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Introduction to E-Way Bill

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Introduction of Goods and Service Tax (GST) across India with effect from July 1, 2017 was a significant step in the indirect tax reforms in India. For quick and easy movement of goods across India without any hindrance, check posts across in the country has been abolished. The GST system provides a provision of e-way Bill, a document to be carried by the person who causes movement of goods in charge of conveyance, generated electronically from the common portal. The e-way bill under GST regime became applicable from April 1, 2018 for the movement of goods from one state to another. For movement of goods within the states, e-way bill has been introduced in different phases in respect of each state.

E-way bill is a document required to be carried by a person in charge of the conveyance carrying any consignment of goods of value exceeding INR 50,000. It is generated from the GST common portal for E- Way bill system by the registered persons or transporters who cause movement of goods of consignment before commencement of such movement. E-way bill is to be generated in Form GST EWB-01.

Components of e-way bill
Below mentioned are the two components of e-way bill:

  • Part A- which contains the details of Supplier and Recipient, place of delivery, document number and date, HSN code and reason for transportation
  • Part B- comprises transport details- transport document number and vehicle number.

Who can generate e-way bill
Below mentioned are the persons who can generate e-way bill:

  • Registered person- whether as consignor or consignee
  • Unregistered person
  • Transporter

E-way bill is to be generated by the consignor or consignee himself, if the transportation is being done in own / hired conveyance or by transporter if goods are handed over to a transporter for transportation by road. If the consignor or consignee does not generate the e-way bill and the value of goods is greater than INR 50,000, then it shall be the responsibility of the transporter to generate e-way bill.

In case the goods to be transported are supplied through an e-commerce operator, the information in Part A may be furnished by such e-commerce operator. Documents need to be carried along with the goods being transported:

  • Invoice or
  • Bill of supply or
  • Delivery challan or
  • Bill of entry and
  • Copy of e-way bill

The person in charge of the conveyance can carry any of the above documents along with the copy of e- way bill for the purpose of inspection and verification.

Validity of e-way bill:
Validity of the e-way bill depends upon the distance for the goods to be transported.

Distance Validity period
Less than 100 km One day
For every 100 km therefore Additional one day

For an instance, suppose an e-way bill is generated at 21:10 hrs. on 10th June. Then first day would end on 12:00 midnight of 11 -12 June. Second day will end on 12:00 midnight of 12 -13 June and so on.

Authenticity / correctness of e-way bill
Any person can verify the authenticity or the correctness of e-way bill by entering EWB number, EWB date, generator ID and document number in the search option of EWB Portal.

Cases where e-way bill is not required
Below mentioned are the cases where e- way bill is not required if:

  • The mode of transport is non-motor vehicle,
  • LPG for supply to household and non-domestic exempted category(NDEC) customers,
  • Kerosene oil sold under Public distribution system,
  • Postal baggage transported by Department of post,
  • Natural or cultured pearls and precious or semi-precious stones, precious metals and metals clad with precious metal,
  • Jewellery, goldsmiths’ and silversmiths’ wares,
  • Currencies,
  • Used personal and household effects,
  • Unworked and worked coral,
  • Goods being transported are alcoholic liquor for human consumption, petroleum crude, high-speed diesel, motor spirit, natural gas or aviation turbine fuel,
  • Goods transported from Customs port, airport, and air cargo complex or land customs station to Inland Container Depot (ICD) or Container Freight Station (CFS) for clearance by Customs,
  • Goods being transported under Customs supervision or under customs seal,
  • Goods transported under Customs Bond from Inland container depot to Customs port or from one custom station to another custom station,
  • Transit cargo transported to or from Bhutan or Nepal,
  • Movement of goods caused by defence formation as a consignor or consignee under Ministry of defence,
  • Empty Cargo containers are being transported,
  • Consignor transporting goods to or from between place of business and a weighbridge for weighment at a distance of 20 kms, accompanied by a delivery challan,
  • Goods being transported by railway where the consignor of goods is the Central Government, State Governments or a local authority,
  • Goods specified as exempt from E-Way bill requirements in the respective State / Union territory GST Rules.
  • Goods, other than de-oiled cake, being transported are specified in notification No. 2 / 2017– Central tax (Rate). For example : curd, lassi, buttermilk, vegetables, fruits, unprocessed tea leaves and unroasted coffee beans ,live animals, plants and trees, meat, cereals, unbranded rice and wheat flour, salt, items of educational importance (books, maps, periodicals) etc.
  • The goods being transported as specified no supply as per Schedule III of the GST Act.

Situations where e-way bill is required even if the value of consignment is less than INR 50,000

  • Goods are sent by a principal located in one state to a job worker located in any other State, the e-way bill shall have to be generated by the principal.
  • Where handicraft goods are being transported from one State to another by a person, who is exempted from the requirement of obtaining registration, the e-way bill is to be generated by such person.

Important Note:
No e-way bill shall be allowed to generate w.e.f June 21, 2019, if registered person has not furnished GST returns for two consecutive months as per new rule inserted 138E vide its notification no. 74/2018 dt. December 31, 2018.

However, as per recently issued Notification No 25/2019-Central tax dt- June 21, 2019, CBIC has extended the date from which the facility of blocking and unblocking on e-way bill facility as per the provision of rule 138E of CGST Rules, 2017 shall be brought into force to August 21, 2019 from June 21, 2019.

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