On April 1, 2018, the e-way bill system for the inter-state movement of goods was rolledout across the nation. In parallel, it was decided that intra-state e-way bill too shall be rolled out in a phased manner from April 15th once the system had sufficiently stabilised, with roughly four to five states coming on board every week.
Karnataka was the first to join the bandwagon, as it adopted the intra-state e-way bill system from April 1 itself. A total of 22 states have now gone live as well - Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Sikkim, Telengana, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Puducherry, Assam and Rajasthan - with Lakshwadeep and Chandigarh being the latest entrants on May 25, and Maharashtra following closely on May 31, and Punjab and Goa from June 1.
If official records are to be considered, the entire implementation of the system and the generation of e-way bills nationwide has been successful. Till the May 13, which is a period of almost 45 days, more than 4.15 crore e-way bills were successfully generated, which included more than 1 crore e-way bills for intra-state movement of goods. Both inter as well as intra-state movement of goods will become mandatory from June 3, 2018 - which implies that businesses across the country will need to factor in the same, while planning for their respective consignments.
Here are 7 quick things you can keep in mind as a business, to prepare yourself for the time ahead:
i. You can generate the e-way bill using GSTIN from http://ewaybillgst.gov.in
ii. E-way bill will be required when the value of taxable consignment, along with the tax value, is more than Rs 50,000
iii. If you have sent material for Job Work then either you or the Job Worker can generate the e-way bill
iv. As a supplier, you can authorize the transporter, e-commerce operator or the courier agency to fill Part A of the e-way bill
v. If the distance between your primary place of business and that of the transporter is less than 50 KMs, only Part A of the e-way bill is required to be filled, and Part B is not required to be filled
vi. Once the e-way bill is generated, the recipient of goods can confirm or deny the receipt of goods before the actual delivery or 72 hours, whichever is earlier
vii. In cases where the goods are being transported by railways, aeroplane or ship, the e-way bill can only be generated by the supplier or a recipient, and not by the transporter. However, in such cases, an e-way bill can be generated even after the goods shipment has started
As of today, it can be safely said that with businesses adhering to these e-way bill guidelines, and with the tax authorities working in tandem to ensure the right compliances, the nation-wide single e-way bill will soon be a successful reality. Coupled with the obvious advantages of robust technology that businesses will look to use, this will surely ensure seamless commerce across state borders, something which is bound to give both businesses as well as the government authorities a lot of relief in the time to come.