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    OVERVIEW OF E-WAY BILL

    Introduction:

    Under the Pre-GST regime, E-way bill enforcement was considered as one of the biggest impediments for smooth movement of goods as multiple check posts created lot of logistic inefficiency and harassment from tax officers. Trade expected that there will not be any e-way bill system under GST as the rates are uniform across all States without any scope for tax arbitrage. However, Governments continued the urge to hold firm control over movement of goods even after GST, thereby, e-way bill system has been enforced even under GST. The present system is more reformed, and efforts were made to overcome various impediments of pre-GST system. Let us have an overview of e-way bill system under GST. 

    Overview of Law Relating to e-Way Bills:

    Section 68 of CGST Act, 2017 provides that Government may require person in charge of conveyance to carry along with consignment of goods such documents and devices as may be prescribed. Section 138 of CGST Rules, 2017 provides that e-way bill is required to be generated for movement of goods whether in relation to supply or for reasons other than supply of consignment value exceeding Fifty thousand rupees. There are corresponding provisions under State GST laws, thereby, e-way bill is required for both inter-state and intra-state movement of goods. 

    The e-way bill is required to be generated by the registered person causing movement of goods which could be the registered supplier of goods(consignor) or the registered recipient of goods (consignee). Where movement is caused by unregistered persons, then e-way bill is required to be generated by transporter or such unregistered person. 

    The e-way bill shall be generated in the electronic portal in FORM GST EWB-01 wherein Part A contains the details of consignment viz. Document no, name/GSTN of supplier/recipient, consignment value, place of delivery etc while Part B contains the transporter details. The registered person generating the e- way bill can fill the details of Part-A and can authorize the transporter to fill in the details of Part-B. 

    Upon generation of e-way bill in the electronic portal, a 15 digits unique e-way bill number shall be generated. A copy of the said e-way bill shall be carried by the transporter during transit along with invoice/delivery challan/Job Work challan and such other documents. 

    Where multiple consignments are intended to be transported in one conveyance, the transporter may indicate the serial number of e-way bills generated in respect of each such consignment and a consolidated e-way bill in FORM GST EWB-02 maybe generated prior to the movement of goods. 

    An e-way bill generated shall be valid for one day if the transport distance is upto 100 KM and for every 100KM or part thereof, an additional day will be added. In case of over dimensional cargo, the validity days shall be based on one day for every 20KM instead of 100KM.

     

    An e-way bill generated can be cancelled within 24 hours if the corresponding goods are not transported as per the details in the e-way bill. Further, where unique e-way bill number generated with Part A alone being filled shall be valid for 15 days to update the details of Part B. 

    The commissioner or any other officer empowered by him in this behalf may authorize the proper officer to intercept any conveyance to verify the e-way bill. 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. 

    Further, physical verification of conveyances may also be carried out by such officers with due prior approvals in cases of specific information relating to tax evasion. In terms of provisions of section 129 of CGST Act, 2017 any goods being transported without proper documents would be liable for detention or seizure. Such goods shall be released only after applicable tax and penalty equal to 100 percent or upon furnishing security equivalent to such amounts. 

    Frequently Asked Questions on E-way Bill: 

    1. Whether e-way bill is required to be generated in situations other than taxable supply exempted goods, job work, non-GST supply, Inter-unit transfer within same State etc? 

    The requirement to generate e-way bill is on movement of goods irrespective of the fact that such movement results into taxable supply or not. Therefore, e-way bill is required to be raised in case of supply of exempted goods or non-GST goods or goods moved from one unit to another unit in same State or goods moved for job work under Job work challan. In these cases, the document prescribed are bill of supply (exempt/non-GST goods) or delivery challan (job work/inter-unit transfer). E-way bill is required to be generated based on bill of supply or delivery challan. 

    2.         What is the manner in which e-way bill is required to be generated in case ‘Bill to &Ship to’ transactions? 

    Under ‘Bill to & Ship to’ model, the supplier is required to send the goods to a person specified by recipient rather than to recipient himself. In these cases, the invoice issued by supplier will be billed to the recipient, but the goods are shipped to the specified person. In these cases, the recipient is also required to raise another invoice to the specified person as the said transaction between them also amounts to supply. Therefore, there will be two invoices raised. One from supplier to recipient (invoice 1) and another from recipient to specified person (invoice 2). In these cases, it is clarified that one e-way bill shall be sufficient and itcan be raised either by supplier based on invoice 1 or by recipient based on invoice 2. 

    3.         What is the procedure to be followed in case the goods are moved using multi-modal transportation? 

    In case of goods moved under two or more modes of transportation say by road from factory location to a nearest railway station and by rail from railway station to place of destination, then e- way bill is required to be generated by registered person by filling in the consignment details in Part A and mentioning the details of transporter in Part B. After the goods are delivered at railway station, then Part B shall be amended with the railway receipt details instead of vehicle no.

    4.         What is the procedure to be followed in case of goods removed in CKD/SKD condition? 

    In case of movement of goods in CKD/SKD condition, single invoice will be issued,and goods are sent in various installments in CKD/SKD condition. At the time of each movement, a delivery challan shall be issued to consignee and the e-way bill shall be issued on the basis of such delivery challan. In Part A of the e-way bill, we can indicate under ‘reasons for transportation’ column with code 4 which is meant for transportation in CKD/SKD condition. Accordingly, every movement of goods shall be accompanied with e-way bill, delivery challan and a copy of invoice issued in this regard. 

    5.         What is the manner in which e-way bill is required to be generated for exports and imports? 

    In case of import and export of goods, the details of corresponding supplier/recipient located outside India shall be duly filled in Part A and under GSTN column, the details are mentioned as ‘URP’ (unregistered person). The ‘Pin code’ and ‘State’ details shall be mentioned ‘999999’ and ‘Outside Country’. The e-way bill shall be generated by importer or exporter accordingly before transportation of goods from port of import or to port of export as the case may be. 

    6.         Are there any relaxations in filling the details of Part B of FORM GST EWB-01? 

    In cases where the distance involved in transportation from the consignor’s location to the transporter’s location or from the transporter’s location to the consignee’s location is upto 50 KMs, then there is no need to fill Part B of e-way bill. It is sufficient if Part A alone is filled in. 

    7.         Are there any circumstances under which e-way bill is not required? 

    Generation of E-way is not required in specified cases. Following are several instances where e-way bill is not required to be raised; 

    1. Goods specified in annexure to Rule 138 of CGST Rules,
    2. Transactions which are covered by schedule III of CGST Act,
    3. CG/SG/Local Authority are the
    4. Movement of defense goods and empty cargo containers
    5. Movement of goods up to 20 Kms for 

    Conclusion:

    With the initiative of common portal for generation of e-way bills across the country, uniformity has been achieved in terms of forms and procedures. Coming to verification, check posts have been taken away and the concept of intercepting the vehicles by proper officers have been introduced. Detailed verification of conveyance is required to be conducted only in cases of tax evasion and that too with prior approvals of higher officials. Further, the transporter can upload the e-way bill details in FORM GST EWB- 04 and can move with goods in case the detention is for more than thirty minutes. All these measures are welcoming to prevent logistic inefficiency and to ensure that there is no harassment from officers.

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