A way bill is a document prepared by the carrier of a shipment of goods that contains details of the shipment, route, and charges and an e-way bill is an electronically generated bill or document which is required to be generated for the movement of goods of more than Rs 50,000 from one place to another. This document is required to be generated online for transportation of goods irrespective of whether such transportation is inter-state or intra-state.

The E-way bill under the GST regime replaces the Way Bill which was required under the VAT Regime for the movement of goods. The way bill under the VAT regime was a physical document which was required to be generated for the movement of goods. The physical document under the VAT regime has now been replaced with an electronically generated document in the GST regime.

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 the supplier, recipient, and the transporter.

The e-way bill under the GST regime is required to be generated by-

1. Every registered person who causes movement of goods of consignment

a. In relation to supply (Eg. Sales)

b. For reasons other than supply (eg sales return, branch transfer etc) or

c. Due to inward supply from an unregistered person.

2. Every unregistered person who causes movement of goods.

For this purpose, a supply may be either of the following:

  • A supply made for a consideration (payment) in the course of business
  • A supply made for a consideration (payment) which may not be in the course of business
  • A supply without consideration (without payment)

In simpler terms,  the term ‘supply’ usually means a:

1. Sale – sale of goods and payment made

2. Transfer – branch transfers for instance

3. Barter/Exchange – where the payment is by goods instead of in money

Therefore, e-way bills must be generated on the common portal for all these types of movements.

  • 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. A Registered person or the transporter may choose to generate and carry e-way bill even if the value of goods is less than Rs 50,000.
  • Unregistered persons or their transporters may also choose to generate an e-way bill. This means than an 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 ensure all the compliances are met as if they were the supplier. 

E-Way Bill in case of movement by registered person

In case the movement is caused by the registered person as a consignor (i.e seller) or the recipient of supply as consignee (i.e buyer), whether in his own conveyance or hired one or by railways or by air or vessel, the registered person or the recipient may generate the e-way bill in Form GST EWB 01 electronically on the common portal after furnishing information in Part B of Form GST EWB 01.

In case the movement of goods is caused by the registered person and handed over to the transporter for transportation by road, but the e-way bill has not been generated- it would be the responsibility of the transporter to generate the e-way bill.

The registered person shall first furnish the information relating to the transporter in Part B of Form GST EWB 01 on www.gst.gov.in portal and then the e-way bill shall be generated by the transporter on the basis of the information furnished by the registered person in Part A GST EQB 01.

E-Way Bill in case of movement by unregistered person

If the goods are supplied by an unregistered person to a registered person and the registered person is known at the time of commencement of movement of goods, it would be deemed that the movement of goods is caused by the registered person. In such a case , the registered person or the transporter shall complete the formalities of the e-way bill.

Intimation of generation of E-Way Bill

  1. Upon generation of th e-way bill, a unique e-way bill number (EBN) shall be made available to the supplier, the recipient and the transporter on the GST website who may utilise the same for furnishing the details in Form GSTR 1
  2. The recipient shall communicate his acceptance or rejection of the consignment covered by the e-way bill within 72 hours.
  3. In case the recipient does not communicate his acceptance or rejection within 72 hours of the details being made available on the GST Website , it shall be deemed that he has accepted the said details.

Situations where E-Way Bill is not required to be generated

  1. The goods are transported for a distance less than 10 km within the same state from the place of the business of the transporter to the place of business of the Consignee.
  2. The goods are transported for a distance less than 10 km within the state from the place of business of the consignor to the place of business of the transporter for further transportation.
  3. The goods are transported by a non-motorised conveyance.
  4. 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.
  5. In respect of movement of goods within such areas as are notified under clause (d) of sub-rule (14) of rule 138 of the Goods and Services Tax Rules of the concerned state.

It is to be noted that if a transporter is transporting multiple consignments in a single conveyance, they can use the form GST EWB-02 to produce a consolidated e-way bill, by providing the e-way bill numbers of each consignment. If both the consignor and the consignee have not created an e-way bill, then the transporter can do so by filing out PART A of Form GST EWB- 01 on the basis of the invoice/bill of supply/ delivery challan given to them.

Items Exempted from Listing under GST  E-Way Bill

The central government has recently announced a list of particulars which are totally exempted from the e-way bill provision under the GST. These items are considered as common use items and are exempted from the necessity of having an electronic permit for the transportation under the GST scheme.

According to the goods and services tax, it is mandatory to have a permit i.e. E-way bill for transportation of consignment with Value more than 50000 in order to check tax evasion practices. But in a recent GST Council meeting on August 5, it was announced a list of 153 products which are totally exempted to be requiring any sort of e-way bill while transportation.

The list which is exempted from the e waybill includes some of the items like:

  • LPG
  • Kerosene
  • Jewellery
  • Currency
  • Live Bovine Animals
  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Fresh milk
  • Honey
  • Seeds
  • Cereals
  • Flour
  • Betel Leaves
  • Raw Silk
  • Khadi
  • Earthen Pot
  • Clay Lamps
  • Pooja Samagri
  • Hearing Aid
  • Human Hair
  • Frozen Semen
  • Condoms
  • Contraceptives

 The information provided in Part A of the Form GST EWB-01 can be used for preparing GSTR-1.

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
Up to 100km Date & time at which e-way bill is generated 1 day
For every 100 km after that Date & time at which e-way bill is generated An extra day

Decision of GST Council : Inter State E-way Bill to be made compulsory from 1st of February, 2018, system to be ready by 16th of January, 2018

The 24th meeting of the GST Council held on 16/12/2017 through a video conferencing. It discussed about the implementation of E-way Bill system in the country. Till such time as National E-way Bill is ready, the states were authorised to continue their own separate E-way bill systems. However, it was represented by the trade and transporters that this is causing undue hardship in inter-state movement of goods and therefore , bringing in an early all India system of e-way bill has become a necessity. The GST Council reviewed the progress of readiness of hardware and software required for the introduction of nationwide e-way bill system. After discussion with all the states, the following discussions are taken:-

  1. The nationwide e-way bill system will be ready to be rolled out on a trial basis latest by 16th January,2018. Trade and transporters can start using this system on a voluntary basis from 16th January,2018
  1. The rules for implementation of nationwide e-way Bill system for inter-state movement of goods on a compulsory basis will be notified with effect from 1st February, 2018. This will bring uniformity across the States for seamless inter-state movement of goods.
  1. While the system for both inter-state and intra-state e-way bill generation will be ready by 16th January,2018, the states may choose their own timings for implementation of e-way bill for intra-state movement of goods on any date before 1st June, 2018. There are certain states which are already having system of e-way bill for intra-state as well as inter-state movement and some of those states can be early adopters of national e-way bill system for intra-state movement also. But in any case uniform system of e-way bill for inter-state as well as intra-state movement will be implemented across the country by 1st june 2018.

Conclusion: The e-way bill may create a digital hurdle for the government as the e-way bill according to the provisions mandates to originate the bill on each supply and transportation of products above the value of RS 50,000. This provision concludes that there will be enormous online bill production every day which might block the servers as it did previously on the occasion of filing returns. Therefore, many opinions are directing are towards a safe bet in order to maintain the equilibrium whenever the bill gets introduced.

Suman GuptaAuthor: ACS Suman Gupta.

Mail id : guptacssuman@gmail.com

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Disclaimer: This is only a knowledge sharing initiative and author does not intend to solicit any business or profession. I assume no responsibility for the consequences of use of such information. In no event shall i be liable for any direct , indirect , special or incidental damage resulting from arising out of or in connection with the use of the information . it is not a professional advice so please do consult your professional adviser for your queries

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