What is an Eway Bill: In the dynamic world of logistics, where the seamless movement of goods is a cornerstone of modern commerce, two essential elements have emerged to ensure transparency, compliance, and efficient operations: the E-way Bill and the Transport ID.
These tools have become integral to the logistics landscape, particularly in countries like India, where the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime has revolutionized the way goods are transported and tracked.
In this blog post, we’ll delve into the intricacies of E-way Bills and Transport IDs, shedding light on their significance, functions, and the critical roles they play in shaping the logistics and supply chain industry. So, let’s embark on a journey to unravel the essentials of these digital enablers in the world of logistics.
What is Eway Bill:
An e-way bill is an electronically generated document required for the movement of goods in India, especially for interstate transportation. It is generated on the E-way Bill Portal and serves as a digital record of the movement of goods from one place to another. Here are some key points about e-way bills in logistics:
- Purpose: E-way bills are primarily used to ensure that goods are being transported with proper documentation and that the appropriate Goods and Services Tax (GST) is being paid for the transportation.
- Mandatory for Certain Goods: E-way bills are mandatory for the movement of goods valued at or above a specified threshold, as determined by the GST council. The threshold may vary from state to state.
- Information Included: An e-way bill contains information about the consignment, such as the name of the consignor and consignee, the place of delivery, the invoice or challan number, the HSN (Harmonized System of Nomenclature) code of the goods, the quantity, and the value of the goods, and the transportation vehicle details.
- Generation and Validity: E-way bills are generated electronically by the supplier or the transporter, and a unique EWB (E-way Bill) number is issued. The bill has a specific validity period, which depends on the distance to be covered.
- Verification: E-way bills can be verified by tax authorities during transit, and it’s essential for the transporter to carry a physical copy or the EWB number in electronic form.
E-way Bill Generation: Who, When, and What’s Required
In the intricate web of logistics and taxation, the generation of E-way bills plays a pivotal role. But who is responsible for creating these digital documents, when are they mandatory, and what documents are required for their generation? Let’s unravel the complexities:
Who Should Generate an E-way Bill?
Registered Persons Moving Goods: E-way bills are imperative when there’s a movement of goods valued at over Rs. 50,000, either to or from a registered person. Remarkably, even if the value of the goods falls below this threshold, a registered person can choose to generate an E-way bill, enhancing transparency and compliance.
Unregistered Suppliers to Registered Receivers: When an unregistered supplier makes a supply to a registered person, it’s the receiver’s responsibility to ensure that all compliance requirements are met. This includes generating an E-way bill when necessary, ensuring a smooth flow of goods even across the GST divide.
Transporters in the Mix: Transporters wielding various modes of conveyance—be it road, air, rail, or sea—come into the E-way bill equation when the supplier has not generated an E-way bill. In such scenarios, transporters must step in to facilitate the generation of these essential documents, ensuring the lawful transit of goods.
Documents Required for E-way Bill Generation:
When venturing into the world of E-way bills, documentation is paramount. The following documents must be at your fingertips:
- Invoice/ Bill of Supply/ Challan: These documents, pertinent to the consignment of goods, are the foundation for E-way bill generation. They carry crucial information about the goods being transported and their accompanying tax details.
- For Road Transport: If the goods are transported via road, the transporter must provide either the Transporter ID or the vehicle number. This information adds a layer of security and traceability to the journey of goods.
- For Other Modes of Transport: When goods take to the skies, rails, or seas, different identification parameters come into play. Transporter ID, Transport document number, and the date of transport are key pieces of data required for E-way bill generation.
Cracking the E-way Bill Format: Part A and Part B
The E-way bill, like any well-structured document, is divided into two parts: Part A and Part B. Part A focuses on the consignment’s details, predominantly the invoice particulars. Here’s a breakdown of the information that Part A demands:
GSTIN of the recipient, adding precision to the destination.
- The PIN code of the delivery location, ensuring goods reach the correct doorstep.
- Invoice or challan number, a critical identifier for the goods in transit.
- The value of the consignment is a cornerstone of taxation.
- HSN code of the transported goods varies based on turnover.
- The reason for transportation is selected from predefined options.
- Transport document number, a unique identifier, including goods receipt numbers, railway receipts, and airway bill numbers.
- Navigating the intricacies of E-way bills involves understanding who should initiate them when they are mandatory, and the essential documents that guide their creation. As we journey deeper into the world of E-way bills, we’ll explore the generation process and the digital tools that make it all seamless.
Cases When E-Way Bill Is Exempted or Not Required
There are specific scenarios in which the generation of an E-way bill is exempted or not required:
- Liquefied petroleum gas for supply to household and non-domestic exempted category (NDEC) customers.
- Kerosene oil sold under the Public Distribution System (PDS).
- Postal baggage transported by the Department of Posts.
- Natural or cultured pearls, precious or semi-precious stones, precious metals, and metals clad with precious metal (Chapter 71).
- Jewelry, goldsmiths’ and silversmiths’ wares, and other articles (Chapter 71).
- Used personal and household effects.
- Unworked coral (0508) and worked coral (9601).
- Goods transported from customs ports, airports, air cargo complexes, or land customs stations to an inland container depot or a container freight station for customs clearance.
- Transportation by non-motorized conveyances.
- Specific goods, including alcoholic liquor for human consumption, petroleum crude, high-speed diesel, motor spirit (commonly known as petrol), natural gas, and aviation turbine fuel.
- When there is no supply as per the provisions in Schedule III of the Act.
- Transportation under customs bond or supervision, including transit cargo to or from Nepal or Bhutan.
- Exempted goods under various tax notifications.
- Goods transported by rail by the Central Government, State Government, or a local authority acting as a consignor.
- Goods movement by defense formations under the Ministry of Defense.
- Transport of empty cargo containers.
- Goods transported for weighing purposes within a 20 km radius from the consignor’s business to the weighbridge or vice versa. A delivery challan must accompany the goods in this case.
- Goods specified in the schedule appended to notification no. 2/2017-Central Tax (Rate) dated 28.06.2017, excluding de-oiled cake.
- In these scenarios, the generation of an E-way bill is either not mandated or exempted, simplifying the logistics process for specific types of goods and movements.
Transporter Identification Number (GSTIN):
In the context of e-way bills and logistics, the Transporter Identification Number (GSTIN) is issued to transporters and plays a crucial role in the transportation of goods. Here’s how it fits into the process:
- Role in E-way Bill Generation: When a consignor or consignee party generates an e-way bill for the movement of goods, they need to provide the Transporter’s GSTIN if they plan to engage a transporter for the transportation.
- Lorry Number Change: The Transporter’s GSTIN becomes essential when there is a change in the lorry or vehicle number during the transportation of goods. This can occur due to various reasons, such as vehicle breakdowns or the need to transfer goods from one vehicle to another.
- Extending E-way Bill Validity: E-way bills have a specific validity period based on the distance to be covered. If the transportation takes longer than expected, the validity of the e-way bill can be extended by the transporter, consignor, or consignee. This extension is typically done electronically on the E-way Bill Portal.
- Tracking and Accountability: The use of the Transporter’s GSTIN helps in tracking the movement of goods and ensures accountability throughout the transportation process. It allows authorities to verify that the goods are being transported in compliance with tax regulations.
In summary, the Transporter Identification Number (GSTIN) is crucial for the accurate generation and monitoring of e-way bills, especially when there are changes in the lorry number during transit. It allows for the extension of e-way bill validity and helps maintain transparency and compliance in logistics operations.