Inter-State E-Way Bill System in India: Latest Developments

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The 24th Meeting of the GST Council was held under the Chairmanship of the Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs. It discussed about the implementation of e-way Bill system in the country.

What is E-Way Bill?

A waybill is a receipt or a document issued by a carrier giving details and instructions relating to the shipment of a consignment of goods and the details include name of consignor, consignee, the point of origin of the consignment, its destination, and route.

Electronic Way Bill (E-Way Bill) is basically a compliance mechanism wherein by way of a digital interface the person causing the movement of goods uploads the relevant information prior to the commencement of movement of goods and generates e-way bill on the GST portal.

Rule 138 of the CGST Rules, 2017 provides for the e-way bill mechanism and in this context it is important to note that “information is to be furnished prior to the commencement of movement of goods” and “is to be issued whether the movement is in relation to a supply or for reasons other than supply”.

E-Way Bill under GST

E-way bill is an electronic document generated on the GST portal evidencing movement of goods. It has two Components-Part A comprising of details of GSTIN of recipient, place of delivery (PIN Code), invoice or challan number and date, value of goods, HSN code, transport document number (Goods Receipt Number or Railway Receipt Number or Airway Bill Number or Bill of Lading Number) and reasons for transportation; and Part B comprising of transporter details (Vehicle number).

As per Rule 138 of the CGST Rules, 2017,every registered person who causes movement of goods (which may not necessarily be on account of supply) of consignment value more than Rs. 50000/- is required to furnish above mentioned information in part A of e-way bill. The part B containing transport details helps in generation of e-way bill.

Who should generate the e-way bill and why?

E-way bill is to be generated by the consignor or consignee himself if the transportation is being done in own/hired conveyance or by railways by air or by Vessel. If the goods are handed over to a transporter for transportation by road, E-way bill is to be generated by the Transporter. Where neither the consignor nor consignee generates the e-way bill and the value of goods is more than Rs.50,000/- it shall be the responsibility of the transporter to generate it.

Further, it has been provided that where goods are sent by a principal located in one State to a job worker located in any other State, the e-way bill shall be generated by the principal irrespective of the value of the consignment.

Latest Developments:

Till such time as the National e-way Bill is ready, the States were authorized to continue their own separate e-way Bill systems.

However, it was represented by the trade and transporters that this is causing undue hardship in the Inter-State movement of goods and therefore, bringing in an early all India system of e-way Bill has become a necessity.

The GST Council reviewed the progress of readiness of hardware and software required for the introduction of nationwide e-way Bill System. After discussions with all the States, the following decisions were taken :-

i) The nationwide e-way Bill system will be ready to be rolled out on a trial basis latest by 16th January, 2018. Trade and transporters can start using this system on a voluntary basis from 16th January, 2018.

ii) The Rules for implementation of nationwide e-way Bill system for Inter-State movement of goods on a compulsory basis will be notified with effect from 1st February, 2018. This will bring uniformity across the States for seamless inter-State movement of goods.

iii) While the System for both inter-State and intra-State e-way Bill generation will be ready by 16th January, 2018, the States may choose their own timings for implementation of e-way Bill for intra-State movement of goods on any date before 1st June, 2018. There are certain States which are already having system of e-way Bill for intra-State as well as inter-State movement and some of those States can be early adopters of national e-way Bill system for intra-State movement also. But in any case, the Uniform System of e-way Bill for inter-State as well as intra-State movement will be implemented across the country by 1st June, 2018.

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