E-Way Bill under GST regime – All you need to know

E-Way bill system has been introduced to monitor and control the movement of goods to/from a state in order to check tax evasion. E-Way bill stands for electronic way bill.

It’s a document generated electronically on the GST portal evidencing movement of goods giving details relating to the shipment of a consignment of goods.  You need to generate it prior to the commencement of movement of goods.

The following are four key stakeholders of the e-Way Bill:

  • Suppliers – Can generate the e-Way Bills and reject the e-Way Bills generated by other party against his/her name, if it does not belong to him/her.
  • Recipients – Can generate the e-Way Bills and reject the e-Way Bills generated by other party against his/her name, if it does not belong to him/her.
  • Transporters – Can generate the e-Way Bills, consolidated e-Way Bills and update the vehicle numbers for the e-Way Bills assigned to him for transportation by the taxpayers.
  • Department Officers – Verify the e-Way Bills and consignments carried with the e-Way Bills.

Benefit of generating, cancelling, updating and assignment of e-way bill is available to the supplier, recipient and the transporter. Its mandatory for the registered person to get enrol on e-way bill portal before generating the bill.

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

Who should generate e-way bill under GST regime

E-way bill has two Components;

Part A

It comprises details of GSTIN of supplier & recipient, place of delivery (indicating PIN Code also), document (Tax invoice, Bill of Supply, Delivery Challan or Bill of Entry) number and date, value of goods, HSN code, and reasons for transportation; and

Part B

It comprises transport details such as transport document number (Goods Receipt Number or Railway Receipt Number or Airway Bill Number or Bill of Lading Number) and Vehicle number for road.

Part A to be furnished by the registered person who is causing movement of goods of consignment value exceeding Rs. 50,000 and Part B (transport details) is to be furnished by the person who is transporting the goods.

As per explanation 2 to rule 138(3), the e-way bill is valid for movement of goods by road only when information in Part-B of the e-way bill is furnished. However, part B of the e-way bill is not required to be furnished where goods are transported for a distance of up to 50 Km within the state/union territory from the place of business of the consignor to the place of business of the transporter for further transportation or from the place of business of the transporter finally to the place of business of the consignee.

If goods are transported by a registered person whether as consignor or recipient as the consignee (whether in his own conveyance or a hired one or a public conveyance or by road), the said person shall have to generate the e-way bill by furnishing information in part B on the common portal.

Where the e-way bill is not generated by registered person and the goods are handed over to the transporter, for transportation of goods by road, the registered person shall furnish the information relating to the transporter in Part B of FORM GST EWB-01 on the common portal and the e-way bill shall be generated by the transporter on the said portal on the basis of the information furnished by the registered person in Part A of FORM GST EWB-01.

If goods are transported by railways, air or vessel, the registered supplier or recipient shall generate e-way bill. Such registered person shall either before or after the commencement of movement, furnish information in part B on the common portal. In case of transport of goods by railways, e-way bill is required to be produced at the time of delivery of goods. However, railways have to carry invoice or delivery challan or bill of supply as the case may be along with goods.

If consignment value is less than 50,000 rupees, the registered person or the transporter may at his option generate and carry e-way bill.

Can e-way bill be cancelled ?

As per rule 138(9), where an e-way bill has been generated, but goods are either not transported or are not transported as per the details furnished in the e-way bill, the e-way bill may be cancelled electronically on the common portal, either directly or through a facilitation Centre notified by the Commissioner, within 24 hours of generation of the e-way bill.

It cannot be cancelled if e-way bill has been verified in transit in accordance with the provisions of rule 138B.

Once e-way bill is generated, it cannot be edited for any mistake other than vehicle details. For these mistakes or for the reasons above, you have to cancel it within the time limit as discussed above.

Please note, e-way bill is not valid form movement of goods without vehicle number on it. To update or change vehicle number, you no need to cancel it. You can update new vehicle number any number of times you want. You need to be remembering that the latest vehicle number on e-way bill should be the one matching with the vehicle carrying consignment in case checked by the department.

Documents to be carried by the person-in-charge

The person in charge of a conveyance shall carry—

(a) The invoice or bill of supply or delivery challan, as the case may be; and

(b) 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.

A registered person may obtain an Invoice Reference Number from the common portal by uploading, on the said portal, a tax invoice issued by him in FORM GST INV-1 and produce the same 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.

Notwithstanding anything contained clause (b) of sub-rule (1), where circumstances so warrant, the Commissioner may, by notification, require the person-in-charge of the conveyance to carry the following documents instead of the e-way bill-

(a) tax invoice or bill of supply or bill of entry; or

(b) a delivery challan, where the goods are transported for reasons other than by way of supply.

Transfer of goods from one conveyance to another

If goods are transferred from one conveyance to another, the person who has provided information in Part A or the transporter shall, before such transfer and further movement of goods, update the details of conveyance in Part B of the e-way bill on the common portal.

Such persons can assign the e-way bill number to another registered/enrolled transporter for updating the information in Part B for further movement of goods. Please note, after the transporter update part B of the e-way bill, the consignor or recipient, as the case may be, who has furnished the information in part-A, shall not be allowed to assign the e-way bill number to another transporter.

Acceptance of e-way bill by supplier or recipient

Details of the e-way bill generated shall be made available on the common portal to the –

  • registered supplier after part A has been furnished by the recipient or transporter; or
  • registered recipient after part A has been furnished by the supplier or transporter

From the common portal, these registered supplier or recipient, as the case may be, shall communicate acceptance or rejection within the specified time.  In case such person does not communicate acceptance or rejection within the specified time limit, it shall be deemed that the person has accepted the said details. Specified time limit in this case is 72 hours of the details being made available to him on the common portal, or the time of delivery of goods, whichever is earlier.

E-way bill can be updated with vehicle number any number of time after its generated. However, you have to note that the latest vehicle number on e-way bill should be the one carrying consignment in case checked by the department.

What are the consequences for non issuance of e-way bill?

If e-way bills, wherever required, are not issued in accordance with the provisions contained in Rule 138, the same will be considered as contravention of rules.

As per Section 122(1)(xiv) of CGST Act, 2017, a taxable person who transports any taxable goods without the cover of specified documents (e-way bill is one of the specified documents) shall be liable to a penalty of Rs. 10,000/- or tax sought to be evaded (wherever applicable) whichever is greater.

Moreover, as per Section 129(1) of CGST Act, 2017, where any person transports any goods or stores any goods while they are in transit in contravention of the provisions of this Act or the Rules made thereunder, all such goods and conveyance used as a means of transport for carrying the said goods and documents relating to such goods and conveyance shall be liable to detention or seizure.

Can e-way bill be generated by an unregistered supplier

Where the goods are supplied to a registered recipient by an unregistered supplier, the movement shall be said to be caused by such recipient if the recipient is known at the time of commencement of movement of goods. In such a case, the recipient shall be liable to generate e-way bill.

Here are three possibilities to discuss the provision;

Situation Movement caused by Impact Options available
Recipient is unknown at the time of commencement of movement of goods Unregistered person E-way bill not required However, the supplier has an option to generate e-way bill under “citizen” option on the e-way bill portal
Recipient is known and is unregistered at the time of commencement of movement of goods Unregistered person E-way bill not required However, the supplier has an option to generate e-way bill under “citizen” option on the e-way bill portal
Recipient is known and is registered at the time of commencement of movement of goods Deemed to be caused by the Registered recipient Recipient to generate e-way bill No option available as recipient has to generate the e-way bill

In terms of Rule 58 of the CGST Rules, 2017 read with section 35(2) of the CGST Act, 2017, a transporter and operator of godown or warehouse, if not already registered, shall have to enrol on the common portal by filing GST ENR-01.

The transporter enrolled in any one State or UT shall be deemed to be enrolled in other States as well.

The unregistered transporter gets a transporter Id when he enrolls on the system.

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is a fellow member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. He lives in Bhubaneswar, India. He writes about personal finance, income tax, goods and services tax (GST), company law and other topics on finance. Follow him on facebook or instagram or twitter.