GST: E-way Bill Made Mandatory for Transporting Goods

“In the pre-GST era, waybill compliance had been mandatory for suppliers. Supply of goods couldn’t take place without obtaining the waybills from VAT authorities,” says Neeraj Bhagat, Chartered Accountant of Neeraj Bhagat & Co. Waybill is nothing but a physical document that allows movement of goods. The compliance around waybills had caused restricted movement of goods across states and this is one anomaly which hopefully GST will rectify.

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The CBEC has released electronic way bill or e-way bill rules which will provide the framework for the transport of goods under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime.

Certain items of mass consumptions including vegetables, fruits, food grains, meat, bread, curd, books and jewellery, contraceptives, judicial and non-judicial stamp paper, newspapers, khadi, raw silk, Indian flag, human hair, kajal, earthen pots, cheques, municipal waste, puja samagri, LPG, kerosene, heating aids and currency will be outside the ambit of the e-way bill. The date from which the e-way bill would come into effect would be notified separately.

E-way bill will also not be needed in case of goods transported by a non-motorised conveyance and where the goods are being transported from the port, airport, air cargo complex and land customs station to an inland container depot or a container freight station for clearance by customs. In case of multiple consignments, transporter needs to generate a consolidated e-way bill. If goods are transferred from one vehicle to another then transporter would be required to generate a new e-way.

What is an e-way bill?

E-way bill is an electronic way bill for movement of goods which can be generated on the GSTN (common portal). A ‘movement’ of goods of more than Rs. 50,000 in value cannot be made by a registered person without an e-way bill.

E-way bill will also be allowed to be generated or cancelled through SMS.

When an e-way bill is generated, a unique e-way bill number (EBN) is allocated and is available to supplier, recipient and the transporter.

When should an e-way bill be generated?

E-way bill will be generated when there is movement of goods –

  • In relation to a ‘supply’
  • For reasons other than a ‘supply’ (say, a return)
  • Due to inward ‘supply’ from an unregistered person

Who can generate e-way bill?

  • E-way bill must be generated when there is a movement of goods of more than Rs 50,000 in value to or from a Registered Person. Registered person or the transporter may choose to generate and carry e-way bill even if value of goods is less than Rs. 50,000.
  • Unregistered person or his transporter may also choose to generate e-way bill. This means e-way bill can be generated by both registered and unregistered persons. However, where a supply is made by an unregistered person to a registered person, the receiver will have to do all the compliances as if he’s the supplier.

An e-way bill can be generated by:

       Who                       When                    Part                  Form

    Every Registered         Before movement of
    person under GST         goods                   Fill Part A           Form GST EWB-01
    Registered person is
    consignor or consignee
    (mode of transport may
    be owned or hired) OR    Before movement of
      is recipient of goods    goods                   Fill Part B           Form GST EWB-01
    Registered person is
    consignor or consignee
    and goods are handed
      over to transporter of   Before movement of     Fill Part A & Part B   Form GST EWB-01
    goods                    goods
                                                    Fill form GST
     Transporter of goods                            EWB-01 on basis of     He may also fill
     [if consignor/                                  invoice/bill of        form EWB-02
    consignee does not       Before movement of     supply/delivery        [consolidated
    generate]                goods                  challan                e-way bill]
    Unregistered person      Compliance to be
    under GST and            done by Recipient
    recipient is             as if he is the
    registered.              Supplier.

The information furnished in Part A of FORM GST EWB-01 shall be made available to the registered supplier on the common portal who may utilize the same for furnishing details in FORM GSTR-1.

Provided that when the information has been furnished by an unregistered supplier in FORM GST EWB-01, he shall be informed electronically, if the mobile number or the email is available.

Where an e-way bill has been generated under this rule but 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 a 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.

Validity of an e-way bill

An e-way bill is valid for periods as listed below, which is based on the distance travelled by the goods. Validity is calculated from the date and time of generation of e-way bill-

      Distance                    Valid from                     Valid for
                                Date & time at which e-way
    Up to 100 km                bill is generated                1 day
    For every 100 km or part    Date & time at which e-way
    thereof thereafter          bill is generated                1 additional day

Commissioner may, by notification, extend the validity period of e-way bill for certain categories of goods as may be specified.

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About Neeraj Bhagat & Co.

We are a team of 40 professionals comprising of Chartered Accountants, MBA’s and other finance professionals rendering services in the field of Accounting, Statutory Tax Compliances, FEMA, Transfer Pricing, Statutory  Audits and Tax due diligence since last 19 years. Neeraj Bhagat & Co. has offices in New Delhi, Gurgaon and Mumbai. We are part of INAA Accounting Association which is one of the World’s Top 20 in accounting associations.