If your business involves any sort of transportation of goods, it is very important for you to be aware about the e-way bills in effect under the GST regime. This article will walk you through the very fundamental aspects of the e-way bill and help you understand how it works.
What is an e-way bill?
As the name would suggest, it is a way bill that is electronically generated. This is basically a document that has to be carried by the person in charge of a conveyance that carries a consignment worth Rs 50,000 or more. It contains the following details: source of consignment, its destination, and details of the vehicle, detail of the consignor, the carrier and the consignee. Now, if you are not already aware let us familiarize with these terms.
A consignment refers to the goods that are to be carried or transported to a destination. The consignor is the person who sends the goods. The consignee is the one who buys and therefore receives the goods. The conveyance is the vehicle that carries the goods. Inter-state transportation means conveyance of goods from one state to another. And if the source and the destination are located in the same state the conveyance is called intra-state transportation.
When is an e-way bill needed?
The person in charge of the consignment en-route is bound to carry the e-way bill during inter-state and intra-state transportation of goods if the consignment is worth Rs 50,000 or more, some states have allowed higher transaction limits for intra-states. The carrier should be able to show the e-way bill for the consignment at a check post. The e-way bills were made mandatory for inter-state transportation from April, 2018 under the rule 138, section 68 of the goods and service tax act. A national, integrated system of e-way bills covering both inter and intra state movement of goods was introduced later.
Who is responsible for generating an e-way bill?
The e-way bill can be generated by the consignor, the consignee or the transporter provided they are registered tax payers. A common person can also generate e-way bills by logging into the common portal if the goods are for personal use. A person who is not registered as a tax payer can log into the portal and get registered as a transporter to be able to generate the e-way bill.
Some important points
One must remember that a separate e-way bill has to be produced for every consignment worth Rs 50,000.
If multiple consignments are carried by the same vehicle than a consolidated e-way bill can be generated which contains details about all the consignments.
And if a single consignment needs more than one vehicle to be transported then the details of all the vehicles have to be on the bill.
If a vehicle breaks down on the way and another vehicle is used to finish the transportation then part B of the bill declaring the details of the vehicle is updated.
Cancellation and extension of an E-way bill
The E-way bill can be cancelled within 24 hours of being generated. In fact the validity of the e-way bill is 24 hours for every 100 kilometers. Now, if there is a need to extend the validity of the e-way bill, it can be done in the period between 4 hours before the validity ends to 4 hours after it ends. But, of course there has to be a proper justification for it.