E-Way Bill: Meaning, Rules, & Online Generation | GST E-Way Bill System
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29 JANUARY, 2024

With the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in India, many other valuable aspects have also emerged, including the E-Way Bill. The E-Way bill has become essential for transporting goods within the country. 

This blog will explore the basics of the E-Way bill system, explaining its definition, how it operates, the reasons for its issuance, and the essential rules to follow. 

What is an E-Way Bill?

An E-Way bill is an electronic document for tracking the movement of goods generated on the E-Way bill portal. Submitting an E-Way bill is mandatory for any GST-registered business organisation involved in supplying, receiving, or transporting goods exceeding Rs. 50,000 in value. 

This process ensures compliance with GST rules. The bill can be secured on the GST Portal or via SMS and mobile apps using Smartphones and assigned a unique E-Way bill number (EBN). This number is important for the supplier, recipient, and transporter, offering a streamlined and accountable system for transporting goods.

When Should an E-Way Bill be Generated?

Here are the circumstances when an E-Way bill is required:

1. Value Exceeds Rs. 50,000 

For goods valued at over Rs. 50,000, generating an e-Way bill is imperative. This process ensures meticulous tracking and documentation of the goods' movement, enhancing transparency and regulatory compliance.

2. Supplier Not GST-Registered, Receiver GST-Registered

In cases where the supplier lacks GST registration but the recipient holds GST registration, it becomes the responsibility of the GST-registered party to ensure adherence to the e-Way bill requirement.

3. Unavailability of e-Way Bill by Supplier

When the supplier has not initiated the e-Way bill generation, the onus falls on the transporter to create one. It holds true regardless of the chosen mode of transportation, streamlining the documentation process.

When is an E-Way bill not required?

  • The non-motor vehicle is the mode of transport.
  • Goods are transported from a customs port, airport, air cargo complex, or land customs station to an Inland Container Depot (ICD) or Container Freight Station (CFS) for Customs clearance.
  • Goods are transported under customs supervision or a customs seal.
  • Goods transported under Customs Bond from ICD to Customs port or between customs stations.
  • Transit cargo to or from Nepal or Bhutan.
  • Movement of goods by defence formation under the Ministry of Defence as a consignor or consignee.
  • Empty cargo containers are being transported.
  • Consignor transporting goods to or from the place of business and a weighbridge for weighing within 20 km, accompanied by a delivery challan.
  • Goods are transported by rail where the Consignor is the Central Government, State Government, or a local authority.
  • Goods are exempted from E-Way bill requirements as per respective State/Union territory GST Rules.
  • Transport of specified goods as per Annexure to Rule 138(14), goods treated as no supply in Schedule III, and certain goods in Schedule to Central Tax Rate notifications.

E-way Bill Rules and Limits Based on States

Now, one more question arises: Is the E-Way bill mandatory for all states in India? Different states have varying rules and limits for generating E-Way bills during the movement of goods. Since April 1, 2018, all states and union territories (UTs) have adopted E-Way bill systems, ensuring uniformity. However, exemptions exist for specific states. 

For example, in Tamil Nadu, residents don't need to generate an E-Way bill if the total value of the goods is below Rs. 1 Lakh. (For details, you can check the complete list of state-wise rules on the official E-Way bill website). 

How to generate an E-Way Bill Online?

Now, how do you generate an E-Way bill online? It can be done through the GST portal and is a simple process. Follow these steps:

Step 1: Log in

Visit the E-Way bill portal and enter your username, password, and the captcha code to log in to the E-Way bill system.

Step 2: Navigate to 'Generate New'

Go to the dashboard's left side, click the 'E-Way bill' option and select 'generate new.'

Step 3: Fill in the Details

- Transaction Type: Choose 'outward' for suppliers and 'inward' for recipients.

- Sub-type: Select the applicable sub-type.

- Document Type: Choose the document type (invoice, bill, challan, etc.).

- Document Details: Enter the document/invoice number and date.

- From/To Details: Provide details based on whether you are a supplier or recipient. For unregistered clients, use 'URP' in the GSTIN field.

- Item Details: Specify consignment details, including product name, description, HSN code, quantity, unit, value, tax rates, and other applicable taxes.

- Transporter Details: Include mode of transport, distance, and either transporter details or vehicle number.

Step 4: Submit

Click 'submit.' The system will validate the data, and if it is error-free, it will process your request, generating the E-Way bill (Form EWB-01) with a unique 12-digit number.

Furthermore, you can also generate the E-Way bill through SMS using your registered mobile number. To initiate this process, activate the SMS E-Way bill generation feature and register your mobile number. Next, send the required SMS codes to the designated mobile number managed by the E-Way bill portal/GSTN to create, manage, and cancel E-Way bills.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Read also: what is Ebitda meaning?

1) Can I add two invoices in one E-Way bill?

No, generating a single E-Way bill for two invoices is impossible. However, you can use a consolidated E-Way bill to combine two or more individual E-Way bills.

2) Should I generate E-Way bills for invoices raised for supply services?

No, the E-Way bill regulations do not extend to service-oriented transactions. Therefore, generating an E-Way bill is not required to supply services.

3) How many days after raising an invoice should I generate the E-Way bill for delayed delivery?

The E-Way bill is essential at the time of goods delivery. If the invoice is raised, but the goods are not delivered, you can generate Part A of the E-Way bill. Part-B details can be added later upon delivery, and the E-Way bill's validity begins when Part-B details are entered.

4) Can an E-Way bill be cancelled, and when?

Yes, an E-Way bill can be cancelled if the goods are not transported or the transportation deviates from the specified details. However, the cancellation must be done within 24 hours of E-Way bill generation.

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Disclaimer: This Article is for information purposes only. The views expressed in this Article do not necessarily constitute the views of Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. (“Bank”) or its employees. The Bank makes no warranty of any kind with respect to the completeness or accuracy of the material and articles contained in this Article. The information contained in this Article is sourced from empaneled external experts for the benefit of the customers and it does not constitute legal advice from the Bank. The Bank, its directors, employees and the contributors shall not be responsible or liable for any damage or loss resulting from or arising due to reliance on or use of any information contained herein. Tax laws are subject to amendment from time to time. The above information is for general understanding and reference. This is not legal advice or tax advice, and users are advised to consult their tax advisors before making any decision or taking any action.