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E Way Bill – Guide: What is E-Way Bill? Ewaybill in GST Regime

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E Way bill

Individuals, entrepreneurs and business concerns who are registered under GST need an additional e-way bill for their product invoice and delivery challan when the total value of the products cross a certain threshold. E-way bills were introduced as part of the GST comprehensive taxations law and came into effect from 1st March 2018.

What is an e-way bill?

E-way bill is an acronym for electronic way bill and it is a signed document that needs to be generated when the transferred goods or service products exceeds Rs 50,000 within state boundaries or interstate boundaries. An e-way bill is an unique identifier which displays consignment status on the goods that are being moved.

Methods of E-way bill generation:

  • There are also other multiple avenues under which e-way bill can be generated. For example Android apps, SMS from registered mobile number and website integration through API are some of the alternative-ways through which e-way bill is generated.
  • After the e-way bill number is generated, the next step is its allocation and the same is made available to the goods recipient, goods supplier and the intermediary transporter.

Under what circumstances an E-way bill should be issued?

All movement of goods above Rs 50,000 should be followed by e-way bill generation. Certain individual states like Tamil Nadu have increased the limit to Rs 1 Lakh.

Important point

  • Business concerns should generate all the e-way bills under the same platform be it a smartphone app or website integration.
  • Some cases require that the e-way bill is to be generated even when the goods consignment invoice is less than Rs 50,000.

These cases are:

  • Goods which are sent by the principal to the individual job worker through interstate boundaries
  • Handicraft goods which undergo inter-state transportation and which are carried out by a dealer who is exempted from GST registration

What is the importance of generating and e-way bill in GST regime?

Any e-way bill generation is seen as a significant instrument of reform under the GST auspices. It was met with opposition it in its earlier stages, but it was successfully rolled out for effectively tracking goods movement from April 1st 2018 under the GST regime.

The previous name of e-way bill was road permit. Just like a road permit, the e-way bill is an amazing administrative tool to check and prevent tax evasion. The purpose of an e-way bill is to ensure proper documentation in the successful accompaniment of goods during their movement from the supplier to the buyer.

In other words any movement of goods between consignor and consignee requires the application of e-way bill. An e-way bill is a vital part of the state government’s tax administrative agenda. Under the new GST umbrella, the e-way bill takes a new birth and is enforced by the uniform application of laws across the country.

E-way bill system integrates a complaint system which offers the facility for transporters to lodge a complaint in case the vehicle undergoes detention in excess of 30 minutes. However, the e-way bill system is not without its teething troubles. Small businesses are not welcoming some measures such as indicating GSTIN on the e-way bill and the limited validity of the generated bill.

What are the goals of E-way Bill system?

Broadly the government has brought out a comprehensive e-way bill system for the below anticipated outcomes.

Elimination of check posts

  • Unhindered passage of goods within the premises of a state and also across various state borders
  • To reinforce the logistics ecosystem of India, resulting in increased traffic on important transportation gateways
  • Decreasing lead time and cost of transportation by substituting the physical check post with mobile GST squads

Important point

Before the goods transport takes place, the consignment should include an authentic e-way bill that displays the details of the transporters, recipients, consignor and details of the goods.

On feedback from the various stakeholders and respective state governments, the central government is working on the below steps:

  • Updating the functionality of the e-way bill platform so that the recipient’s acceptance rate is increased
  • Any extension of validity is leading to the generation of multiple e-way numbers, which is leading to duplication.
  • The time window of four hours extending the validity is seen as too short.
  • Introducing a new mechanism to track delivery of goods and process of case closure of goods transportation on the website, once the delivery is complete
  • The government is looking to update the GST e-way Bill software so that the subcontractors of small businesses are able to reconcile their purchases

What are the objectives of e-way bill?

  • Hassle-free movement of goods across states of India using a streamlined and robust method of transportation of goods without discretionary interpretation of rules at checkpoints.
  • Elimination of the requirement of evaluating the cost of goods at every state checkpoint
  • Replacement of bureaucratic policing model to the self-declaration model which ensures that the goods movement takes place in an atmosphere of integrity and electronic credential verification
  • Both the transporters and individual taxpayers are saved a precious amount of time as the new model does not involve running around the tax offices waiting for the generation of the required documents for effective goods movement.
  • The waiting time at check post is drastically reduced. The speed of goods transport is increasing thereby flexing the economic engines to their maximum extent.
  • The previous wastage of time under the road check system has been eliminated and the optimum usage of human resources and vehicle resources is taking place under the new GST rate from March 2018.
  • The user-friendliness of the software platform of e-way bill system ensures that people are not excluded from enjoying the convenience of electronic administration
  • GST taxation system is reinforced with checks and balances due to the swift generation of e-way Bill.
  • The quality of tax administration has increased and the resultant simplification of procedures has helped both taxpayers and businessman to verify their data and conduct their business in a stress-free-way.

What are some of the distinctive features of the e-way bill portal?

The introduction of the master list of customers, contractors, vendors and suppliers has helped the business uses to categorize the generation of e-way bill. Bills can be tracked by the user during the period of movement of the goods which are done on his or her behalf.

The new e-way bill platform has multiple modes which decrease the probability of bill rejection and improves transparency. Various sub-user profiles can be created and roles can be assigned for the generation of e-way bills.

Strong technological integration with the mobile carriers ensures that SMS alerts and email alerts are sent instantaneously on the registered user credentials. The details of the vehicle number and other identifiers can be transferred by the recipient of goods to the supplier and in some cases the transporter is also given the option.

Integration of QR code on the e-way bill and shows that there are no efforts of duplication Transport logistic systems comprising of multiple consignments are offered a unified e-way bill for increase convenience.

What are the different methods for generating an e-way bill?

  • The portal – https://docs.ewaybillgst.gov.in/ can be accessed on a desktop, smartphone app or laptop using the supported browsers of Chrome, Mozilla and Internet explorer.
  • Using SMS process from the GST registered mobile number.
  • Integration of API software on the users dedicated system for online generation of e-way bill.
  • Bulk generation of bills using different tools provided by the GST department
  • Introduction of Suvidha providers as third party vendors to generate a consolidated e-way bill

Different categories of persons who can generate and e-way bill

  • For a Registered user, in cases when the total goods worth is less than Rs 50,000, a person or specified transporter can decide to generate an e-way bill
  • In case of a supply happening from an unregistered person, it is the responsibility of the receiver to ensure that all regulatory provisions are complied with.
  • In case of generation of bills from an unregistered person, the receiver will fill in the shoes of the supplier for all regulatory requirements.
  • Transport of goods through rail and road mechanisms also requires the generation of an e-way bill.

Important points

If multiple consignments are happening through a singular conveyance, then the transporter can make use of GST electronic to generate a consolidated bill.

Scenarios where e-way bill is not required under GST law

  • If a non-motor vehicle is used as a transport mode, there is no need for an E-way bill.
  • Any transportation of goods that takes place between custom ports, air cargo and land customs station to the internal destinations of container freight station and inland container depot for closer inspection by customs authorities.
  • Goods transported under customs bond and customs supervision from one station to the other.
  • Transportation of goods to or from Bhutan or Nepal
  •  In the case of goods transportation by rail where the consignor of the goods is the central government or state or any municipal authority.

What is the present implementation status of the e-way bills across India?

The introduction of the e-way bill resulted in the increased and highly flexible goods movement from April 1st, 2018. Various states are responding impressively to the uniform requirements of the e-way bill. According to GST provisions, certain states can exempt their people from the generation of the e-way bills up to a monetary limit of Rs 1,000,00.

To understand the differences in such rules and know more about the financial relief structures that are being offered by the states, the small business owners are encouraged to visit the commercial tax websites.

How can an e-way bill be generated?

E-portal login – https://docs.ewaybillgst.gov.in/ credentials are required to generate the e-way bill on the government portal. In the case of smartphone and API integration on other websites, a detailed step-by-step guide has been provided by the government so that seamless integration of the database can take place.

Under what circumstances e-way bill considered valid?

The validity of an e-way bill depends on the travelled distance by the goods. That date and time of e-way Bill generation is taken into account and then the validity is arrived at. Extension of validity of e-way bill can also take place. The supplier has a maximum of 4 hour time window before and after expiry to extend the validity of e-way bill.

Method of Conveyance

Distance

EWB Validity

Which includes other than the specified dimensional cargo

Under the limit of 100 kms

And for the extra 100 kilometres for part there of

One day and an additional one day

For Over dimensional products

Less than 20 kms

One day

For over dimensional cargo

Extra 20 kms

An additional day

Documentation required in generating an e-way bill

The documents related to the consignment such as bill of supply, invoice and supply challans. In the case of road transport, the vehicle number along with the VIN number and the transporter ID. The documents ensure that the identification of the transfer is uniformly applied across India and there are no hindrances in the movement of goods. The transporter should make sure that those who are operating the vehicle should have in possession, the e-way bill number so that their identity can be verified at the time of inspection of mobile GST squads.

E Way Bill FAQs:

1. The menu list and the e-way bill pages are not being shown properly on the computer screen. What should I do?

The users need to ensure that the browser is updated with the proper version so as to make the latest updates of e-way bill portal to work. Furthermore, the security settings and the system display properties need to be tweaked so that the GST e-way bill is visible in Chrome 45 and Internet explorer 11 or above.

2. What should the users do in case they are not getting OTP on the registered mobile number?

Those who are generating e-way bill should check with their mobile carriers whether they have been enrolled in the do not disturb (DND) category. OTP non-receipt can also happen in case the network is busy. In such cases the email id OTP can be used.

3. On attempting to register with GST identification number, an error message is displaying such as invalid GSTIN. How should I proceed?

Please check the number that is entered and also check whether other details are properly inputted. After that, we can visit the GST portal www.gst.gov.in and verify if your GSTIN number is under active status using the search functionality

4. My details are already entered into the GST portal and I have been assigned a registered number. Should I repeat the registration process again for e-way portal?

Yes. All individuals that were previously registered under GST need to repeat the process for e-way bill. The registration for e-way bill can be done at www.gst.gov.in. Authentication of the user’s detail is done by two step process. The first step includes the correct input of GST IN number and the subsequent verification of the user’s identity by checking the OTP.

5. What is TRANSID and why should transporters get enrolment number in the e-way bill system?

TRANSID is an acronym for transporter ID and is a 15 digit number that uniquely identifies the transporter in the e-way bill system. The transporter needs to enrol into the system, similar to the GSTIN format by providing such details known as PAN, checksum digit and state code. TRANSID has to be forwarded by the transporter to the consumers who can use the same number in generating e-way bill from their website

6. In case of wrong entry of details in e-way bill what is the next step that needs to be followed?

In case of wrong details inputted during e-way bill generation there is no provision of editing. The only remedy is to cancel the previous bill and to generate a newly issued bill.

7. What are the various documents that need to be carried by the transport agent during movement of goods?

The representative of the transport company is legally mandated to be in possession of bill of supply or invoice or delivery challan. Also, a copy of the generated receipt of the bill number should be carried.

8. In case of consignment that is imported or exported to other foreign countries, how is the distance calculated?

The distance for consignment movement needs to be evaluated depending on generalized factors. In the circumstances of export, the consignment details before leaving the country is considered. Customs clearance data has to be entered in case of import. During self-declaration, the approximate distance can be calculated using Google maps

9. How can the authenticity of the e-way bill be checked?

The e-way bill number, date, document number and generation ID are the different parameters on which the correctness of the e-way bill can be established after visiting the portal.

10. Can transport of goods take place without including the details of vehicles in the e-way bill?

No, it is legally mandated to specify the vehicle registration number in the e-way bill. Certain exceptions can be made where the goods movement takes place below 50 kilometres within the boundaries of the state, then the vehicle number is not required.


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