The free movement of goods across India without any checkposts in between is one of the major objectives of GST. Nation-wide E-Way bill system under GST is set to be implemented from February 1, 2018. Since E-way bill is one of the major reform in GST regime and would bring about a revolutionary change in the way movement of goods will be governed in the country. Further, a very short span of time is available for businesses to understand the intricacies of this new way bill system, resolve the entity-specific issues and streamline the systems and processes to align as per the requirement of the law. In wake of this need, this article intends to highlight and provide a possible solution for various practical challenges and issues that businesses may face in the era of e-way bills under GST.
Ans: Each invoice/delivery challan shall be considered as one consignment and therefore for each invoice one e-way bill has to be generated irrespective of same or different consignors or consignees.
Ans: No, Multiple invoices/delivery challan cannot be clubbed to generate one e-way bill. As provided above each invoice shall be considered as one consignment for the purpose of generating e-way bills. However, after generating all these EWBs, one Consolidated EWB may be prepared by transporter for transportation purpose, if all such goods are going in one vehicle.
Ans: Sub Rule (1) of Rule 138 of the CGST Rules require that every registered person who causes movement of goods of consignment value exceeding fifty thousand Rupees is required to generate E-Way bill. Hence, as per this rule, the e-way bill may not be required to be generated if the value of consignment is less than Rs. 50,000/-
Further, sub-rule 7 provides that where consignor or consignee has not generated E-way bill in accordance with provisions of sub-rule (1) and the value of goods carried in the conveyance is more than Rs. 50,000 Thousand Rupees, the transporter shall generate E-Way bill based on the invoice/delivery challan/bill of supply. A plain reading of this sub-rule gives an indication that the E-Way bill is required in case value of consignment in the conveyance exceeds Rs. 50000, even though individual values may be less than Rs. 50,000/-.
However, if one carefully analyse sub-rule 7, it gets attracted only when a consignor/consignee who was required to generate the E-way bill having a value of consignment exceeding Rs. 50,000/- but has not generated (fails to generate) the same. If this view is taken, the e-way bill may not be required for consignment value less than Rs. 50,000/- even if the total value of goods in the conveyance exceeds Rs. 50,000/-.
e.g. if there are 51 consignments of Rs. 1,000 each by different consignors in a truck, the value of all individual consignments is less than Rs. 50,000/- then as per Sub Rule (1) – there is no need to generate E-way bill. If sub-rule 7 is interpreted in such manner that total value of all consignments to be considered, then transporter has to generate the e-way bill for all consignments (of the very small value of Rs. 1,000 each) which may not be the intention of the legislator. It is expected that suitable clarification will be issued by the government to clarify the same to ensure consistent practice across the country.
Ans: Where goods pertaining to one invoice are transported in multiple vehicles. For example, Goods transported in semi-knocked down or completely knocked down condition, the e-way bill shall be generated for each of such vehicles based on the delivery challans issued for that portion of the consignment and:
a) the supplier shall issue the complete invoice before dispatch of the first consignment;
b) the supplier shall issue a delivery challan for each of the subsequent consignments, giving reference to the invoice;
c) each consignment shall be accompanied by copies of the corresponding delivery challan along with a duly certified copy of the invoice; and
d) the original copy of the invoice shall be sent along with the last consignment.
Above methodology could be applicable in case of imports also where goods imported in the large container is transported through multiple trucks from the port to the factory.
Ans: Yes, an e-way bill is required to be generated in relation to supply and even for the purpose other than supply, therefore wherever there is any movement of goods of the consignment value exceeding Rs.50,000/- even as a part of services, the e-way bill would be required to be generated. In case, invoicing is later done as services, then the movement of such goods can take place under the cover of the delivery challan.
Ans: The term “Consignment Value” is neither defined under this law nor in e-way bill rules. However, where goods are transported for the purpose other than supply, where the invoice cannot be issued, the e-way bill can be raised against any other document like delivery challan, bill of supply etc. The value of such goods may have to be determined as per valuation provisions under GST.
Ans: Yes, for the purpose of movement of goods, courier agencies may be regarded as the transporter of the goods. Therefore, an e-way bill would be applicable even for movement of goods as courier provided consignment value exceeds Rs. 50,000/-. There could be different business practices followed in case of courier industries which needs to be suitably considered for generating an e-way bill.
Ans: Where the e-way bill is generated and goods are to be transported from one conveyance to the other in course of transit, the transporter causing further movement of goods shall be required to update its details in Part – B of the e-way bill before the movement of such goods commences. Therefore, even in case of multi-modal transport initially, e-way bill must be generated giving the details of the vehicle carrying the goods by road. Once the goods are unloaded from this vehicle and loaded in the train, part B of E-way bill needs to be updated. Upon final transit of goods from rail to truck at last mile, part B must be further updated with the details of the vehicle carrying the goods for final delivery.
Ans: The distance and the validity of e-Way Bill shall remain the same even if the goods are supplied through a multi-modal transport. In order to calculate the validity of the e-way bill, the distance to be covered by all the modes combined together must be taken into consideration. The validity provided in the rules is as under:
|For a distance up to 100km||One day|
|For every 100km or part thereof thereafter||One additional day|
Ans: The responsibility is cast on the registered person who causes the movement of goods. Hence, primary liability to raise E-way bill is on consignor. However, if consignor fails to generate the e-way bill, it may be generated by transporter also.
In case of supply of goods by an unregistered person to registered person, the liability to generate e–way bill is on the recipient.
Ans: E-way bill is required to be generated for any movement of goods. In this situation, a factory may send the goods to weighbridge by raising delivery challan on self and the e-way bill needs to be generated for such movement. Once the movement is terminated and goods are received back in the factory, then invoice can be raised and another e-way bill needs to be generated for movement of goods for sale to the customer. Considering practical difficulties, the government should consider giving relaxation in such cases.
Ans: Yes, e-way bill is required to be generated even in case of movement of goods within 10 km. The relaxation updating part B (vehicle details) is given only in cases of movement of goods from the place of business of consignor to the business of transporter for further movement of such goods, Therefore, in all other cases, e-way bill needs to be generated even if the distance to be covered is less than 10 km.
Ans: The term “consignment value” is neither defined in the GST act nor in the e-way bill rules provided therein. However, since it is specifically provided in the FAQ issued by department that one invoice shall be considered as one consignment, therefore taking this analogy one can state that the value provided in one invoice shall be considered as the consignment value. Further, this value must be computed inclusive of taxes in order to determine the threshold of Rs.50,000/- for generation of the e-way bill.
Ans: There is no provision in the E-way bill rule which provides that it is not required to be generated in case of goods exempted from levy of GST. Hence, it has to be generated in movement of all goods. However, Annexure to Rule 138 covers 154 items. If the goods covered under consignment fall within the list of these 154 items, there is no need to generate e-way bills.
Ans: In relation to this query, we may refer to the Rule 138 of CGST Act which provides that:
In view of the above, if the invoice covers the consignment which is not covered under list of 154 items, E-way has to be generated.
Ans: Where the supply of goods is made by an unregistered person to a registered person, the e-way bill shall be generated by the recipient of such goods, as for the purpose of supply he can be said to be the person causing the movement of goods. Therefore, recipient, in this case, would generate e-way bill by furnishing details in Part-A of FORM GST EWB – 01.
Ans: The information furnished in the e-way bill will be available to the registered supplier on the common portal who may utilize the same for furnishing details in GSTR-1. The purpose is to facilitate the suppliers so that once information is furnished in the E-Way bill format, this is available to him for use in filing GSTR-1.
Ans: If the vehicle breaks down while in transit when the goods are being carried with e-way bill, then the transporter can cause to repair the vehicle and continue the journey. Where the goods are shifted to different vehicle, then the details of new vehicle must be updated in Part B and of e-way bill and continue the journey with new vehicle.
Ans: The user can update Part-B (Vehicle details) for each change in the vehicle used in the course of movement of consignment up to the destination point. However, the updating should be done within overall validity period of E-way bill.
Ans: There is an option available under the ‘Consolidated EWB’ menu as ‘regenerate CEWB’. This option allows changing the vehicle number to existing Consolidated EWB, without changing the EWBs and generates the new CEWB, which has to be carried with new vehicle. Old will become invalid for use.
Ans: Yes, the consolidated e-way bill can have the goods or e-way bills which will be delivered on the way of the consolidated e-way bill destination. That is, if the CEWB is generated with 10 EWBs to move to destination X, then on the way the transporter can deliver 3 consignments concerned to 3 EWBs out of these 10 and move with remaining 7 to the destination X.
Ans: Consolidated e-way bill is like a trip sheet and it contains details of different e-way bill which are moving towards one direction, and these e-way bills will have different validity periods. Hence, consolidated e-way bill is not having any independent validity period. However, individual e-way bills in the consolidated e-way bill should reach the destination as per its validity period.
It is also worth noting that the date of invoice/delivery challan is not relevant for determining the beginning time of E-way bill.
Ans: The transporter comes to know the EWBs assigned to him by the taxpayers for transportation, in one of the following ways:
Ans: Part-B can be entered by the transporter assigned in the EWB or generator himself. But the assigned transporter cannot re-assign to some other transporter to update Part-B on the EWB system. Hence, where goods are shifted in the course of movement from one vehicle to another vehicle, part B may be updated by the first transporter only not by subsequent transporters. This could create practical difficulties when multiple vehicles are used in the course of completion of movement.
Ans: No, Part-B can be entered only by the transporter assigned to the e-way bills or generator himself. But the authorized transporter cannot re-assign the right to update the e-way bill to some other transporter to update Part-B. Therefore, in practical circumstances, it is the transporter who issues the consignment note would be the one who shall be issuing the e-way bill.
Ans: The e-way bill once generated cannot be edited or modified. Only Part-B can be updated to it. Further, even if Part A is wrongly entered and submitted, even then the same cannot be later edited. In such a situation, e-way bill generated with wrong information has to be cancelled and generated afresh again. The cancellation is required to be done within twenty-four hours from the time of generation.
Ans: The e-way bill once generated cannot be deleted. However, it can be cancelled by the generator within 24 hours of generation. If it has been verified by any proper officer within 24 hours, then it cannot be cancelled. Further, e-way bill can be cancelled if either goods are not transported or are not transported as per the details furnished in the e-way bill.
A recipient has right to cancel the e-way bill within 72 hours of its generation.
Ans: E-way bill has to be updated with transport document details within one hour of submission and collection of transport document from rail/air/ship authority. Ideally, Part-B has to be updated before movement of goods from the place to submit. Although, this aspect is not provided in the law but the mechanism is provided in the FAQ issued by department dated 06.12.2017.
Ans: Yes, e-way bill needs to be generated for any movement of goods. Therefore, even in case of sales returns, the e-way bill needs to be generated and in this situation, e-way bill needs to be generated by that person who is causing movement of such sales return or the transporter who is actually moving the goods.
Ans: There is possibility that consignee or recipient may decline to take the delivery of consignment due to various reasons. Under such circumstance, the transporter can get one more e-way bill generated with the help of supplier or recipient by indicating supply as ‘Sales Return’ and with relevant document details, goods can be returned to supplier as per his agreement with him.
Ans: The goods are required to be delivered within validity period of E-way bill. If validity of the e-way bill expires, the goods are not supposed to be moved. However, under circumstance of ‘exceptional nature’, the transporter may generate another e-way bill after updating details in Part B. Also, the Commissioner can extend the validity period of e-way bill for certain categories of goods as notified in the notification issued in this regard.
Ans: If the addresses involved in ‘Bill to’ and ‘Ship to’ in an invoice/bill belongs to one legal name/taxpayer as per GSTIN within the state, then one e-way bill has to be generated. That is if the ‘Bill to’ is principal place of business and ‘Ship to’ is additional place of business of the GSTIN or vice versa in an invoice/bill, then one e-way bill is sufficient for the movement of goods.
If the addresses involved in ‘Bill to’ and ‘Ship to’ in an invoice/bill belongs to different legal names/taxpayers, then two e-way bills have to be generated. One e-way bill for the first invoice, second e-way bill is from ‘Bill to’ party to ‘Ship to’ party based on the invoice/bill of the ‘Bill to’ party. This is required to complete the cycle of transactions and taxes will change for inter-state transactions.
For example, A has issued invoice to B as ‘Bill to’ with C as ‘Ship to’. Legally, both B and C are different taxpayers. Now, A will generate one e-way bill and B will issue invoice and generate one more e-way bill. As goods are moving from A to C directly, the transporter will produce both the invoices and e-way bills to show the shortcut movement of goods.
This system would have a lot of practical challenges and implementation issues a lot of real-time coordination is sought prior to the movement of goods.
Ans: Some of the consignments move from one place to another place till they reach their destinations. Under this circumstance, each time the consignment moves from one place to another, the transporter needs to enter the vehicle details using ‘Update Vehicle Number’ option, when he starts moving the goods from that place or the transporter can also generate ‘Consolidated EWB’ with the EWB of that consignment with other EWBs and move to the next place. This has to be done till the consignment reaches destination. But it should be within the validity period of EWB.
Ans: Where the other party wrongly rejects the e-way bill while the goods are in transit then such e-way bill will stand invalid. Presently, no mechanism is provided in the rules to deal with this situation. However, one of the options available to the supplier is to stop the vehicle once the e-way bill becomes invalid and then generate another e-way bill either himself or through transporter. Based on this new E-way bill, goods may be moved further. This issue if not addressed can cause unnecessary hardship even in genuine cases. Suitable clarification may be expected for the same.
Ans: Yes, In this case, the e-way bill will be generated by the recipient who is causing the movement of goods or by the transporter by furnishing the details in FORM GST EWB-01. For the purpose of furnishing the details of recipient, the same be selected as “Inward-Import” along with “Bill of entry” from an “Unregistered Person” as the supplier is located other country. “Foreign Country” should be selected in the drop-down menu of the State.
Ans: Sub-rule (14) of Rule 138 of CGST Rules, 2017 provides that in case the movement is in relation to the goods specified under annexure, no e-way bill is required to be generated. However, the items like petrol, diesel, alcoholic liquor etc are not included under the annexure. Therefore, there could be a view that e-way may require being generated even though they are out of scope of GST.
However, there is another possible view that when goods are not covered within purview of GST law, rule issued cannot require carrying e-way bill for goods outside ambit of law as Rules cannot override the Act. Suitable clarification is required to be issued by Government for the same.
Ans: Yes, e-way bill is required to be generated where the goods are transported by consignor or consignee in his own vehicle. In such case, the person causing the movement of goods may raise the e-way bill after furnishing the vehicle no. in Part B of FORM GST EWB – 01 if the value is more than Rs.50,000/-. Under this circumstance, the person can himself generate the e-way bill if registered in the portal as taxpayer. If the person is un-registered or end consumer, then need to get the e-way bill generated from the taxpayer or supplier based on the bill or invoice issued by him. Alternatively, he himself can enrol and log in as the citizen and generate the e-way bill.
Ans: In case e-way bill is generated but no movement of goods took place, ideally in this scenario the e-way bill generated has to be cancelled. However, if the same is not cancelled within 24 hours, then the system would not allow the cancellation. In such a situation, one can request recipient to reject the e-way bill at his end in the common portal within 72 hours of its generation. However, if the time period for rejection of 72 hours also lapses then no mechanism is provided in the rules. Therefore, it is very important that all e-way bills that are not supported by proper movement of goods or are invalid or wrongly generated must be immediately cancelled.
Ans: In respect of transport of goods by road, Transport Document is not mandatory field for the purpose of generation of E-Way Bill. A person may furnish other mandatory details like “Mode of transport”, “Transport ID” and “Vehicle No.” and can generate the e-Way Bill. Therefore, in case of transportation of goods through goods transport operator the person causing the movement of goods himself has to update Part A and also provide vehicle no. in part B and accordingly e-way bill needs to be generated. Also, if such operator takes registration and obtains TRAN ID, then e-way bill can be raised same as in case movement done through any other registered transporters.
Ans: No, if a transporter is registered under GST and having a valid GSTIN then such transporter need not again obtain TRAN ID and instead his 15 digits GSTIN can itself be used as TRAN ID. However, an unregistered transporter needs to possess a valid TRAN ID in all cases. Unless the 15 digits transporter id is not entered, the transporter will not be assigned to the said e-way bill.
Ans: Generally, registered GSTIN holder will be recorded as supplier or recipient and he will be allowed to work as supplier or recipient. If registered GSTIN holder is transporter, then he will be generating EWB on behalf of supplier or recipient. He needs to enter both supplier and recipient details, which is not allowed as a supplier or recipient.
To change his position from supplier or recipient to transporter, the taxpayer has to select the option ‘Register as Transporter’ under registration and update his profile. Once it is done with logout and re-login, the system changes taxpayer as transporter and allows him to enter both supplier and recipient as per invoice.
Ans: While generating e-way bill the taxpayer has a provision to enter the transporter id in the transportation details section. If he enters 15 digits transporter id provided by his transporter, the e-way bill will be assigned to that transporter. Subsequently, the transporter can log in and update the further transportation details to it.
Ans: EWB System (http://ewabill.nic.in) is dependent on GST Common portal (www.gst.gov.in) for taxpayers registration details like legal name/trade name, business addresses, mobile number and e-mail id. EWB System will not allow taxpayer to update these details directly. If taxpayer changes these details at GST Common portal, it will be updated in EWB system within a day. Otherwise, the taxpayer can update the same by selecting the option ‘Update My GSTIN’ and the details will be fetched from the GST common portal (www.gst.gov.in).
Ans: If the consigner or consignee is unregistered taxpayer and not having GSTIN, then user has to enter ‘URP’ [Unregistered Person] in corresponding GSTIN column.
Ans: If the goods or the vehicle of the taxpayer or transporter has been detained by the tax officers without proper reason for more than 30 minutes, then the transporter can generate “Report of Detention” in form GST EWB-04 giving details of office in-charge.
Ans: The proper officer, as authorized by commissioner or any other person as empowered by him, has the power to make physical verification of conveyance and the e-way bill or e-way bill no. in case of all Inter or Intra-State movement of goods. Further, in case any goods are moving without e-way bill or where the details are partially declared, the proper officer has proper authority to detain or seize such conveyance or goods, and such shall be released after the payment of applicable tax or penalty as provided under section 129 of CGST Act, 2017.
Ans: Yes, Job worker will be liable to issue E-way Bill with respect to the goods sent after completion of his job work. Such goods have to be delivered on the basis of Delivery challan. These cannot be moved merely on the basis of job work invoice as such invoice covered only job work charges not the value of goods.
Ans: Job worker is required to raise an e-Way Bill on the basis of delivery challan and thus the value to be entered in Part-A shall be the value of goods returned and not the job work charges. However, he may send the invoice of job charges along with delivery challan and e-Way Bill. In our view, the value to be included in the E-way bill should be inclusive of the job work charges.
Ans: When goods are transported by the consignor or consignee in conveyance of their own or a hired one (not by a transporter agent), such consignor or consignee shall be liable to furnish the details in Part B of FORM GST EWB – 01. Therefore, even if goods have been transported through a public transport, e-Way Bill is required to be issued.
Ans: E-way bill for the consignment value exceeding Rs. 50,000/- has to be generated before commencement of such movement. Hence, where movement of goods commenced before 1.2.2018, there may not be requirement of generation of E-way bill and one may continue the movement of goods without E-way bill. However, government has enabled the E-way portal on voluntary basis w.e.f. 15.1.2018. Hence, it is suggested to generate E-way bill voluntarily in such cases to avoid any problems in the course of transportation of goods.
Conclusion: E-way bill is new system designed and adapted from the similar schemes running in some States. There may arise many practical challenges in the beginning. We have made an attempt to address few practical issues which may arise in the course of implementation and generation of E-way bill. Wherever there is lack of clarity in the law/rules or portal, it is expected that the Government would come out with suitable clarifications so that the objective of the introduction of E-Way bill and the ultimate goal of “One Nation-One Tax” can be achieved and it does not cause an impediment in the ease of doing business. In case of difficulty writing to the GST Council is presently the best method of resolving issues.
(Article was written on 21.01.2018 by CA Madhukar N Hiregange, CA Ashish Chaudhary & CA Ravi Kumar Somani. For any feedback or queries, you can reach authors at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org)
(Acknowledgment of special efforts by Tushar in compiling the issues related to E-way Bill)