What is E-Way Bill :
An E-way bill is a document containing the details relating to the consignment of goods such as quantity, rate, description, name of consignor, consignee, date and mode of transport, details of the vehicle, origin and destination of the consignment. It acts as mechanism to check the tax evasion. It can act as tool to track the movement of goods.
E-Way bill mechanism under GST –
E-way bill mechanism is prescribed under Rule 138 of the CGST Rules, 2017. E-waybill has to be generated by an electronic portal before the commencement of movement of the goods and a unique number is generated which is valid for a specific period.
It can also be generated or cancelled through SMS, Mobile APP or from a software which has an API with the GST portal.
The new E-way bill system replaces the old waybill systems under different VAT laws under different states, tries to unify the same, and helps in seamless transit of the goods throughout the country. It reduces the complexity and reduces the time at the check posts, which improved the logistics.
E-way bill system is also linked to GST Returns. Data can be imported from Waybill portal to GST Portal. Government can use this as a tool to curb the leakage of revenue; it can issue notices if there are discrepancies.
Cases where E -Waybill to be issued-
Every registered person under GST who causes movement of goods (which may or may not necessarily be because of supply) of consignment value more than Rs. 50,000/- will be liable to generate E-way bill.
E-way bill shall be issued for transportation of goods not only on account of supply but also for Imports/exports, jobwork, exhibitions or fairs, for own use, sale on approval basis, sales returns, SKD and CKD, recipient not known, repair of goods, free samples etc.
In cases like Interstate movement of goods by Principal to Job Worker and Dealer of Handicraft goods exempted from GST registration, waybill needs to be generated even if the value of consignment is less than Rs. 50,000/-.
Persons required generating E waybill –
E-Way bill is to be generated by the consigner or consignee if the transportation is being done in own/hired conveyance or by railways by air or by vessel.
If goods are handed over to a transporter for transport by road, then it has to be generated by transporter. If neither consignor nor consignee generates then it’s the responsibility of the transporter.
If a principal sends the goods to a job worker in another state, then principal needs to generate.
If unregistered person supplies goods to registered person then it’s the responsibility of recipient to generate the E-Way bill.
Details required in E-Way bill under GST-
E-way bill is divided in to Part A & Pat B
- Details required in Part A : Part A contains GSTIN of supplier and receiver of goods, Place of Delivery, Pin code, Invoice or challan number and date, HSN code, Quantity, Value of Goods, Rate of GST, purpose and place from which the goods are transported.
- Details required in Part B : Part B contains the details of the transporter, mode of transport, Vehicle number, date of the document and distance between the place of dispatch and place of receipt.
Validity of E-Way bill :
The validity of the Waybill depends on the distance between the place of dispatch and place of delivery. Validity period starts only when the details are updated in Part B of the Waybill.
In case of normal cargo it is valid for one day i.e. 24 hours from the time of generation of waybill for the distance of 100 KM, further for every 100 km the validity would be additional one day.
In case of over dimensional cargo the distance is 20 km instead of 100Km i.e one day for every 20km and further for every 20Km the validity would be one day.
e.g. if the waybill is generated at 14.00 on 21st March then first day would end on the 12.00 midnight of 22nd March. Second say will end at 12.00 midnight of 23rd March.
The validity of the waybill can be extended in certain circumstances. The same can be done before or after 4 hours of the expiry of the waybill. The request can be made online with the reasons requesting the same.
Procedure to generate E-Way bill :
Part A of the Form GST EWB-01 to be furnished by the person who is supplying/ causing the movement of goods and Part B to be furnished by the person who is transporting the goods.
If the supplier or buyer transports the goods then they will have to generate the Part B of the Form GST EWB-01 of the waybill also.
If the goods are handed over to the transporter and the supplier or buyer does not generate the waybill then the transporter has to generate the Part B based on the information furnished on the Part A of the Form GST EWB-01 by the supplier or buyer in the common portal.
Upon generation of the unique e waybill number on the GST portal same shall be furnished to the supplier, recipient and the transporter of the goods.
Procedure in some special situations:
Multiple consignments in single vehicle :
Waybill need to be generated for those consignments whose value exceeds Rs. 50,000/-. Also the transporter needs to generate a consolidated waybill indicating all the E Waybill numbers carrying in the vehicle before the commencement of the transport if the goods.
Multiple Vehicles for carrying single consignment:
When multiple vehicles are used for carrying same consignment i.e. if the consignment is transferred from one vehicle during the transit then the same can be updated in the Part B of Form GST EWB-01.
Documents that need to be carried along with the E-Way bill:
Along with the copy of E waybill the person in charge of the conveyance need to carry an Invoice or Bill of Supply or Delivery challan or Bill of entry as the case may be.
Modification and Cancellation the E-Waybill:
If any E-way bill is generated, but not transported as per the details furnished then the same can be cancelled within a period of 24 Hours of the generation through the GST portal or through a facilitation centre notified. A waybill cannot be cancelled after 24 hours or if it had been already verified in transit.
Similarly, if there is any mistake or incorrect details in the E waybill, the same cannot be modified or corrected, it has to be cancelled and a new waybill has to be generated and in this case also the the period for cancellation is 24 hours.
Rejection of E-way bill :
Consignee can reject the waybill within 72 hours of the generation of waybill, if it was not exercised it is deemed to be accepted.
Exceptions for issuing E waybill:
Waybill is not required to be generated in the following cases –
- As specified in Annexure to Rule 138 of CGST Rules,2017;
- Goods transported by a non-motorised vehicle;
- Transportation of goods from port, airport, air cargo complex and land customs station to an inland container depot or freight station for clearance by Customs
- Consignment value less than Rs. 50,000/-
Consequences of non-compliance:
Any taxable person who transports any taxable goods without the proper E Waybill and other specified documents shall be levied a penalty of Rs. 10,000/- or tax sought to be evaded whichever is greater. Also the goods and conveyance shall be liable to detention or seizure.
Power to enforce the provisions :
Commissioner or officer empowered by him in this behalf may authorise the proper officer to intercept any vehicle and verify the e Waybill for all the movement of goods.
Physical verification of the vehicles can also be done by the officer authorised by the commissioner or empowered by him.
A summary report of every inspection of goods in transit shall be recorded online by the officer within 24 hours of inspection of the conveyance and the final report within three days of Inspection.
In some cases the e waybill acts as a boon to businesses by way of reduced time for generation , alteration and cancellation, or easy interface, reduced time at the check posts, free movement of vehicles throughout the country etc. some small business or some traditional businesses without E- environment may face difficulties. So, businesses needs to embrace the E-environment and upgrade their IT systems. Also there are many cost effective accounting software which are also easy to use and waybills can be directly generated from the same which reduces the time for accounting and the reconciliation between the portals and books for example Zoho books.
Further the penalties for non-compliance is high and the reputation of the organisation is also at stake, so it is advised to companies needs to device proper strategy to cope with the changes with the help of in house or external consultants.