What is an E-way Bill? | System, Rules & Generation Process Explained

What is an E-way bill?

An E-way bill is an electronically generated document required to be carried by any person transporting goods worth more than Rs. 50,000 within India. The E-way bill must be generated on the GST e-filing portal, and a unique number (EBN) will be allocated. This EBN must then be shared with the transporter who will carry the goods. We will elaborate a little bit more about EBN later in the article.

E-way bill format under GST

The e-way bill format has been prescribed by the GST Council and must contain the following information:

1. Part A - Registration details of the shipper and recipient

2. Part B - Details of the goods being transported

3. Part C - Details of the transporter

4. Part D - Declaration by the transporter or the person who is responsible for carrying the goods

What is the E-Way bill system in India?

The E-way bill system is an online platform used to generate and track the movement of goods worth over Rs. 50,000 within India.

As part of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, the system is mandatory for all businesses transporting goods within India.

Who needs to generate an E-Way Bill?

The e-way bill must be generated by the registered businesses transporting goods worth over Rs. 50,000 within India. You can generate e-way bills only through the GST portal. Each of your e-way bills will be assigned a unique number (EBN). You then need to share this EBN with the transporter who will carry the goods.

To generate an E-way bill, any transporter who begins a business of moving goods must be familiar with all the regulations.

Here are the persons who can create the E-way bill:

Registered Person

Each registered individual must generate an e-way bill when shipping goods worth more than Rs. 50,000.

Unregistered Person

If you're not GST registered but supply registered businesses with goods you still need to issue e-way bills for every transaction. Unregistered individuals who perform a supply transaction with a registered individual must ensure all compliance requirements are met and that all documentation is in order.

Transporter

To transport freight, rail, or air cargo, a transporter must prepare an E-way bill unless the supplier prepares it.

Why should businesses generate an e-way bill?

The main reason businesses generate an e-way bill is that it helps reduce tax evasion by ensuring that all companies comply with the GST rules. It will also allow you to better track the movement of your goods and delivery statuses

How to generate E-Way Bill?

To generate an E-way bill, the supplier or the recipient of the goods must log in to the GST e-filing portal and select the 'Generate E-way Bill' option. If you want to get a more detailed explanation, of how to generate an E-way Bill, read this article.

Here's what you need to generate e-way bills:

  1. Invoice or bill of supply or delivery challan
  2. Transport document
  3. The name, address and GSTIN of the supplier
  4. The name, address and GSTIN of the recipient
  5. The value of the goods being transported
  6. The HSN code of the goods
  7. The EBN number allocated to the E-way bill
  8. The transport details (vehicle number, driver name, etc.)
  9. The date on which the E-way bill was generated

Here's the easiest way to create an e-way bill with the help of a kernel

Two main reasons why you should use the kernel platform to create your document:

1. When you enter a GSTIN number, based on it, we will be able to automatically fill in your e-way bill document with the necessary information on the kernel site. For example, suppose you have already filled in information about the client, shipping, company and items on the gst portal. In that case, we can automatically transfer to our platform, and you will receive an 80% e-way bill. You have to fill in only transportation information.

2. You can create an invoice. Interestingly, the invoice contains the same information as the e-way bill, although the e-way bill has more details to consider, such as transportation. However, an invoice is deemed to be complete only when the e-way bill number is attached.

In order for your invoice to be valid, it must be uploaded to the e-way bill.

E-Way Bill in case of Sale by Unregistered Person

In case of a sale by an unregistered person, the E-way bill must be generated by the recipient of the goods. The details that need to be provided are:

1. The name and address of the recipient

2. The GSTIN of the recipient (if available)

3. The value of the goods being transported

4. The HSN code of the goods

5. The transport details (vehicle number, driver name, etc.)

6. The EBN number allocated to the E-way bill

7. The date on which the E-way bill was generated

List of states where the Intrastate E-Way Bill is applicable:

  • Andhra Pradesh,
  • Arunachal Pradesh,
  • Assam,
  • Bihar,
  • Chhattisgarh,
  • Goa,
  • Gujarat,
  • Haryana,
  • Himachal Pradesh,
  • Jammu & Kashmir
  • Jharkhand,
  • Karnataka
  • Kerala
  • Madhya Pradesh,
  • Maharashtra
  • Manipur
  • Meghalaya
  • Mizoram
  • Nagaland
  • Odisha
  • Punjab
  • Puducherry
  • Rajasthan
  • Sikkim
  • Tamil Nadu
  • Telangana
  • Tripura
  • Uttar Pradesh
  • Uttarakhand
  • West Bengal

List of Union Territories Where Intrastate E Way Bill is Applicable

  • Andaman & Nicobar
  • Chandigarh
  • Dadar & Nagar Haveli
  • Daman & Diu
  • Lakshadweep

Status of Implementation across India

The e-way bill system is currently operational in all states and union territories of India, except for the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

An e-way bill is to be generated irrespective of the value of goods in the following cases:

1. If the goods are being transported from one state to another (interstate)

2. If the transport mode is by air, rail or ship

3. If a registered person is transporting the goods

4. If the goods are transported under an 'open delivery challan.'

What other important things do you need to know about the e-way bill?

The following are some other relevant points regarding the E-Way Bill:

1. An EBN is valid for 15 days from the date of generation and can be used multiple times within this period for different consignments.

2. A new EBN must be generated if the goods are transported for more than 15 days.

3. If the consignment is split into multiple parts, a separate EBN must be generated for each part.

4. An e-way bill can be cancelled within 24 hours of its generation, provided the goods have not been dispatched.

5. The E-Way Bill is valid for 100 km from the point of origin. A new E-Way Bill must be generated if the goods are transported for more than 100 km.

6. The e-way bill is not required for certain goods, such as goods transported by air, rail, or sea.

7. The e-way bill is not required for specific consignments, such as consignments of value less than Rs. 50,000/-.

What documents do you need for delivery GST inspection?

The GST officer may stop any conveyance carrying goods to verify the documents and inspect the goods. As long as the officer is satisfied with the documents and information provided, either the goods can be transported or they will be seized.

Documents and Devices to be carried by a person in charge of a transportation

The person in charge of a conveyance must carry the following documents:

1. A copy of the e-way bill or EBN number allocated to the consignment(if the E-way bill has been generated electronically);

2. A copy of the GST registration certificate

3. A copy of the E-way bill registration certificate (if the person is registered on the E-way bill portal)

4. An invoice, bill of Supply or delivery challan for the goods;

5. A valid photo ID proof (such as Aadhaar, PAN, Driving License, Voter ID etc.)

6. In the case of transporting by motor vehicle, it is required that the driver have a valid registration certificate and insurance policy.

8. Transport document ( Waybill, Lorry Receipt, Rail Reservation Slip)

9. The Goods and Services Tax Identification Number (GSTIN) of the consignor and consignee

The person-in-charge of a conveyance must also carry the following devices:

1. A mobile phone with the E-way bill app installed on it and with internet connectivity so that he can generate/update/view an E-way bill if required

Inspection and Verification of Goods

Inspection and verification of goods require that all documentation must be in order to avoid being fined and thus avoid detention.

The GST officer may also inspect the goods being transported to match the description given in the E-way bill. If the officer is satisfied with everything, he will allow the transportation of the goods to continue. Otherwise, he may seize the goods.

The person in charge of conveying the goods must allow the inspecting officer to inspect the goods. The officer may also ask for documents related to the consignment, such as the invoice or delivery challan. If the value of the goods is less than Rs. 50,000, then a physical inspection of the goods is not required.

What happens if you don't have an e-way bill?

When the authorities intercept a person transporting goods without an E-way bill, the following penalties will be applied:

1. A penalty of Rs. 10,000 will be imposed on the transporter

  • A penalty of Rs. 10,000/- may be imposed on the person in charge of the conveyance carrying any consignment of goods without an e-way bill or a supporting document, as the case may be.
  • A penalty of Rs. 20,000/- can be imposed on any registered person responsible for transporting goods without an E-way bill or without a valid document, as the case may be.
  • A penalty of Rs. 50,000/- may be imposed on any unregistered person who causes any transport of goods without an e-way bill or a supporting document, as the case may be.

2. The goods being transported will be detained and released only after paying applicable taxes and fines.

3. The transporter will also be liable to pay any other charges applicable under GST laws.

Validity of E-Way Bill

The validity of an E-way bill depends on the distance to be travelled:

1. For journeys up to 100 km, the E-way bill is valid for 1 day from the date of generation

2. For distances between 100 km and 200 km, the E-way bill is valid for 2 days from the date of generation

3. For journeys between 200 km and 300 km, the E-way bill is valid for 3 days from the date of generation

4. For distances above 300 km, the E-way bill is valid for 5 days from the date of generation

Cancellation of E-Way Bill

An E-way bill can be cancelled within 24 hours of its generation. The person who has generated the E-way bill will have to log in to the GST portal and cancel the E-way bill using the EBN number. The reason for the cancellation must be stated.

Responsibilities of the Transporter

Transporters are responsible for carrying goods as specified in the e-way bill and ensuring they reach their destinations within the specified period.  The transporter must also bring a copy of the e-way bill with him and produce it on demand by any authorized officer. They are also responsible for updating the status of the E-way bill on the GST portal.

E-Way Bill in case of Movement by Registered Person

If the supplier is registered he must generate an e-way bill for the supply of goods. If the recipient is also registered under GST, the e-way bill must be made in his name. However, if the recipient is unregistered, the E-way bill will have to be made in the transporter's name.

When you don't need to generate e-way bills

There are certain situations in which an E-way bill is not necessary to be generated, such as:

1. If an unregistered person is doing the transportation of goods

2. If the goods being transported are exempt from GST

3. If the transport distance is less than 50 km and the value of goods is less than Rs. 50,000

4. If a non-motorized conveyance is transporting the goods

5. If the mode of transport is by air, rail or ship

6. If the goods are being transported from one place of business to another by an employee

7. If the goods are being transported from one place to another within the same state and the transporter has obtained a 'No Objection Certificate' from the concerned Tax Officer

8. If the goods are being transported for personal use

9. If the goods being transported are perishable or dangerous

10. If the supplier or recipient is a registered farmer transporting agricultural produce

Specific goods exempted from the E-way bill

Specific goods that are exempt from E-way bill rules are:

  • The following items are specified in the annexure to the regulations:
  • Liquefied petroleum gas for supply to domestic and non-domestic exempted customers
  • Kerosene oil sold under the Public Distribution System (PDS)
  • Goods transported by post
  • Natural or cultured pearls; precious or semi-precious stones; precious metals; metals plated with precious metals
  • Jewellery, goldsmiths' and silversmiths' wares and other articles
  • Currency
  • Used personal and household effects
  • Unworked and worked coral

2. Transported goods include alcoholic liquor for human consumption, petroleum crude, high-speed diesel, petrol, natural gas, or aviation turbine fuel.

3. Cargo containers are empty when transported.

4. The notification No. 2/2017- Central Tax (Rate) dated the 28th of June 2017 specifies what goods other than de-oiled cake are to be transported. The following are a few of the goods listed in the above notification:

  • Curd, lassi, buttermilk
  • Fresh milk and pasteurized milk do not contain added sugar or other sweetening matter.
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Unprocessed tea leaves and unroasted coffee beans
  • Live animals, plants and trees
  • Meat
  • Cereals
  • Unbranded rice and wheat flour
  • Salt
  • Items of educational importance (books, maps, periodicals)



3 Ways you can generate e-way bills

There are 3 ways to generate an E-Way Bill:

  • The Online Method is preferred as it is faster and more convenient. To generate an e-way bill online, the supplier or the transporter must log in to the GST e-filing portal using their username and password. Once they have logged in, they will be able to fill out the required details and generate the e-way bill.
  • The Offline Method can be used if the supplier or transporter does not access the internet. In this case, they will have to generate a QR code by entering the relevant details into the GST Offline Tool. Any authorized officer can then scan this QR code to verify the details of the consignment.
  • The SMS Method - The E-way bill can be generated by sending an SMS to a registered mobile number with the consignment details.

You always need to generate e-way bills irrespective of the value of cargo in the following cases:

1. If the consignment includes alcohol, tobacco or petroleum products

2. If the mode of transport is by air, rail or ship

3. If the goods are being transported from one state to another by road and the distance is more than 50 km

What Is The Difference Between an E-way Bill and Delivery Challan in India?

The E-way Bill system is integrated with the GST system. The E-way Bill number (EBN) is generated automatically when a GST invoice is created. The EBN is then mentioned on the delivery challan, and the transporter can use this number to track the movement of the goods.

  • The main difference between an e-way bill and a delivery challan is that an e-way bill is required to transport goods valued at Rs 50,000 or more, while a delivery challan is not needed for such transportation. Want to know more about delivery challan? Here is everything you need to know about a delivery challan
  • Another difference between an E-way Bill and a delivery challan is that an E-way Bill is generated automatically when a GST invoice is created. In contrast, a delivery challan is issued by the supplier of goods.
  • On the other hand, both an E-way Bill and a delivery challan are documents used to transport goods in India.
  • Both documents contain details such as:
  • The name and address of the supplier and the recipient,
  • The GSTIN of the supplier,
  • The description of the goods,
  • The value of the goods,
  • The mode of transport.

FAQs on E-Way bill in India

1. What is an e-way bill?

An e-way bill is a document that must be generated to transport goods valued at Rs. 50,000/- or more.

2. Who should generate the e-way bill?

The e-way bill should be generated by the person who is causing the transport of the goods.

3. What are the benefits of an e-way bill?

An e-way bill helps ensure that the transport of goods is done in a compliant manner. It also helps track the movement of goods and ensures that the correct taxes are paid.

4. What are the penalties for non-compliance with the e-way bill rules?

The penalties for non-compliance with the e-way bill rules are as follows:

- A penalty of Rs. 10,000/- may be imposed on the person in charge of the conveyance carrying any consignment of goods without an e-way bill or a supporting document, as the case may be.

- A penalty of Rs. 20,000/- may be imposed on the registered person who causes any transport of goods without an e-way bill or a supporting document, as the case may be.

- A penalty of Rs. 50,000/- may be imposed on any unregistered person who causes any transport of goods without an e-way bill or a supporting document, as the case may be.

5. Is an E-Way bill required, whether for supply or otherwise?

An E-way bill needs to be generated for both supply and non-supply transactions.

E-Way bill is to be generated for all inter-State and intra-State movement of goods of value exceeding fifty thousand rupees except the following:

(a) Movement of goods by rail;

(b) Movement of goods by air; and

(c) Movement of goods by sea.

However, an E-Way bill is not required to be generated where the consignment value is less than fifty thousand rupees.