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All about blocking and unblocking of e-way bills

Updated on:  

08 min read

Blocking of e-way bills is done on the government portal if the taxpayers do not file their GST returns continuously for two tax periods. Learn more about how this happens and what can be done to unblock the e-way bill generation.

Latest update on e-way bills

1st June 2021
1. The e-way bill portal, in its release notes, has clarified that a suspended GSTIN cannot generate an e-way bill. However, a suspended GSTIN as a recipient or as a transporter can get a generated e-way bill.
2. the mode of transport ‘Ship’ has now been updated to ‘Ship/Road cum Ship’ so that the user can enter a vehicle number where goods are initially moved by road and a bill of lading number and date for movement by ship. This will help in availing the ODC benefits for movement using ships and facilitate the updating of vehicle details as and when moved on road.

18th May 2021
The CBIC in Notification 15/2021-Central Tax has notified that the blocking of GSTINs for e-Way Bill generation is now considered only for the defaulting supplier’s GSTIN and not for the defaulting recipient or the transporter’s GSTIN.

17th March 2021
1. The e-way bills portal has released an update stating that e-way bills cannot be generated with only SAC codes (99) for services. There should be a minimum of one HSN code belonging to goods mentioned mandatorily.
2. Vehicle type ODC is provisioned for transport mode ‘Ship’.
3. Transporters are provided with a report of e-way bills based on the assigned date.

22nd December 2020
1. The CBIC increased the distance per day in case of goods transported through vehicles, other than the over-dimensional cargo, for determining the validity, as follows:
(a) It is one day – For a distance of up to 200 km as against earlier 100 km
(b) An additional day is taken- For every additional 200 km or part thereof, as against previously notified additional 100 km or part thereof
2. Regarding blocking of the e-way bill where a taxpayer fails to file GSTR-3B, the provision has been amended to replace two or more months with two or more tax periods. The same has been changed to include the quarterly return filers.

16th November 2020
1. According to Rule 138E (a) and (b) of the CGST Rules, 2017, the e-way bill generation facility of a taxpayer will be restricted, if the taxpayer fails to file their Form GSTR-3B returns or statement in Form GST CMP-08, for tax periods of two or more.
2. On 1st December 2020, the system will check the status of returns filed in Form GSTR-3B or the statements filed in Form GST CMP-08, for the class of taxpayers to whom it applies, and restrict the generation of e-way bill in case of:
(a) Non-filing of two or more returns in Form GSTR-3B for the months up to October 2020; and
(b) Non-filing of two or more statements in Form GST CMP-08 for the quarters up to July to September 2020
3. From 1st December 2020 onwards, blocking of e-way bill generation facilities would be made applicable to all taxpayers, irrespective of their Aggregate Annual Turnover (AATO), according to the terms of Rule 138E (a) and (b) of the CGST Rules, 2017.
4. The blocking will take place periodically from 1st December 2020 onwards.
5. To continue generating e-way bill on the e-way bill portal, taxpayers are advised to file their pending GSTR-3B returns/GST CMP-08 statements immediately.

About blocking the e-way bills & Reason

The government came up with a significant change with regards to the e-way bill generation facility on the e-way bill portal in 2019. E-way bill generation is blocked for taxpayers who have not filed their returns for the previous two consecutive months/quarters.

 The system of e-way bill blocking was implemented from the 2nd of December 2019. There had been a considerable increase in the number of tax defaulters, which led the government to take this necessary step. 

Thus, if a taxpayer has not filed GSTR-3B for two or more consecutive months, then he/she cannot generate e-way bills to do dispatches and receive goods, resulting in a standstill. Only when a taxpayer files GSTR-3B, the e-way bills will get unblocked on the next day. 

For example, if a taxpayer has not filed his GSTR-3B for January 2021 and February 2021, then his GSTIN will get blocked in the e-way bill portal from March. The main intention of the government is to track down the non-filers of GST returns and make them compliant. 

How is the e-way bill blocked?

As per the rule, when a taxpayer fails to file GSTR-3B for two or more consecutive months on the GST portal, the same will be communicated to the e-way bill system and block the GSTIN. The GSTIN of such blocked taxpayers cannot be used for generating e-way bills either as consignor or consignee. It means the taxpayer will not be able to receive goods if his GSTIN gets blocked.

Click here to check the block/unblock status of your GSTIN.

How to unblock the e-way bill?

Filing of GSTR-3B

Once the defaulting taxpayer files GSTR-3B for the defaulting period, his GSTIN will get unblocked automatically by the next day. A taxpayer can also generate the e-way bill soon after filing his returns by following the steps below :

  1. Visit the EWB portal and choose the option ‘Search Update Block Status’.
  2. Enter the GSTIN, CAPTCHA Code and click on ‘Go’.
  3. Click on ‘Update Unblock Status from GST Common Portal’; this will reflect the recent filing status.
  4. In case this doesn’t work, a taxpayer can reach out to the GST Help Desk and get the query resolved.
Unblocking by Jurisdictional Officer

Even a Jurisdictional Officer can unblock GSTIN online based on the manual representation from the taxpayer (This facility is not available as of now).

Unblocking through online application in EWB-05

EWB-05 can be filed by providing a sufficient cause for non-filing of GSTR-3B. Such a request cannot be rejected without giving an adequate opportunity of being heard. To know more about the steps to unblock using EWB-05, read our article on Application in Form GST EWB-05 For Unblocking of e-Way Bill Generation.

Impact on taxpayer due to blocking of e-way bills

The biggest concern for a taxpayer with this new system is that he/she cannot deliver/receive goods without an e-way bill. If the goods are transported without an e-way bill, the authorities can levy a fine equivalent to the tax amount payable. 

Such goods can even be seized or detained, and the goods may be released only on payment of the tax amount along with a penalty. If the goods are not delivered on time, the business may come to a standstill. Thus, to avoid such a situation, the taxpayer has to be compliant and file returns on time. This will lead to an overall improvement in the GST revenue, and thus, the entire system will become more compliant.

FAQs on Blocking and Unblocking of e-way bills

When an e-way bill was already generated but the GSTIN was blocked later, what will be the position of the goods in transit?

There will be no impact on the already generated e-way bills of the blocked GSTINs. They are valid and can be used for movement of goods.

Can a taxpayer update vehicle and transporter details and extend the validity of e-way bills with regards to the blocked GSTINs?

As per the rule, the e-way bills which are already generated and valid can be updated with the vehicle and transporter details by the authorised taxpayer/transporter.

What is the impact of blocking/unblocking on transporters?

Transporters who are not registered on the GST portal but only enrolled on the EWB portal will not be impacted. But, those who are registered on the GST portal cannot use their GSTIN as Consignor, Consignee or transporter while generating an e-way bill once the GSTIN is blocked.

Can a transporter generate an e-way bill for a blocked supplier/recipient?

No, a transporter cannot generate an e-way bill for a blocked supplier/recipient.

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