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Impact Of E-Way Bill On E-Commerce Operators

Under the GST regime, the E-Way Bill or Electronic-Way bill is a document that needs to be generated before goods valuing more than INR 50,000 are transported  (intrastate and interstate). In other words – under GST, transporters should carry an E-way Bill mandatorily when they are moving goods from one place to another when certain conditions are satisfied.

The e-Commerce industry is a prime beneficiary of the EWB mechanism. Most of the e-commerce retailers are managing their logistic requirements by developing in-house logistic capabilities. As per research, 50% to the total logistic requirement is managed by these in-house set-ups. The remaining 50% is taken care of by the e-commerce centric logistic providers, India Post, DTDC, etc. In this article, we will discuss the:

E-Way Bill Rules For E-Commerce Operators

Business in the e-Commerce industry involves an intense movement of goods from one place to another. Understanding the volume transactions in this industry, the Government has made certain amendments to the E-Way bill provisions applicable to the e-commerce logistics companies, courier/express cargo companies, and Less than TruckLoad (LTL) operators. These amendments significantly address the concerns of such operators and relax certain other conditions.

As per the norms,

  • For the intra-state movement of goods (roadways) by e-Commerce operators or courier companies, an e-way bill (EWB) is not required to be generated for every consignment when the value of every individual consignment is less than INR 50,000, but the aggregate value of the whole consignment/shipment is more than INR 50,000.
  • The rules have been amended to provide relaxation on the requirement of updating vehicle details for intra-state movement of goods if the distance involved is only 50 KM (10 KM previously).

Impact Of E-Way Bill Rules On E-Commerce Operators

E-way bill generation and documentation:

  • A person who is in charge of the transportation or conveyance of the goods has to carry mandatorily –
    • An invoice, a delivery challan, or a bill of supply
    • An e-way bill or the e-way bill number or an e-way bill mapped to the Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID) embedded on the vehicle transporting the goods.
  • Invoice Reference Number (IRN) from the common portal: This can be generated by uploading the tax invoice on the common portal. The validity of the IRN is 30 days (from the date of upload).
  • Based on the circumstances, the commissioner may notify the person who is in charge of the conveyance to carry a physical copy of the tax invoice/bill of entry/ bill of supply.

Verification of documents and conveyance

  • An authorised officer, if empowered by the commissioner, can intercept the conveyance and verify the e-way bill or the e-way bill number in its physical form, for all intra-state and inter-state movement of goods.
  • Authorised RFID readers are installed at some places for verification. That means the verification of the vehicle with which the e-way bill is mapped is performed automatically by these RFID readers.
  • Physical verification of a conveyance can be performed by the officer who is authorised by the commissioner.

Inspection and verification of goods

  • A summary report of all the inspected goods will have to be recorded online by the authorised officer within 24 hours of the inspection. A final report should be recorded within 3 days of the inspection.
  • Goods which have already undergone physical verification in transit at any place (inter-state/intra-state) will not be required to undergo any physical verification again in the state unless any specific information regarding tax evasion is received subsequently.

Facility to record the information about the detention of vehicle

If any vehicle during an inspection is held for more than 30 minutes without a valid reason, the transporter can submit a ‘Report of Detention” in form GST-EWB-04. Read more about this form here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Whether an e-way bill is required to be generated for sales returns, rejection, etc.?

Ans.Yes, e-way bills are required to be generated for the movement of goods, hence even in case of sales returns, an e-way bill is required.

Q. Who will generate the e way bill?

Ans.E-way bills in the above case have to be generated by the individual/entity, causing the movement of goods or by the transporter. In cases where neither the consignee nor the consignor generates an e-way bill, and the value of the goods exceeds INR 50,000 the onus to generate the EWB would be on the transporter.

Q. What is the validity period of an e-way bill once generated?

Ans.The validity of e-way bills depends on:

  • Distance: The distance between the two locations, i.e. the location of the supplier and the recipient is considered to decide the validity of the EWB.

Note: The calculation of distance involved does not depend on the distance between the location of the transporter and the location of the recipient.

  • Nature of Conveyance: Here, the classifications are based on the type of cargo.
Nature Distance Validity
Normal cargo Up to 100KM  1day
Normal cargo For every additional 100KM 1 day
 Dimensional cargo Up to 20KM 1 day
 Dimensional cargo For every additional 20KM 1 day

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