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Introduction

GST was introduced as a new law in September 2016. It paved the way for regularization of taxation on goods and services and helped to bring the entire nation under a single tax regime. GST introduces various provisions for manufacturers and service providers. It also envisioned a system that was highly digitalized to remove any corruption.

GST E-way Bill is a provision that ensures seamless movement of goods between and within states. As per Article 68 of the Goods and Services Tax Act, read in compliance with Rule 138, E-way Bill is a mandatory document to be carried by the person transporting any shipment of goods that exceeds Rs. 50,000 in value.

A GST E-way Bill is generated on the E-way Bill Portal by the person transporting the goods. A physical copy of the E-way bill should be carried with the transporter and produced when asked by authorities.

The GST E-way bill was adopted in April 2018. It's now compulsory around the nation. Registered GST Taxpayers will register via GSTIN on the E-way bill portal. Unregistered persons/carriers can enrol in the E-way billing system by providing their PAN and Aadhaar.

What are the uses and applications of a GST E-way Bill?

The primary use of GST E-way Bill is in product supply. E-way Bill is mandatory for any inter-state transportation of goods with a distribution volume exceeding Rs. 50,000/-in motorised transport.

  • Registered GST Taxpayers will register via GSTIN on the E-way bill portal.
  • Unregistered persons/carriers can enrol in the E-way billing system by providing their PAN and Aadhaar.
  • Supplier, Recipient or a Transporter generates an E-way Bill.
  • The vehicle number can be entered and updated in PART-B of Form EWB-01 by those who created the E-way bill or by the carrier.
  • The QR code is given in the E-way bill to promote rapid verification.
  • Certain products have been removed from the E-way bill and the list is available as an appendix to Rule 138 of the CGST Laws. E-way Bill is not necessary for transport through non-motorized means of transport.

And even if the transfer of commodities is triggered for factors other than supply, an E-way bill must be produced. Reasons other than supply include the transfer of commodities on the grounds of:

  • Export/Import
  • Job Work
  • Semi Knocked Down (SKD)/Complete Knock Down (CKD)
  • Recipient (Unknown)
  • Line Sales
  • Sales Returns
  • Exhibition or Fairs

For some prescribed items, the E-way bill must be deemed obligatory even if the amount of the shipment of goods is less than Rs. 50,000;

  • Interstate flow of goods from the principal to the worker and from the worker to the principal.
  • Interstate transport of handicraft goods by merchant exempted from GST registration.

How to generate an E-way Bill?

There are various ways for generating E-way Bill 

  • Online on the Web  
  • Android App - The IMEI of the phone and the registered mobile number has to be given
  • SMS based generation through your registered Mobile Number
  • Excel based upload is also available for bulk generation
  • Using Site-to-Site integration
  • Using GSP (Goods and Services Tax Suvidha Provider)

There are two parts to generating an E-way bill: Part A slip and Part B slip. 

First, the user uses the Part-A Slip to store the transportation details temporarily on the E-way billing system. Once the particulars of the consignment are confirmed and the vehicle is ready to move, the user enters the details in Part-B and generates the final E-way bill. In simple terms, Part-A is the preliminary form that is finalised as an E-way bill through Part-B slip.

Points to remember: 

  • If an E-way bill is generated with inaccurate facts, it can be cancelled and a new E-way bill can be generated.
  • Provision for cancellation of the E-way Bill within 24 hours by the individual who created the E-way Bill.
  • Within 72 hours of generation, the receiver can reject the E-way bill.
  • Notification messages are also sent to users via web and SMS messages.

Who can generate the E-way bill? What are the documents required to generate an E-way Bill?

The E-way bill can be created by the vendor or consignee, as a registered individual or transporter of the goods. The unregistered carrier will file on the GST Common portal and produce an E-way bill for the transport of products for its customers. Any citizen, other than the latter, can also make an E-way bill for the transportation of products for his or her own use.

The primary criteria for generating E-way bills is that the person who creates E-way bills should be a registered person on the GST portal and should also register on the E-way bill portal. If the carrier is not a licenced entity under the GST, it is mandatory for the carrier to register on the E-waybill platform prior to the generation of the E-way bill.

Here is a list of documents required to generate an E-way bill: 

  • Tax invoice 
  • Bill of supply 
  • Delivery challan 
  • Identification papers of the transporter which carries the goods 
  • Document number of the carrier 
  • Registration number of the vehicle in which the goods are transported 

Once the E-way bill is generated, it shall be carried by the person in charge of the conveyance. Along with it, he should also carry the following documents:

  • Invoice or Bill of Supply 
  • Distribution challan 
  • Bill of entry 
  • Copy of the E-way bill or the number produced from the common portal in electronic form

Validity of the E-way Bill

The validity of the E-way bill shall begin when the first entry is made in Part B, i.e. the first entry of the vehicle in the case of road transport or the first entry of the transport record in the case of rail/air/ship transport, whichever is the first entry. It should be noticed that the validity of following entries in Part B is not recalculated.

The period of validity of the EWB shall be determined on the basis of the 'approx.' distance entered while creating the E-way bill. For every 100 KM of travel distance, the validity is one day, and for every additional 100 KM, one more day shall be applied. For ex, if the approx. distance is 425 KM, the period of validity is 4+1 days. For Over-Dimensional Cargo (ODC) movement, the validity is one day for every 20 KM (instead of 100 KM) and one more day for every 20 KM or half of it is applied.

If you face any unforeseen circumstances where the consignment cannot reach the destination within the validity period, you can extend the validity of the E-way bill. Exceptional circumstances like natural calamity, law and order issues, trans-shipment delay, accident of conveyance, etc. are considered for this purpose. The transporter needs to give a detailed description of the reason for extending the validity period of an E-way bill.

The option to extend the validity is available on the E-way bill portal. One can extend the validity of an E-way bill 8 hours before and 8 hours after the expiry of the validity period. The extension has to be done by the transporter carrying the consignment, as mentioned on the original E-way bill. The transporter has to enter the E-way bill number and enter the reason for the extension request. Enter other details like ‘from place’ (current place), approximate distance to travel and Part-B details. Please note that you cannot change the details of Part-A. The validity extension shall be issued based on the distance remaining to be traveled.

Editing or modification of the E-way Bill

One should take utmost care while creating an E-way Bill as it won’t allow you to edit or modify the bill once it is generated. However, the system allows you to edit or modify the details before submission. If you want to change the products/commodities details, you have to delete the products, edit the required fields and enter the products again. This is to ensure the correct tax rates.

The E-way bill once generated cannot be edited or modified. Only Part-B can be updated. However, if an E-way bill is generated with wrong information, it can be cancelled and generated afresh. The cancellation is required to be done within twenty-four hours from the time of generation.

Once the E-way Bill has been generated, you cannot edit or modify it; Part-B can be updated though. If you find that the E-way bill has been generated with incorrect information, you can cancel it and generate a fresh one. Remember that the cancellation has to be done within 24 hours of bill generation.

FAQs

1. I've already registered with the GST Portal. Do I need to log into the eWay Portal again?

Yes. Every enrolled person who needs to produce a GST E-way bill is expected to register on the E-way billing portal using their GSTIN. When GSTIN is entered, the device sends an OTP to its registered mobile phone, registered with the GST Portal, and after verification, the system allows it to create its username and password for the E-way billing system. After creating the username and password of his/her choosing, he/she will proceed to make entries to generate the E-way bill.

2. Why should a transporter register on the E-way bill system?

There may be certain carriers who are not registered under the Goods and Services Tax Act, but those carriers may enable the transfer of goods to their clients. They need to sign up for the E-way billing site to get 15 digits Unique Transporter Id (TRANSIN) to create an E-way Bill.

3. How can an unregistered transporter get his Unique ID or Transporter ID?

Unregistered transporters can get their Unique ID or Transporter ID by registering on the EWB Portal.

4. Does one require an E-way Bill for all kinds of good transportation?

Yes, one needs an E-way Bill for movement of all goods over the value of Rs. 50,000. It is necessary to transport all items except those exempted under the Notification or Law. The transportation of handicrafts or goods for work-related purposes under defined circumstances requires an E-way bill even if the value of the consignment is less than fifty thousand rupees.

5. What kind of transports require an E-way bill?

An E-way Bill is needed for transportation of goods in all the below mentioned movements: Outward supply whether within the State or interstate, inward supply whether from within the State or from interstate including from an unregistered persons or for reasons other than supply.

6. Are E-way bills required to be issued for imports and exports as well? What has to be the shipping address in case of export supply type?

Since imports and exports are deemed to be interstate goods movements under the GST Act, the E-way bill must also be provided for these transactions. The importer will produce an E-way bill for imports. The exporter is responsible for producing an E-way bill for export supplies. For an export supply, the 'Bill To' Party shall be the URP or GSTIN of the SEZ Unit with the State as 'Other Country' and the forwarding address and the PIN code shall be the place (airport/shipping yard/border check post) from which the shipment travels out of the country.

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