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Exposition on E-way Bill Rules (Question-Answer format)

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Exposition on E-way Bill Rules (Question-Answer format)
By: Amrit Mohanty
June 6, 2018
  • Contents

With the advent of the E-Way Bill Rules and provisions under the GST laws,  the following article has been prepared to provide a substantive understanding of the law surrounding E-way Bills.

 Firstly we would discuss in a point-wise manner the law surrounding e-way bills and its requirements. The following may please be noted:

  • E-way Bill is not fundamentally a GST document. Applicability of GST law is in no way based upon the practice of E-way bills and neither is the charge of GST in any manner linked to e-way bill rules and provisions. Therefore beginning from the very precipice down to the intricate details, we must refrain from drawing any inferences from the general laws and principles of GST while interpreting the provisions of E-way Bills or while carrying out the practice of e-way bills no matter how so logically intuitive they may seem.
  • E-way Bill is a document that can be said to have been mandated with the primary motive of monitoring transportation of goods from one place to another. It can in no way act in substitution of any GST document (tax invoice, delivery challan, bill of supply etc). It is a document that is required in addition to the said GST documents.
  • Delving deeper into the bare law, Section 68 of the CGST Act, 2017 deals with the provision of inspection of goods in movement whereby it provides that the Government may require the person in charge of the conveyance carrying any consignment of goods to carry with him such documents and such devices as may be prescribed.

Further it requires the details of the document shall be validated in a prescribed manner.

Furthermore it states that such conveyance when intercepted by the proper officer at any place, he may require such person in charge of the said conveyance to produce the prescribed documents and the devices for verification, and for that the said person in charge shall be liable to produce the documents and devices and also allow the inspection of the goods.

  • Under the said rules, there are two broad based directions:
  1. Rule 138 : Furnish the specified Information in the online portal about the movement of goods and generate an e-way bill.
  2. Rule 138A : Person in charge of the conveyance shall carry the above generated e-way bill/ e-way bill number in electronic form/ e-way bill number mapped to a RFID embedded unto the conveyance.
  • First we shall go into the specifics of the first direction i.e furnishing of specified information in the online portal about the movement of goods and generate an e-way bill. The specifics are furnished below in a question answer format (along with the exceptions) for easy understanding of the reader. Also for better understanding we would suggest the reader to proceed into reading the questions in the order of numerical progression as it had been furnished below and not frame view by cherry-picking specific questions from among the many given below.

The following may please be noted:

  1. Key Terminologies specific to the E-way Rules:
  • Consignor: Any person who supplies the goods or sends the goods.
  • Consignee: Any person who receives the goods sent by the consignor.
  • Registered Person: Any person registered under GST.
  1. For what value of goods are the provisions of E-way Bill applicable?

E-way bill is applicable for all movement of goods value of which exceeds fifty thousand rupees.

Exceptions: For the following E-way bills are mandatory irrespective of the value of consignment.

  • the goods are sent by a principal located in one state/UT to a job worker located in any other state/UT
  • where handicraft goods are transported from one state/UT to another state/UT by a person who is exempted from registration liability under clauses (i) and (ii) of section 24 i.e person making inter-state supply and person liable to pay tax under reverse charge respectively.
  1. Who is required to furnish the information about the movement of the goods?

Every registered person who causes the movement of goods

--in relation to supply

--for reasons other than supply

--due to inward supply from unregistered person.

Therefore the supplier or the recipient of goods, who so ever is registered and causes the movement of goods shall furnish the information. Further if neither of them do so, the transporter may also (also see Q.9 and Q.10) on authorization received from the registered person furnish the information.

Furthermore e-commerce operator (amazon, flipkart etc) may also furnish information if goods are supplied through it.

  1. Where and in what form does this aforesaid information need to be furnished?

The information is needed to be furnished in Part A of Form GST EWB-01 electronically on the common portal.

  1. What are the information required in Part A of Form GST EWB-01?

The following:

A.1 GSTIN of Supplier

A.2 Place of Dispatch

A.3 GSTIN of Recipient

A.4 Place of Delivery

A.5 Document Number(Tax invoice, Bill of supply, delivery challan)

A.6 Document Date (Tax invoice, Bill of supply, delivery challan)

A.7 Value of Goods

A.8 HSN Code

A.9 Reason for Transportation

  1. What follows after furnishing the information in Part A of Form GST EWB-01?

After furnishing the information in Part A of form GST EWB-01 a ‘unique number’ shall be generated on the portal itself which is then followed by few other processes leading upto the generation of an e-way bill. (Refer Q.11)

This ‘unique number’ shall be valid for 15 days.

  1. What shall be the value of goods for the purpose of question no.2?

The consignment value shall be the value as determined in accordance with the provisions of section 15, and further includes GST. However excludes the value of exempt supply of goods where the invoice is issued in respect of both exempt and taxable supply of goods.

  1. Is E-way bill required in case a consignor/consignee is transporting goods other than through a transporter?

Yes, Where the goods are transported by the registered person as a consignor or the recipient of supply as the consignee, whether in his own conveyance or a hired one or a public conveyance, by road, the said person shall be required to generate the e-way bill by the standard usual process.

  1. With reference to Q.8, what shall be the case where the goods are handed over to the transporter for transportation by road?

The registered person shall furnish the information relating to the transporter on the common portal.

Moreover as mentioned in Q.3 the transporter (on authorization received from the registered person) may also furnish the information on the common portal in Part A of form GST EWB-01 and continue with the process of generation of e-way bill.

       10. With reference to Q.3 and Q.8 and Q.9, what shall be the case where the movement of goods is caused by an unregistered person?

In a case where movement of goods is caused by an unregistered person either in his own conveyance or a hired one or through a transporter, he or the transporter, may, at their option, generate the e-way bill on the common portal in the usual manner.

 However where the goods are supplied by an unregistered supplier to a recipient who is registered, the movement shall be said to be caused by such recipient if he is known at the time of commencement of movement of goods. Therefore if the supplier is registered and he is causing the movement of goods, he is required to furnish information and generate e-way bill. And if the supplier is unregistered and the recipient is registered, then it shall be deemed to be caused by such recipient and thereby the recipient shall be liable to furnish information and generate e-way bill.

And if both the supplier as well as the recipient are unregistered then either of them who is causing the movement of goods or the transporter, may at their option, furnish information and generate e-way bill.

  1. What follows after the information is furnished in Part-A of form GST EWB-01 and the unique number is generated?

With reference to Q. 6, After the information is furnished in Part-A of form GST EWB-01 and the unique number is generated, the registered supplier or recipient or the transporter, as the case may be, shall furnish the details of Vehicle (i.e Vehicle number for road) using the unique number in Part-B of form GST EWB-01 after which an E-way bill shall be generated in the portal itself and only after generation of the E-way bill with the furnishing of info in Part-B of form GST EWB-01, will it be valid for movement of goods by road.

Further upon generation of e-way bill on the common portal, a unique e-way bill number (EBN) shall be made available to the supplier, the recipient and the transporter on the common portal.

  1. Is there any exemption from furnishing of details of vehicle i.e. the Part-B of Form GST EWB-01 ?

Yes, under the following two circumstances:

  • In case where the goods are transported for a distance of upto fifty kilometres within the state or union territory from ‘place of business of the consignor to the ‘place of business’ of the transporter for further transportation.
  • In case where the goods are transported for a distance of upto fifty kilometres within the state or union territory from ‘place of business’ of the transporter finally to the ‘place of business’ of the consignee.
  1. In case where the goods are transferred from one conveyance to another, what shall be of the information that has been furnished in Part-B of Form GST EWB-01?

The consignor or the recipient, who has provided information in Part-A of the form GST EWB-01, or the transporter shall, before such transfer and further movement of goods, update the details of conveyance in the e-way bill on the common portal in Part B of Form GST EWB-01.

  1. Are there any exceptions to the above rules in case where the goods are transported by railways, or by air or vessel?

Where the goods are transported by railways or by air or vessel, the e-way bill shall be generated by the registered person, being the supplier or the recipient, who shall, either before or after the commencement of movement, furnish, on the common portal, the information in Part-B of Form GST EWB-01.

Further where the goods are transported by railways, the railways shall not deliver the goods unless the e-way bill required under these rules is produced at the time of delivery.

  1. What procedure is required to be followed wherein multiple consignments are intended to be transported in one conveyance?

In such cases, multiple e-way bills are required to be generated for each such consignment. The transporter may indicate the serial number of e-way bills generated in respect of each such consignment electronically on the common portal and a consolidated e-way bill in Form GST EWB-02 may be generated by him on the said portal prior to the movement of goods.

  1. What shall be procedure to be followed in case the neither the consignor nor the consignee generate the E-way Bill?

In such cases the transporter shall generate the E-way bill in respect of inter-state supply only, if the value of the consignment exceed fifty thousand, on the basis of invoice or bill of supply or delivery challan and shall generate the consolidated e-way bill in form GST EWB-02, if required so, prior to the movement of goods. Therefore a transporter shall not transport goods wherein movement is caused by registered person without an e-way bill and if he has not been provided one by either the supplier or the recipient, then he must generate one himself.

The above is not applicable when the goods are transported via railways, air or vessel.

  1. What can be done in case where the E-way bill has been generated however the goods are not transported?

The E-way bill can be cancelled electronically on the common portal within twenty four hours of generation of e-way bill. However if it has been verified in transit, it cannot be cancelled.

  1. What shall be the validity period of an E-way bill or a consolidate E-way bill?

The E-way bill’s validity period is determined based on the distance it is required to travel. The following table shows the distance upto which the conveyance needs to travel within the respective time from the relevant date so as to keep the E-way bill validated and on failure of which the e-way bill shall be invalidated and a fresh e-way bill will then have to be generated:

Sl. No.

  •  

Validity Period

  1.  
  1.  
  1.  
  1.  

Upto 100 km

One day in cases other than over dimensional cargo

  1.  

For every 100 km. Or part thereof thereafter

One additional day in cases other than over dimensional cargo

  1.  

Upto 20km

One day in case of over dimensional cargo

  1.  

For every 20 km. Or part thereof thereafter

One additional day in cases of over dimensional cargo

‘Relevant date’ means the date on which the e-way bill has been generated and the period of validity shall be counted from the time at which the e-way bill has been generated and each day shall be counted as the period expiring at midnight of the day immediately following the date of generation of e-way bill.

  1. Will the details of the E-way bill generated by one party be made available to the other parties?

Yes, the details shall be made available in the common portal to the party other than the one who has furnished information in Part-A form GST EWB-01.

Such party shall communicate his acceptance or rejection within 72 hours of details being made available to him on the common portal or the time of delivery of goods, which ever is earlier, on failure of which it shall be deemed to be accepted.

  1. Under what circumstances the E-way bill is not required to be generated?

Notwithstanding anything contained in this rule, no e-way bill is required to be generated-

(a) where the goods being transported are specified in Annexure-1;

(b) where the goods are being transported by a non-motorised conveyance;

(c) where the goods are being transported from the customs port, airport, air cargo complex and land customs station to an inland container depot or a container freight station for clearance by Customs;

(d) in respect of movement of goods within such areas as are notified under clause (d) of sub-rule (14) of rule 138 of the State or Union territory Goods and Services Tax Rules in that particular State or Union territory;

(e) where the goods, other than de-oiled cake, being transported, are specified in the Schedule appended to notification No. 2/2017- Central tax (Rate)

(f) where the goods being transported are alcoholic liquor for human consumption, petroleum crude, high speed diesel, motor spirit (commonly known as petrol), natural gas or aviation turbine fuel;

(g) where the supply of goods being transported is treated as no supply under Schedule III of the Act;

(h) where the goods are being transported-

(i) under customs bond from an inland container depot or a container freight station to a customs port, airport, air cargo complex and land customs station, or from one customs station or customs port to another customs station or customs port, or

(ii) under customs supervision or under customs seal;

  1. where the goods being transported are transit cargo from or to Nepal or Bhutan;

(j) where the goods being transported are exempt from tax under notification No. 7/2017-Central Tax (Rate)

(k) any movement of goods caused by defence formation under Ministry of defence as a consignor or consignee;

(l) where the consignor of goods is the Central Government, Government of any State or a local authority for transport of goods by rail;

(m) where empty cargo containers are being transported; and

(n) where the goods are being transported upto a distance of twenty kilometers from the place of the business of the consignor to a weighbridge for weighment or from the weighbridge back to the place of the business of the said consignor subject to the condition that the movement of goods is accompanied by a delivery challan issued in accordance with rule 55.

Annexure-1

The list of goods for (a) under Q.20

Sl. No.

Description of goods

  1.  
  1.  
  1.  

Liquefied petroleum gas for supply to household and non domestic exempted category (NDEC) customers

  1.  

Kerosene oil sold under PDS

  1.  

Postal baggage transported by Department of Posts

  1.  

Natural or cultured pearls and precious or semi-precious stones; precious metals and metals clad with precious metal

(Chapter 71)

  1.  

Jewellery, goldsmiths‘ and silversmiths‘ wares and other

articles (Chapter 71)

  1.  

Currency

  1.  

Used personal and household effects

  1.  

Coral, unworked (0508) and worked coral (9601)

  • The above 20 Question were relating to the first direction as mentioned in page 2 last para. Moving to second broad direction the following questions have been answered:
  1. What is the liability of the person in charge of a conveyance?

The person in charge of conveyance shall carry-

  1. The invoice or the bill of supply or delivery challan as the case may be; and
  2. A copy of the e-way bill in physical form or the e-way bill number in electronic form or mapped to a Radio frequency Identification Device embedded on to the conveyance in such manner as may be notified by the commissioner.

However this does not apply in case where the movement of goods is by rail or by air or vessel.

  1. Is there any alternative to carrying an invoice?

Yes, alternatively a registered person may obtain an ‘invoice reference number’ from the common portal by uploading, on the portal, a tax invoice issued by him in Form GST INV-1 and produce only the ‘invoice reference number’ for verification by the proper officer in lieu of the tax invoice and such number shall be valid for a period of thirty days from the date of uploading.

Further benefit is when such tax invoice is uploaded in Form GST INV-1, the information in Part-A of form GST EWB-01 shall be auto populated by the common portal on the basis information furnished in Form GST INV-1.

  1. What is the portal web address for the above purposes of generating E way bills?

www.ewaybillgst.gov.in

The above are the central provisions surrounding the law and practice of E-way Bills.

Given the standard practice prevalent in varied industries which are not homogenous, the processes and procedures of each organisation need to be optimized around the above provisions so as to result in most efficient compliance of E-way bill provisions.

Further we must acknowledge the fact thatcertain ambiguities and apprehensions still persists which may be due to varied interpretations and insufficienciesof the statute which may lead the reader into resorting to best possible assumptions in the given scenario and the material provided above may not be free from the same. All ambiguities and doubts would eventually be removed after regular and practical usage of the E-way bill provisions and after comprehending in substance the beneficial features as well as the limitations of the IT infrastructure in place supporting the E-way Bill.

For any further clarifications and valuable suggestions on the material provided above please do communicate.

 

Article written by:-

Amrit Aaron Mohanty

Financial and Tax Consultant

Mob: 9437889547

Email: aaronamrit@gmail.com

 

By: Amrit Mohanty - June 6, 2018

 

Discussions to this article

 

Dear Sir, Is E_Way bill required for intra state movement of goods for job work ?

By: SANJEEV JADHAV
Dated: 09/06/2018

 

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