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As per the decision of GST Council, the E-way bill system for Inter-State movement of goods had been rolled-out from 01-04-2018. As on 20-04-2018, the E-way bill system for Intra-State movement of goods has been rolled-out in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Telangana, Tripura, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.

Furthermore, it has also been rolled out in Arunachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Sikkim and Puducherry, effective from 25-04-2018.

With the roll-out of E-way bill system in these States/Union Territory, it is expected that trade and industry will be further facilitated insofar as the transport of goods is concerned, thereby eventually paving the way for a nation-wide single E-way bill system. Trade and industry and transporters located in these States/Union Territory have to obtain registration/enrollment on E-way bill portal namely https://www.ewaybillgst.gov.in.

[Press Release no. 1529960]

Ministry of Finance

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As per decision of the GST Council, E-Way Bill system became mandatory from 01-04-2018 for all inter-State movement of goods. Both the businesses as well as the transporters moving goods worth Rs 50,000 from one state to another will have to carry an electronic or E-way bill from 01-04-2018, except for Karnataka having notified the E-way bill for both inter-state as well as the intra-state movement of goods. The E-way bill is being touted as an anti-evasion measure that would help boost tax collections by clamping down on the trade that currently happens on the cash basis. It was first introduced on 01-02-2018 but the implementation was put on hold after the system developed glitches in generating permits. With several states also starting to generate intra-state E-way bills on the portal, the system developed a snag. The Karnataka state government officials, however, said that the state has been running the E-way bill system for both inter-state and intra-state movement of goods since September, 2017.

To ensure a fool proof system, the GSTN has activated only that facility on its portal where E-way bill can be generated when goods are transported from one state to another by either road, railways, airways or vessels, and has further stated that it will block any attempt to generate E-way bill for intra-state movement of goods. The GST Council, has decided on a staggered rollout of the E-way bill starting with inter-state from 01-04-2018 and intra-state from 15-04-2018.

Furthermore, in addition to the above exceptions (i.e. only inter-State E-way bills are permitted for now, with Karnataka being the only exception to generate both inter- and intra-State E-way bills), the Central Government has, vide G.S.R. 315 (E), dt. 31-03-2018, on recommendations of the Council, notified that irrespective of the value of the consignment, no E-way bill shall be required to be generated where the movement of goods commences and terminates within the Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The implementation of the nationwide E-Way Bill mechanism under GST regime is being done by GSTN in association with the National Informatics Centre (NIC) and is being run on portal namely https://ewaybillgst.gov.in. To answer queries of taxpayers and transporters, the Central helpdesk of GST has made special arrangements with 100 agents exclusively dedicated to answer queries related to E-way bills. Separately, state tax authorities have started helpdesk in local language, details of which are available on the GST portal. Central as well as State Tax Authorities have declared Nodal Officers for E-way bills. Detailed FAQs are kept on the portal for the guidance of the users.

E-way Bill can be generated through various modes like Web (Online), Android App, SMS, using Bulk Upload Tool and API based site to site integration etc. Consolidated e-way Bill can be generated by transporters for vehicle carrying multiple consignments. Transporters can create multiple Sub-Users and allocate roles to them. This way large transporters can declare their various offices as sub-users. There is a provision for cancellation of e-way Bill within 24 hours by the person who has generated the e-way Bill. The recipient can also reject the E-way Bill within validity period of E-way bill or 72 hours of generation of the E-way bill by the consignor whichever is earlier.

[Press Release no. 1527153, dt. 01-04-2018]

Ministry of Finance

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The government has clarified the E-way bill regarding movement of goods from dry-ports to sea ports and from SEZs within the zone. It is in the backdrop of various representations from Association of Exporters as well as Corporate Bodies seeking clarity on the E-way bill.

Some of the queries regarding the applicability of the E-way bill are —

  1. Exemption for export consignments during custom bonded movement from one airport o another;
  2. Movement from SEZ/FTWZ (Free Trade Warehousing Zone) to port and vice versa;
  3. Parity in movement of export cargo with import cargo.

To clarify this issue the Central Goods and Services tax Rules, 2017 (CGST Rules) have been amended vide notification No. 12/2018-Central Tax dated 07-03-2018. As per sub-clauses (c) and (h) of sub-rule (14) of Rule 138 of the CGST Rules, no E-way bill is required to be generated where the goods are being transported:

  1. 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;
  2. 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;
  3. under customs supervision or under customs seal.

[Press Release no. 1525915, dt. 22-03-2018]
Ministry of Finance

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In the 26th meeting held on March 10, 2018, the GST Council has recommended the introduction of e-way bill for inter-State movement of goods across the country from 01st April 2018. For intra-State movement of goods, e-way bill system will be introduced w.e.f. a date to be announced in a phased manner but not later than 01stJune, 2018.

Major improvements over the last set of rules, as approved by the Council now, are as follows:

  • E-way bill is required to be generated only where the value of the consignment exceeds Rs. 50000/-. For smaller value consignments, no e-way bill is required.
  • The provisions of sub-rule (7) of Rule 138 will be notified from a later date. Therefore, at present there is no requirement to generate e-way bill where an individual consignment value is less than Rs. 50,000/-, even if the transporter is carrying goods of more than Rs. 50,000/- in a single conveyance.
  • Value of exempted goods has been excluded from value of the consignment, for the purpose of e-way bill generation.
  • Public conveyance has also been included as a mode of transport and the responsibility of generating e-way bill in case of movement of goods by public transport would be that of the consignor or consignee.
  • Railways has been exempted from generation and carrying of e-way bill with the condition that without the production of e-way bill, railways will not deliver the goods to the recipient. But railways are required to carry invoice or delivery challan etc.
  • Time period for the recipient to communicate his acceptance or rejection of the consignment would be the validity period of the concerned e-way bill or 72 hours,whichever is earlier.
  • In case of movement of goods on account of job-work, the registered job worker can also generate e-way bill.
  • Consignor can authorize the transporter, courier agency and e-commerce operator to fill PART-A of e-way bill on his behalf.
  • Movement of goods from the place of consignor to the place of transporter up to a distance of 50 Km [increased from 10 km] does not require filling of PART-B of e-way bill.They have to generate PART-A of e-way bill.
  • Extra validity period has been provided for Over Dimensional Cargo (ODC).
  • If the goods cannot be transported within the validity period of the e-way bill, the transporter may extend the validity period in case of transhipment or in case of circumstances of an exceptional nature.
  • Validity of one day will expire at midnight of the day immediately following the date of generation of e-way bill.
  • Once verified by any tax officer, the same conveyance will not be subject to a second check in any State or Union territory, unless and until, specific information for the same is received.
  • In case of movement of goods by railways, airways and waterways, the e-way bill can be generated even after commencement of movement of goods.
  • Movement of goods on account of Bill-To-Ship-To supply will be handled through the capturing of place of despatch in PART-A of e-way bill.

Ministry of Finance

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After some trial runs, the crucial anti-evasion measure under the goods and services tax (GST), e-way bill, is now mandatory for transporters across the country w.e.f. 01-02-2018. According to a steady-state estimate, 7-8 lakh such bills will be generated daily. Under the e-way bill system, every inter-state movement of goods with a value of over Rs 50,000 and being moved beyond 10 km, the transporter will have to generate an electronic bill on the designated portal. The bill will have the details of consignment, supplier and recipient, which is expected to help the tax department in verifying self-assessed tax returns filed by taxpayers. During the trial period that began from January 16, almost all states had come on board and the system generated 28.4 lakh bills 30-01-2018.

GST Network, the IT backbone for GST, saw 3.4 lakh e-way bills being generated on 30-01-2018. Additionally, during the trial run, 11,581 transporters registered for e-way bill system. These are those transporters who are not registered under GST. Under the GST regime, businesses which have a turnover of up to Rs 20 lakh per annum need not register under GST.

The e-way bill can be generated through various modes like web (online), Android app, SMS and excel-based bulk tool among others. Consolidated e-way bill can be generated for vehicle carrying multiple consignments. The transporters can manage sub-users and allocate roles to them, GSTN said in a statement. This way large transporters can declare their various offices as sub-users.

Further, there is provision for cancellation of e-way bill within 24 hours. The validity of these bills is fixed as one day for every 100 km or part thereof. E-way bill is a unified and simple system which establishes direct linkage between what is declared and what is actually moved. It will bring greater transparency and enable hassle-free movement of goods.

[Source: The Financial Express]