E-Way Bill: Format, Validity, Generation Process & Rules
What is an E-Way Bill in GST?
E-Way Bill (EWB) is a document which is generated electronically and it is required to generate when movement of goods are made from one place to another place and value of goods is more than Rs. 50000.
The free movement of goods across the country without any checking in any state is one of major objective of GST
Every registered person/Taxpayer who transfers his Goods or who causes to movement goods value exceeding fifty thousand rupees
in relation to supply; or
reasons other than supply; or
inward supply from unregistered person
shall generate e-way bill. It means the consignor or consignee or sender or receiver, as a registered person or a transporter of the goods can generate the eway bill. The unregistered transporter can also enroll on the common portal and generate the e-way bill (or can generate through facilitation center as notified by Government) for movement of goods for his clients. Any person can also enroll and generate the eway bill for movement of goods for his/her personal use other than the purpose of supply.
A waybill is a detailed confirmation issued by a transporter giving details and instructions relating to the shipment of a consignment of goods and the details include the name of consignee, the point of origin of the consignment, name of the consignor, its destination, and value of goods, tax amount and route.
GST Law Defines Some Rules & As per Rule 138 of the CGST Rules, 2017 provides for the e-way bill mechanism and in this context it is important to note that “information is to be furnished prior to the commencement of movement of goods” and “is to be issued whether the movement is in relation to a supply or for reasons other than supply”.
The format of E-Way Bill under GST
E waybill is a document generated electronically on the portal which is a proof of movement of goods
E-way bill format consists of two parts, Part A and Part B:
Part A comprising of details of GSTIN of a recipient, place of delivery (PIN Code), invoice or challan number and date, value of goods, HSN code, transport document number and reasons for transportation; and
Part B comprising of transporter details (Vehicle number).
As per Rule 138 of the CGST Rules, 2017, every registered taxpayer who transfers or who causes movement of goods (which may not necessarily be on account of supply it can be for the purpose of other than supply as well) of consignment value more than Rs. 50000/- is required to furnish above-mentioned information such as GSTIN, Place of delivery etc. in part A of an e-way bill. The part B containing transport details helps in generation of an e-way bill.
Who shall Generate E-way bill and why?
E-way bill shall be generated by sender or receiver himself if the transportation is being done in own/hired conveyance or by railways, by air or by Vessel.
If Consigner or consignee or Buyer or Seller both are not registered or they are not generating e-way bill and Goods of value more than 50,000/- has been transported through transporter then it is the responsibility of transporter to Generate E-way bill.
Further, it has been provided that where goods are sent by a principal located in one State to a job-worker located in any other State, the e-way bill shall be generated by the principal irrespective of the value of the consignment. In case of the Job-work value of consignment doesn’t matter.
Also, where handicraft goods are transported from one State to another by a person who has been exempted from the requirement of obtaining registration, the e-way bill shall be generated by the said person irrespective of the value of the consignment.
The process of E-way Generation
There are 2 parts in E-way bill –
Part A will be furnished by the person who is causing movement of goods of consignment value exceeding Rs. 50,000/- and
Part B (transport details)
Part B to be furnished by the person who is transporting the goods.
- Where the goods are transported by a registered person-whether as consignor or recipient, then it is the responsibility of the said person to generate the e-way bill by furnishing details in part B on the GST common portal.
- Where the e-way bill is not generated by registered person and the goods are handed over to the transporter for transportation by road, the registered person shall furnish the details relating to the transporter in Part B of FORM GST EWB-01 on the common portal and the e-way bill shall be generated by the transporter on the said portal on the basis of the information furnished by the registered person in Part A of FORM GST EWB-01.
A Registered taxpayer can upload a tax invoice which is issued by him in FORM GST INV-1 on the common portal and upon uploading the same an Invoice Reference Number shall be Generate. A registered person can use the same Invoice Reference Number for verification by the proper officer in lieu of the tax invoice and such number shall be valid for a period of thirty days from the date of uploading.
In the above-mentioned case, the registered person needs not to upload the information in Part A of FORM GST EWB-01 for generation of eway bill because the information shall be auto-populated by the common portal on the basis of the information/details furnished in FORM GST INV-1.
Upon generation of the e-way bill on the common portal, a unique e-way bill number (EBN) shall be generated by the common portal and such e way bill number shall be made available to the supplier, the recipient and the transporter on the common portal.
The details of eway bill generated shall be made available to the recipient for communicating his acceptance if registered, on the common portal. In case, the recipient does not communicate his acceptance or rejection within seventy-two hours of the details being made available to him it shall be deemed that he has accepted the said details.
The idea behind E-Way Bill
E-way bill is a tool through which it can be confirmed that goods which have been transported are in accordance with GST law and it is also an effective way to tally movement of goods from one place to another place.
Legality/Validity of E-Way Bill
Legality of e-way bill depends on the distance to be traveled by the goods. When distance which needs to be traveled by conveyance is less than 100 Km the e-way bill will be valid for one day from the relevant date and for another every 100 Kms thereafter, the validity will be increased by one day from the relevant date. As per GST law “relevant date” shall mean the date on which the e way bill has been generated and the period of validity shall be counted from the time at which the e-way bill has been generated and each day shall be counted as twenty-four hours. In general, the validity of the eway bill cannot be extended/increased. However, Commissioner may extend the validity period of e-way bill only by way of issue of notification for certain categories of goods which shall be specified later.
Further, if there are some situations or circumstances under which, the goods cannot be transported within the validity period of the e-way bill, in such case the transporter can generate another e-way bill after updating the details in Part B of FORM GST EWB-01.
Cancellation of E-Way Bill
If an eway bill has been generated under rule 138, 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 canceled electronically on the common portal within 24 hours of generation of the e-way bill. But when an e-way bill has been verified in transit in accordance with the provisions of rule 138B of the CGST Rules, 2017 then in such case it cannot be canceled.
An e-way bill has to be prepared for every transportation where the value of the consignment exceeds Rs. 50,000/-.
Where more than one consignments of different values (per consignment) are carried in a single vehicle, an e-way bill needs to be generated only for those consignments whose value is more than Rs. 50,000/-.This does not provide relaxation to the consignor/consignee/transporter to generate e-way bills even for individual consignments whose value is less than Rs. 50000/-.
When multiple consignments have been transported in the same vehicle, the transporter can prepare and generate single consolidated bill by showing the serial number of every e way bill on the portal before the commencement of transport of goods.
There might be a situation that same goods/consignment has been transported through various vehicles or there might be conditions as per buyer and seller that consignment shall be transported in different vehicles. In this situation as per the rules, any transporter transferring goods from one conveyance/vehicle to another vehicle in the course of transit shall, before such transfer and further transfer of goods, change and update the details of the conveyance in the e-way bill on the in FORM GST EWB-01.
The person in charge of a conveyance has to carry the invoice or bill of supply or delivery challan, and a copy of the e-way bill or the e-way bill number, either physically or electronically as defined in rules in such way as may be notified by the Commissioner/officer.
However, where circumstances mandates, the officer, by notification, require the person-in-charge of the conveyance to carry the following documents instead of the e-way bill-
- tax invoice or bill of supply or bill of entry; or
- a delivery challan, where the goods are transported for
- Reasons other than by way of supply.
It can be possible that the Commissioner may, by notification, order a certain defined transporter to obtain a unique RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Device) and get the said device embedded on to the conveyance/vehicle and map the e-way bill to the RFID before movement of goods.
Compulsory Generating of EWay Bill
E-way bill is to be issued irrespective of whether the movement of goods is caused by reasons of supply or otherwise, in other words, whether reason of movement of goods is supply or not, e-way is compulsory to generate.
When reason of transportation is other than supply, the movement could be for export/import, job-work, Semi knocked down or Complete Knocked Down, recipient not known, line sales, sales returns, exhibition or fairs, for own use, sale on approval basis etc.
Situations under which E-way bill is not required
Exceptions to e-way bill requirement, in the following scenarios e-way bill is not required-
- Transport of goods as specified in Annexure to Rule 138 of the CGST Rules, 2017
- goods being transported by a non-motorized conveyance;
- Goods which have been transported from the port, air cargo etc.
- in respect of the transfer of goods within such areas as are notified according to SGST Rules, 2017 of the related State; and goods having the value less than Rs. 50,000/-
Consequences / Penalties in case of non-conformance to E-way bill rules
Rules for e-way bill have been defined under Rule 138 of the CGST Rules, if e-way bill is not issued as per provision of such rule then it will be considered a contravention of rules.
As per Section 122 of the CGST Act, 2017, a taxable person/Registered Taxpayer who transports any taxable goods without generating an e-way bill, he/she shall be liable to a penalty of Rs. 10,000/- or tax sought to be evaded (wherever applicable) whichever is greater.
According to Section 129 of CGST Act, 2017, if any person transports any goods which are not in accordance to the provision of the act or law or the rules made thereunder then in such case all such goods and vehicle used as a means of transport for carrying the said goods and documents relating to such goods and conveyance shall be liable to detention or seizure.
The Commissioner himself or an officer authorized by him in this behalf may authorize the proper officer to check any vehicle to verify the e-way bill or the e-way bill number in physical form for all inter-State and intra-State movement of goods.
The physical verification of vehicle can also be carried out by the proper officer as authorized by the Commissioner or an officer empowered by him in this behalf. Physical verification of a specific vehicle can also be carried out by any officer, on receipt of specific information on evasion of tax, after obtaining necessary approval of the Commissioner or an officer authorized by him in this behalf in other words if officer have any suspect then also he can conduct physical verification
A summary report of every inspection of goods in transit shall be recorded online by the proper officer or commissioner in Part A of FORM GST EWB-03 within twenty-four hours of inspection and the final or concluding report in Part B of FORM GST EWB-03 shall be recorded within three days of such inspection.
Once physical verification of goods being transported on any conveyance has been done during transit at one place within the State or in any other State, then in such case further physical verification of the said conveyance shall not be carried out again in the State, until if any specific information relating to tax evasion is made available to the proper officer.
Where a vehicle has been intercepted and detained for a period exceeding thirty minutes, the transporter may upload the said information in FORM GST EWB-04 on the common portal.
Developments in E-way bill made nowadays are as follows
The 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 discussed the implementation of e-way Bill system in the country. Till such time as National e-way Bill is ready, the States were authorized to continue their own separate e-way Bill systems. However, it was appealed by the traders that this is causing undue hardship in the 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 discussions with all the states, the following decisions are taken:-
- The nationwide e-way Bill system is ready to roll out on a trial basis by 16th January 2018. Traders now can start using this system on a voluntary basis from 16th January 2018.
- The rules for the 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. Notification no. 74/2017-Central Tax dated 29.12.2017 has been issued which notifies 1st February 2018 from which E-Way Bill Rules will come into force.
- Government has started e-way bill system for both interstate and intrastate movement of goods 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. Some states like Karnataka, Rajasthan already using their e-way bill for both intrastate and interstate movement of goods 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 an intra-State movement will be implemented across the country by 1st June 2018.
Conclusion – E-Way Bill Under GST Regime
Simply, Electronic Way Bill (E-Way Bill) is a way in which through the digital way a person who is transporting goods uploads information relating to such goods prior to the commencement of movement of goods and generates e-way bill on the GST portal.
The basic purpose of e-way bill is to remove earlier way bill under VAT in different states which were increasing tax evasion. Moreover, different states prescribed different e-way bill rules which made compliance difficult. Government shall apply interstate nationwide e-waybill compulsory from 1st June 2018, Provisions regarding e-way bill shall bring in a uniform e-way bill rule which will be applicable throughout the country. The physical interface will pave way for the digital interface which will facilitate faster movement of goods. It is bound to improve the turnaround time of vehicles and help the logistics industry by increasing the average distances traveled, reducing the travel time as well as costs.
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