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EWay Bills on Inter State Movement of Goods A changing dynamic of GST

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E-Way Bills on Inter State Movement of Goods – A changing dynamic of GST

CA SANJAY JAIN

CA SANJAY JAIN

Recently, the Central Government has issued notification no 74/2017,dated 29.12.2017 whereby it has fixed 1st February 2018 as the applicable date for use of E-way bills in relation to Inter State movement of goods (i.e. between two states). However, Central Board of Excise & Customs vide its press release dated 16th December, 2017 has intended that for movement of goods within a state, the respective State Government shall decide the date from when E-way bills would be required for such movement and which should be latest 31.05.2018.

In this regard, it is pertinent to note that the Central Government had issued Central Goods and Service Tax (Sixth Amendment) Rules, 2017 vide notification no 27/2017 dated 30th August, 2017 through which it substituted exiting rule 138 with new rules and also inserted four more new rules 138A, 138B, 138C & 138D. This CGST Rule 138, before its substitution, was stood as follow:-

138. E-way rule

Till such time as an E-way bill system is developed and approved by the Council, the Government may, by notification, specify the documents that the person in charge of a conveyance carrying any consignment of goods shall carry while the goods are in movement or in transit storage.

As it is evident from above that the existing rule was only declaratory in nature which declared itself that the government was on task to develop an E-way Bill system. While issuing this new amendment rules, the government uses its general power as provided in section 164 of the CGST Act which inter-alia provides that:-

(1) The Government may, on the recommendations of the Council, by notification, make rules for carrying out the provisions of this Act.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the provisions of sub-section (1), the Government may make rules for all or any of the matters which by this Act are required to be, or may be, prescribed or in respect of which provisions are to be or may be made by rules.

With this background, the author attempts to explain the provisions in relation to e-way bill whose enforcement has recently been may be notified by government.

A. Rule 138 of Central Goods & Service Tax Rules: –

A.1. On whom it applies

These rules applies to every registered person under GST if he causes movement of goods of consignment value exceeding fifty thousand rupees in the following situation:-

(i) in relation to a supply; or

(ii) for reasons other than supply; or

(iii) due to inward supply from an unregistered person,

He is required to furnish information in PART A of Form GST EWB-01 electronically on the common portal This information need to be furnished before commencement of such movement of goods. However when goods are transported thorough:-

own / hire conveyance of supplier or recipient of consignment; or
Railway, Air or Vessel
supplier or as the case may be, recipient of consignment may furnish information in PART B of Form GST EWB-01 electronically on the common portal and generate the e-way bill. The contents of Part A & Part B of Form GST-EWB-01 are as under:-

PART-A

A.1 GSTIN of Recipient

A.2 Place of Delivery

A.3 Invoice or Challan Number

A.4 Invoice or Challan Date

A.5 Value of Goods

A.6 HSN Code

A.7 Reason for Transportation

A.8 Transport Document Number

PART-B

B. Vehicle Number

A.1.1 Movement by registered person

In cases where the registered person (i.e. supplier or recipient) furnishes information in PART A of Form GST EWB-01 electronically on the common portal and hands over the goods to a transporter for transportation by road without generating this e-way bill, then he shall also furnish the information relating to the transporter in Part B of FORM GST EWB-01 on the common portal and thereafter transporter shall generate the e-way bill from the said portal.

A.1.2 Movement by unregistered person

In cases where an unregistered person transports the goods either in his own / hire conveyance or through transporter, then either the unregistered person or the transporter may generate the e-way bill in FORM GST EWB-01 on the common portal.

The following chart may help understand these provisions in a simple way:

eway bill

A. 2. Circumstances when E-way bill is optional / not required

A supplier or a recipient may not issue / generate e way bills in the following situations:-

Sl No

Circumstances

Part A of Form GST EWB-01

Part B of Form GST EWB-01

a)

If the value of consignment is less than Rs.50,000/-

Optional / Not required

Optional / Not required

b)

If the distance between consigner’s business place and transporter’s business place is less than 10 km.

Compulsory

Optional / Not required

c)

If the distance between transporter’s business place and consignee’s business place and is less than 10 km.

Compulsory

Optional / Not required

d)

In cases of specified goods as per Annexure

Not Required

Not Required

e)

If the goods are transported through non-motorised vehicles

Not Required

Not Required

f)

If the goods are transported / moved into specified areas

Not Required

Not Required

g)

Transportation of goods from the port, airport, air cargo complex and land customs station to an inland container depot or a container freight station for clearance by Customs

Not Required

Not Required

A.3. Other procedural aspects for E-way bills

A unique e way bill number (EBN) shall be allotted to supplier, recipient and transporter upon generation of each e way bill.
A transporter may change the conveyance during transit of goods upon updation of details at common portal.
In case of multiple consignments in one conveyance by transporter, he will indicate the serial number of each e way bill in a consolidated e way bill in Form GST EWB-02 on common portal.
The supplier may use the information furnished in Part A of GST EWB-01 in filing his monthly GSTR-1 return.
In cases where goods are either not despatched / transported or not transported in accordance with the furnished details, supplier or recipient may cancel the same within 24 hours of generation of e way bill.
The information of e way bill shall be made available to registered recipient who shall accept or reject the same with 72 hours of receipt of information failing which, his acceptance shall be deemed to granted.
The e way bill generated from the portal, shall be valid in every State and Union territory.
A.4. Validity Period of E way bill

Any E way bill generated by the consigner, consignee or transporter shall be valid for the below mentioned period during which the goods have to be transported and complete its journey:-

Upto 100 Km : One Day

For every 100 km or part thereof thereafter : One additional day

However, in cases where goods cannot be transported within validity period due to circumstances of exceptional nature, transporter may generate another e way bill after updating conveyance details in Part B of Form GST EWB-01. Further, in case of certain goods, Commissioner has power to extend this validity period through notification.

A.5. Broad categories of goods exempted from E way bill requirements

Under the rule, certain goods are made exempt from the requirement of E way bill during transit due to their perishable shelf life or essential daily goods nature. Some of them are mentioned below for illustrative purpose:-

Vegetables
Fruits,
Cereals, wheat, rice, maize, salts etc.
Milk and milk products,
News Papers
Dry fruits & Nuts
Tea, Coffees
Seeds
Papad, Bread, Water,
However, the annexure to the Rule138 may be referred to for a complete list of goods which are made exempted.

B. Documents and Devises during movement of goods – Rule 138A

a) The person in charge of a conveyance shall carry:-

(i) the invoice or bill of supply or delivery challan; and

(ii) a copy of the e-way bill or the e-way bill number, either physically or mapped to a Radio Frequency Identification Device embedded on to the conveyance in prescribed manner.

b) A facility will be provided on the portal where a registered person may upload tax invoice in Form GST INV-1 and obtain an Invoice Reference Number from the common portal valid for 30 days. The information so uploaded on the portal shall be auto populated in Part A of Form GST EWB-01.

c) The Commissioner may require a class of transporters to obtain a unique Radio Frequency Identification Device and get the said device embedded on to the conveyance and map the e-way bill to the Radio Frequency Identification Device prior to the movement of goods.

d) The Commissioner has been given power to prescribe following documents instead of e way bill in exceptional circumstances as notified by him:-

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

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

C. 138B. Verification of documents and conveyances

The Department has been given power to intercept any conveyance to verify the e-way bill or the e-way bill number in physical form for all inter-State and intra-State movement of goods.

The Commissioner shall have power to get Radio Frequency Identification Device readers installed at places where the verification of movement of goods is required to be carried out and verification of movement of vehicles shall be done through such device readers where the e way bill has been mapped with the said device.

The Authorised officer of the department shall conduct the physical verification of conveyances either on its own or on the basis of specific information on evasion of tax,

D. 138C. Inspection and verification of goods

Wherever an inspection or verification of goods is done by the department, a summary report of every inspection of goods in transit shall be recorded online by the proper officer in Part A of FORM GST EWB-03 within twenty four hours of inspection and the final report in Part B of FORM GST EWB-03 shall be recorded within three days of such inspection. This helps reduce the undue harassment & loss of time during transit.
Except in case of specific information, repetitive inspection, physical verification of conveyance or goods is not permitted during transit in the State.

E. 138D. Facility for uploading information regarding detention of vehicle.

This is a welcome provision whereby it is made mandatory that where a vehicle has been intercepted and detained for a period exceeding thirty minutes, the transporter may upload the said information in FORM GST EWB-04 on the common portal. FORM GST EWB-01.

Conclusion

With the commencement of these rules pertaining to E way bill w.e.f. 1st February, 2018 on inter-state movement of goods, the government has brought much needed uniform procedures across the States and Union territories in true sense of One Nation. This will help check the movement of goods for bonafide purposes during transit as well as increase the compliances by tax payers under GST.

Note: This article is authored to create awareness among all stakeholder and does not represent any opinion, advise by the author.