The logistics industry is one of the most contributing industries towards India’s economic growth. Transportation of goods takes place every day across interstate and intrastate checkpoints. Earlier, this process used to consume a lot of time and resources due to document checking, but with the introduction of E-Way Bill under GST, the process has been reduced by five to seven hours. An e-way bill needs to be generated by a registered entity for the intrastate transportation of a consignment worth Rs. 50,000 or more and in case of interstate supply e-way bill is required even if the value is less than Rs. 50000.
Parties Involved in Transportation
E-way bill compliances apply to all the parties involved in the transportation of goods, majorly: consignor, transporter, and consignee. A consignor supplies the goods, a transporter transports the goods from origin to destination, and the consignee is the buyer of the goods. The most important role of actually transporting the goods is played by the transporter. A transporter may also be the generator of the e-way bill under certain circumstances. It thus becomes important to know of the transporter’s responsibilities and challenges.
Responsibilities of Transporter
The transporter is basically the person in-charge of the whole transportation process. Hence, with every e-way bill generation, the transporter has to fulfil these responsibilities under GST:
• Enroll: A transporter needs to obtain TRANSIN or transporter ID through enrolment on the e-way bill portal.
• Carry Documents: Transporter needs to carry the tax invoice/bill of supply/bill of entry/delivery challan (depending on transaction) and a copy of e-way bill (or e-way bill number from the portal) at all times during transportation.
• E-Way Bill Generation: If the consignor hasn’t generated an e-way bill, the transported should do so. If the vehicle has multiple consignments, a consolidated e-way bill can be generated instead of generating one for each consignment.
• Ensuring E-Way Bill Accuracy: Transporter should verify e-way bill details before transportation of goods. Also, transporter must enter correct vehicle details and update Part-B of e-way bill before movement of goods, in case of change in transport mode or vehicle.
• Validity Tracking: Transporter should make sure goods are delivered within validity period of e-way bill, and in case of presumed delay, extend its validity through the government portal or ask consignor/consignee to do what is required.
• Inform Vehicle Detention: Transporter can upload information on the government portal regarding detention of vehicle, if it has been detained for more than 30 minutes by field officers.
Challenges Faced by Transporter
The responsibilities mentioned above may seem a bit complex to the transporter. Complying with them may pose a few challenges to the transporter, such as:
• Lack of legal understanding due to sudden change in compliances may lead to bearing of penalty charges by the transporter for non-compliance.
• Due to the huge number of transporters across the nation, IT infrastructure may prove to be insufficient for tracking consignments and updating e-way bill details.
• Transporter may face practical issues while transportation, such as cancellation of order while in transit or rejection of order upon delivery.
• Issues on the government portal may lead to delay in dispatch or movement of consignment.
Due to these responsibilities and challenges, the working of a business may slow down. This is why businesses prefer IT-enabled transporters who can generate e-way bills in no time. Thus, transporters should themselves find and set up the IT infrastructure required to speed up the transportation process while abiding by e-way bill compliances at the same time.