E-WAY BILL: All you need to know about this new apparatus of the GST Regime

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The Editorial Board of "Perennials" (the e-magazine of Perennial Publication LLP) comprises a group of distinguished professionals and academicians from diverse fields and areas of interest who continually contribute their ideas through this column, engaging readers in current topics of interest.
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E-way Bill is a new apparatus of the GST regime, which is compulsory for inter-state and intra-state movement of goods (in most states). With the focus on digitization and curbing tax evasion during transport of goods, it was implemented in India, from 1st April 2018. This piece presents all the key aspects about this system for the hassle-free transportation of goods.

This is Part-1 of a two part series on the e-way bill. To read about the detailed analysis of it in action, read Part-2 of the Series exclusively on “Perennials”.

This piece has been written by an intern, Sumaiya Bushra, with the guidance, inputs and editorial support of the Editorial Board.

Introduction

The Government of India under the Ministry of Finance introduced the e-way bill on 1st February 2018, which requires the pre-registration of goods being transported from one state to another under the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. Businesses are required to present the e-way bill to the GST inspector for inter-state transportation of goods worth over Rs. 50,000 through roads, railways, airways and vessels. E-way bill operations are compulsory for inter-state movement of goods throughout the nation from 1st April 2018 and intra-state movement of goods for Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Puducherry, Sikkim, Bihar, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka (as on 1st May 2018).[1] After several glitches in the implementation of this system during its test runs in the months of February and March, which seemed to cast a shadow of doubt on this new apparatus of the GST Regime, the situation has finally stabilized and has been showing encouraging results since its implementation from 1st April, 2018 making a bold declaration that it is going to stay and provide a boost to GST collections.

What’s the e-way bill platform?

E-way bill is the short form for Electronic Way Bill, which is a unique electronic document generated for the specific consignment or movement of goods from one place to another, either interstate or intrastate, and for a value more than Rs. 50,000. It can be generated on the e-way bill portal and replaces the Way bill which was a physical document and existed during the Value Added Tax (VAT) regime for the movement of goods.[2] It comprises of details of the GST Identification Number (GSTIN) of recipient, place of delivery, invoice or challan number and date, value of goods and Harmonized System Nomenclature (HSN) code, transport document number (Goods Receipt Number or Railway Receipt Number or Airway Bill Number or Landing Number) and reasons for transportation and comprises of transporter details (vehicle number).[3]

When an e-way bill is generated, a unique e-way bill number is allotted and it is easily accessible to the supplier, recipient and the transporter.

E-way bill can be generated as well as cancelled by SMS, an Android App and through API.

Objective and Purpose of e-way Bill

The main objective of the e-way bill is to make India – one nation, one market and one tax.

  1. Single e-way bill for hassle free movement throughout India
  2. Eliminates the need for separate transit pass in each State to move goods.
  3. Moving from departmental policing model to self-declaration of models for transportation of goods

The purpose of e-way bill is to ensure that goods being transported should abide by the GST Law and is an excellent and effective tool to keep an eye on the movement of goods and check tax evasion.

Beneficiaries and how will they benefit?

The beneficiaries of the e-way bill are the following people:

  • Registered person: E-way bill must be generated when there is a movement of goods to be moved beyond 10 km and of more than Rs.50,000 in value from a Registered person. A Registered person or the transporter may choose to generate and carry e-way bill even if the value of goods is less than Rs. 50,000.
  • Unregistered person: They are also required to generate e-way bill. However, when an unregistered person makes a supply to a registered person, the receiver will have to ensure all the consent are met.
  • Transporters: Transporters carrying goods by road, air, rail etc. also need to generate e-way bill if the supplier hasn’t done yet.
  • Government: The e-way bill will help the government to plug tax evasions loopholes.

Steps to be taken to enroll in e-way bill platform [4]

  • Mobile number should be verified before registering for the e-way portal.
  • GSTIN of the taxpayers and transporters are required to be registered.

Procedure for generating e-way bill for registered suppliers

Step 1. Visit the e-way bill portal (ewaybill.nic.in)

Step 2. Click on the ‘e-way bill registration’ anchor link available on the right hand side of the page.

Step 3. Enter the GSTIN and the captcha code and then click on ‘Go’ button

Step 4. Generate an OTP and verify the same. The screen will pop up after the process. After checking the Auto filled details, click on ‘send OTP’. Enter the OTP received on the registered mobile number and verify the same by clicking the ‘verify’ button.

Step 5. Create a new user I.D. and password.

Procedures for generating e-way bill for the unregistered transporters

Step 1. Visit the e-way bill Indian government official portal (www.ewaybill.nic.in)

Step 2. Click on the ‘enrollment for transporters’ anchor link given on the right hand side of the page.

Step 3. Enter the details in the application at points 1-9 u/s 35(2) in GST

Step 4. Tick mark against the declaration confirming correctness of the information you give and click ‘Save’

Step 5. A 15-digit transporter ID will be displayed. The number should be given to the clients for entering it on GST e-way bill and enabling vehicle number to be added to goods movement.

Procedures for generating e-way bill  for the unregistered suppliers.

In case unregistered supplier supplied the goods to the registered receiver, the receiver of the goods have to comply with the procedure and he has to generate an e-way bill on the behalf of the unregistered supplier. So, the generation of an e-way bill is to be done by the receiver.

Exceptions to the e-way bill requirement [5]

  No e-way bill is required to be generated in the following cases:

  1. Transport of goods as specified in Annexure to rule 138 of the GST, 2017.
  2. Goods being transported by a non-motorized conveyance.
  3. Goods being transported from the port, airport, air cargo complex and land customs to an inland container depot or a container freight station for clearance by customs.
  4. In respect of movement of goods within such areas as are notified under 138(14)(d) of the SGST rules 2017 of the concerned states
  5. Consignment value of goods less than Rs. 50,000.

Cancellation of e-way bill

In case of goods not transported as per the rules of an e-way bill, the e-way bill may be cancelled electronically on the common portal either directly or through Commissioner, within 24 hours of generation of e-way bill. But it may not cancelled once it has been verified in transit in accordance with the rules of 138B of the CGST Rules, 2017.[6]

The main motive of the e-way bill is to remove malpractices among the manufacturers and suppliers. This will bring a uniform system that will be applicable for the entire State. The physical interface will pave way for a digital interface, which will facilitate faster movement of goods. As such the advantages and disadvantages of e-way bill need to be understood better, to analyze the effect of this new apparatus in totality.

References

[1] Goods and Services Tax, “e-Way Bill System” Retrieved on May 4, 2018 https://ewaybill.nic.in/

[2] Profit Books, All You Need To Know About E-Way Bills

[3] Refer: http://www.cbec.gov.in/resources/htdocs-cbec/gst/Ntfn%2027_2017.pdf

[4] Refer: https://cleartax.in/s/eway-bill-gst-rules-compliance

[5] Refer: http://www.cbec.gov.in/resources/htdocs-cbec/gst/Ntfn%2027_2017.pdf

[6] Refer: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.firstpost.com/business/e-way-bill-roll-out-traders-now-have-more-time-to-prepare-for-new-system-4360087.html/amp

About The Editorial Board

The Editorial Board of "Perennials" (the e-magazine of Perennial Publication LLP) comprises a group of distinguished professionals and academicians from diverse fields and areas of interest who continually contribute their ideas through this column, engaging readers in current topics of interest.

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