E-way Bill mandatory from 01-04-2018 [with certain exceptions]

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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