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As the name suggests, an e-Way Bill is an online bill that is used for supply of goods under GST. It l is a document required to be carried by a person in charge of the conveyance carrying any consignment of goods of value exceeding fifty thousand rupees as mandated by the Government in terms of Section 68 of the Goods and Services Tax Act. It is generated from the GST Common Portal for e-Way bill system by the registered persons or transporters who cause movement of goods of consignment.
E-way bill will need to be issued before goods are dispatched and it would be important to carry E-way bill for the goods in transit as an authorised officer can intercept the conveyance/trucks to verify e-way bill. The Transportation of goods of more than Rs. 50,000 (Single Invoice/bill/delivery challan) in value in a vehicle cannot be made by a registered person without an e-Way bill from 1st April 2018. E-way bill can be generated or cancelled through the e-Way Bill, website, SMS, Android App, and by Site-to-Site Integration (through API).
When an e-Way bill is generated, a unique e-Way Bill Number (EBN) is allocated for each consignment and is available to the supplier, recipient, and the transporter. The validity of this EBN depends on the distance of transportation of goods.
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E-Way Bill is the short form of Electronic Way Bill which is totally different from the GST Audit. It is a unique document/bill, which is electronically generated for the specific consignment/movement of goods from one place to another -- either interstate or intrastate, with a value of more than INR 50,000 -- required under the current GST regime.
As per the update on 23rd Mar 2018, generation of the E-Way Bill has been made compulsory from 1st April 2018. Inter-state implementation of e-way bill is notified to be implemented from 1st April 2018.
The E-Way Bill replaces the Way Bill, which was a physical document, and existed during the VAT regime for the movement of goods.
If a registered person is transporting goods as consignor or as recipients of goods i.e. consignee through own conveyance, hired conveyance, railways, by air or vessel, then the said person must generate E-way bill in FORM GST EWB-01 electronically after furnishing detail in Part B of FORM GST EWB-01.
Where goods are transported by railways or by air or by vessel, consignor or the recipient of the supply as consignee shall furnish information in Part A of FORM GST EWB-01.
Where Consignor and Consignee have not generated FORM GST EWB-01 and movement of goods is more than 50,000, transporter shall generate FORM GST EWB-01 on the basis of invoice or bill of supply or delivery challan.
E-Way bill can be generated at the option of transporter or registered person even if value of consignment is less than 50,000.
Where Movement of goods is made by unregistered person through his own conveyance, hired conveyance or through transporter then either by such person or the transporter at their option generate E-Way Bill in FORM GST EWB-01. However, if the recipient is a registered person, then the recipient will have to do all the compliances as if he is supplier. [Explanation 1 of Rule 138]
The consignor or consignee, as a registered person or a transporter of the goods can generate the e-way bill. The unregistered transporter can enroll on the common portal and generate the e-way bill for movement of goods for his clients. Any person can also enroll and generate the e-way bill for movement of goods for his/her own use.
E-Way Bills are generated either via online e-way bill system or SMS. The bill needs to be generated before the start of the movement of goods about supply/reasons other than supply/ inward supply from an unregistered person.
Also, you can generate E-way bill on the GST e-Way Portal. To use the portal, you will need a GST registration and transporter registration.
Step 1: Access the e-way bill generation portal at https://ewaybill.nic.in/ and enter the login details to enter the platform.
Step 2: Click on the “Generate New” option from the e-Way bill Main menu page to generate a new e-Way bill.
Step 3: A new e-way bill generation form appears. Fill in the details required similar to creating a GST invoice.
Select outward, if you are the supplier. And inward, if you are the recipient. Enter details of the supplier and recipient along with GSTIN, wherever applicable.
When a registered GSTIN is entered in the field provided in the form, other details get pulled into the empty fields. Before proceeding to the next step kindly check the details.
Step 4: The second half of the page will contain information to be filled as follows:
Product Name and Description must be completed similar to a tax invoice.
HSN Code for the Product must be entered.
IGST or CGST Rates applicable. IGST would be applicable for inter-state transport and SGST / CGST for intra-state transport.
Approximate distance of transport. This would determine the validity of the e-way bill.
Step 5: Click on the “SUBMIT” button to generate the e-way Bill. The e-way bill gets displayed which contains the e-way Bill number and the QR Code that contains all the details in the digital format. The printed copy of the bill should be provided to the transporter who will carry it throughout the trip till it is being handed over to the consignee.
Consolidated e-way bill is a document containing the multiple e-way bills for multiple consignments being carried in one conveyance (goods vehicle). That is, the transporter, carrying multiple consignments of various consignors and consignees in one vehicle can generate and carry one consolidated e-way bill instead of carrying multiple e-way bills for those consignments.
Consolidated EWB is like a trip sheet and contains details of different EWBs in respect to various consignments being transported in one vehicle. These EWBs will have different validity periods.
Hence, Consolidated EWB does not have any independent validity period. However, individual consignment specified in the Consolidated EWB should reach the destination as per the validity period of the individual EWB.
You can generate consolidated E-Way bill in FORM GST EWB-02 before movement of goods. A consolidated e-Way bill can be created containing all the details on the transaction and is also easy to generate it by providing just the ‘e-Way bill number’ in the required field.
In case the e-Way Bill is generated but the goods have not yet been transported to the destination, then the bill needs to be cancelled. It can either be cancelled electronically via the GST website or through a GST Facilitation Centre within 24 hours of generation of the bill. If any officer has already verified the bill during transit, then it cannot be cancelled.
An e-way bill will act as an effective tool to check on tax evasion at various points and to track the movement of goods. But when it is not required to be generated, the transporter has to ensure that a copy of tax invoice or a bill of supply prepared according to the provisions of Law is carried.
Below are the cases when the generation of e-Way Bill is not a requirement:
When the value of the consignment of goods moved is less than INR 50,000 (however, there are certain goods for which the e-way bill is mandatory even though the value of the goods is less than Rs. 50,000. Examples of such goods are when there is an inter-state movement of goods by the Principal to Job-worker and when the Inter-State Transport of Handicraft goods by a dealer is exempted from GST registration);
When the conveyance used is a non-motor vehicle;
If Goods are being transported:
From the port, airport, air cargo complex and land customs station to an inland container depot (ICD) or a container freight station (CFS) for clearance by Customs
From ICD or CFS to a customs port, airport, air cargo etc. under customs bond
From one customs port/station to another one under customs bond
Goods transported under the customs supervision or customs seal
If within the same state, the goods are transported for a distance less than 10 km, from the business place of the transporter to the business place of the consignee;
If within the same state, the goods are transported for a distance less than 10 km, from the business place of consignor to the business place of transporter for further transportation
Goods transported within the notified area
Goods transported are transit From/to Nepal/Bhutan
Where goods being transported are specified in CGST Rules 2017 [Eg. Vegetables, fruits, food grains etc.]
So, if a taxpayer falls under any of the above categories, he will not be required to generate an e-Way bill. Though the taxpayers who fall under e-way bill exemptions are relieved of this compliance, they should ensure that the other documents like the invoice and bill of supply are in accordance with the rules and regulations.
You need the below documents to generate the e-Way Bill:
The invoice/ Bill of Supply/ Delivery Challan of the goods consignment;
If roadways transport the goods, then the Transporter ID or Vehicle number;
If rail, air, or ship transport the goods, then one requires ID of the Transporter, Document Number of Transport, and Document Date.
The consequences of not generating & carrying the E-Way bill can result in both monetary and non-monetary losses to the taxpayer.
Moving goods without the cover of an invoice and e-way bill constitutes an offence and attracts a penalty of Rs.10,000 or the tax sought to be evaded (whichever is greater). Hence, the bare minimum penalty that is levied for not complying with the rules is Rs. 10,000.
Another consequence is that if the vehicle is found to be transporting the goods without an e-way bill, it can be detained or seized and would be released only on payment of appropriate tax and penalty as specified by the officer. Under this, there could be two situations:
If the owner wishes to pay the penalty, he must pay 100% of the tax payable.
If not, the penalty will be equal to 50% of the value of goods.
Apart from the legal consequences mentioned above, it is also important to note that the vehicle as well as the goods of the taxpayer can be detained.
Written by: Parag Singhal