over dimensional Cargo||Time Period|
|For First 20 Kms.||For First 100 Kms.||1 day|
|For every 20 Kms. Or part thereof.||For every 100 Kms. Or part thereof.||1 Additional Day|
For this purpose each day shall be counted as the period expiring at midnight of the day immediately following the date of generation of E-way bill.
Provided that the Commissioner may, by notification extend the validity period of E-way bill for certain categories of goods.
The validity of E-way bill can be extended in case of “Exceptional nature of Transhipment” on E-way bill portal with the sub-option “Extend validity” given under E-way bill option. This option is available for extension of e-way bill before 4 hours and after 4 hours of expiry of the validity.
Exceptions to E-way bill
In the following cases generation of E-way bill is not required even if the consignment value of goods is more than INR 50,000/-
- Transportation of goods by way of non-motorized conveyance;
- Transportation of goods from the customs port, airport, air cargo complex and land customs station to an inland container depot or a container freight station for clearance by Customs;
- Non-GST supply such as alcoholic liquor for human consumption, petroleum crude, high speed diesel, motor spirit (commonly known as petrol), natural gas or aviation turbine fuel;
- where the supply of good being transported is treated as no supply under Schedule III of the Act;
- where the goods are being transported under customs bond from an inland container depot or a container freight station to a customs port, airport, air cargo complex and land customs station, or from one customs station or customs port to another customs station or customs port,
- Where goods are being transported under customs supervision or under customs seal;
- where the goods being transported are transit cargo from or to Nepal or Bhutan;
- where the goods being transported are exempt from tax
- where empty cargo containers are being transported; and
- Where goods are being transported up to a distance of 20 KMs from the place of the business of the consignor to a weigh-bridge for weighing or from the weigh-bridge back to the place of the business of the said consignor. However, in this case, the movement of goods has to be accompanied by a delivery challan,
- Where movement of goods is being caused by defence formation under the Ministry of Defence as a consignor or a consignee ,
- Used personal and household effects
(Note:- The consignment value of goods shall be the value, determined in accordance with the provisions of section 15, declared in an invoice, a bill of supply or a delivery challan, as the case may be, issued in respect of the said consignment and also includes the central tax, State or Union territory tax, integrated tax and cess charged, if any, in the document and shall exclude the value of exempt supply of goods where the invoice is issued in respect of both exempt and taxable supply of goods.)
Cancellation of E-way bill
As per Rule 138(9) where an E-way bill is generated under this rule, but the goods are either not transported or are not transported as per the details furnished in the E-way bill, the E-way bill may be cancelled electronically on the common portal, either directly or through the Facilitation Centre notified by the Commissioner, within 24 hours of generation of the E-way bill:
Provided that an E-way bill cannot be cancelled if it has been verified in transit in accordance with the provisions of Rule 138B.
Consequence of non-compliance of E-way bill rules
If e-way bills, wherever required, are not issued in accordance with the provisions contained in Rule 138 of the CGST Rules, 2017, the same will be considered as contravention of rules. As per Section 122 of the CGST Act, 2017, a taxable person who transports any taxable goods without the cover of specified documents (e-way bill is one of the specified documents) shall be liable to a penalty of INR 10,000/- or tax sought to be evaded (wherever applicable) whichever is greater. As per Section 129 of CGST Act, 2017, where any person transports any goods or stores any goods while they are in transit in contravention of the provisions of this Act or the rules made there under, all such goods and conveyance used as a means of transport for carrying the said goods and documents relating to such goods and conveyance shall be liable to detention or seizure.
Applicability of E-way bill in Intra State movement of Goods
E-way bill provision of GST, first introduced on 1 February 2018 was initially made mandatory for inter-state transportation of goods, having consignment value of more than INR 50,000/- through road, railways, airways and vessels. However, after the e-way bill portal crashed on the very first day due to technical glitches, the government extended the deadline and asked GSTN to develop a fool-proof system before the re-launch of the bill.
E-way bill in Inter- state has been rolled out vide Notification No. 15/ 2018- Central Tax dated March 23, 2018 effective from April 1, 2018 and Rule 138 has been substituted vide Notification No. 12/2018- Central Tax, dated March 7, 2018. E-way bill in case of Intra state transactions will be applicable in the phased manner. Following are the details of applicability in the different states of E-way bill in Intra- State transactions:-
|Name of the States||Intra-State Applicable Date|
|o Karnataka||April 1, 2018|
|o Andhra Pradesh
o Uttar Pradesh
|April 15, 2018|
o Himachal Pradesh
|April 20, 2018|
|o Arunachal Pradesh
o Madhya Pradesh
|April 25, 2018|
|o Nagaland||May 1, 2018|
|o Himachal Pradesh||May 5, 2018|
|o Assam||May 16, 2018|
|o Rajasthan||May 20, 2018|
|o Odisha||May 23, 2018|
|o Maharashtra||May 30, 2018|
|o Punjab||June 1, 2018|
The E-way bill provisions aim to remove the bottlenecks in the erstwhile system of VAT in different states. Moreover different states prescribed different rules which made compliance difficult. It will also bring uniformity throughout the Country.
The Studies have found that a large part of time is spent of trucks spent at checkpoints getting tax and customs clearance. These difficulties can have substantial impact on Freight Routes. The GST E-way bill combination is expected to trim logistics costs by 20%.
The physical interface will pave a way for digital interface. This helps logistics industry by increasing efficiency, reducing turn around time as well as costs. Such efforts will help determine the best way forward and contribute to the country’s emergence as a rising global power.