Logistics holds the key to the growth of e-commerce industry and is evolving as the differentiator in terms of business performance and customer service.
1. Impact of Eway Bill rules on e-commerce operators
While several e-commerce companies have partnered with the logistic service providers for fulfilling their business needs, some of the players have developed in-house logistics capabilities. While almost 50% of logistics market is driven by the in-house logistics players, the remaining 50% is controlled by the third-party logistics service providers which include e-commerce-centric logistics providers, India Post and traditional Logistics Service Providers.
2. How are the e-commerce retailers managing their logistic requirements?
A. In-house logistics capabilities: The in-house arms of the e-commerce retailer offer large volumes and some of them are also providing these services to the other e-commerce companies.
B. Traditional LSPs (logistics service providers): These third-party service providers have forayed into the deliveries for e-commerce retail sector. These service providers have an advantage owing to their reach and established a network, together with their expertise and experience in offering the logistics services across-India.
C. E-commerce-centric LSPs (logistics service providers): Considering the rapid growth of e-commerce retail sector, the dedicated logistics service providers for e-commerce companies have been established over last 3-4 years, and have captured around 50% of the sector. These service providers are able to achieve this primarily due to their better service, the range of product offerings, investment in technology infrastructure, ability to reimburse cash quickly and competitive pricing.
3. Waybill – A brief history
In the pre-GST era, waybills were required for facilitating the supply of goods. Waybills were physical documents that were obtained from the VAT authorities. Owing to its complicacy and compliance requirements, waybills caused hindrances and hurdles in the movement and supply of goods across the states.
Given such complicated structure, the transport industry ended up spending around 30-60% of resources and time on tax compliance, 16% of which was spent on queuing up by the trucks at the interstate checkpoints for inspection and tracking.
In India, a truck covers an average distance of 85,000 km per year as compared to 1,50,000-2,00,000 km in the developed countries which clearly indicates that the logistics industry requires some drastic reforms. Now with the introduction of Goods and Services Tax, the need for the integrated logistics arrangements has increased as the e-commerce companies decrease their warehouses in different states across India. The E-way bill is expected to solve the biggest problem of inter-state movement of goods without with respect to long queues at check posts and hassle of documentation.
E-way bill generated by a consignor or by the consignee himself where transportation is done by hired/own conveyance or by air/railways/Vessel. In case the goods are transported by a transporter road, the E-way bill needs to be generated by such Transporter.
Where neither consignee nor the consignor generates e-way bill and value of the goods exceeds INR 50,000/- the onus to generate the E-way bill would on the transporter.
5. Details to be provided before commencing movement of the goods and e-way bill generation:
I. Registered persons responsible for moving of goods where the consignment value exceeds INR 50,000 —
(i) With respect to the supply of goods; or
(ii) for the reasons apart from supply of goods; or
(iii) due to the inward supply of goods from the unregistered person, should, before commencing the movement, provide information with respect to such goods electronically, on the common portal in Part A of form GST INS-01
a) Where a registered person transports the goods as the consignor or recipient of the supply as consignee, in own/hired conveyance, such registered person can generate e-way bill electronically on the common portal in FORM GST INS-1 after providing the information as required in Part B of form GST INS-01; or
b) Where e-way bill isn’t generated under the clause (a) and goods are to be transported by the transporter, the registered person should provide the details with relating to such transporter on the common portal in Part B of form GST INS-01 and e-way bill should be generated by transporter on the basis of information provided by such registered person in Part A of GST INS- 01:
Provided that a registered person or a transporter as the case may be, at his preference, generate and carry e-way bill even where the value of such consignment doesn’t exceed INR 50,000.
Further, where movement is caused by the unregistered person in own/hired conveyance or through the transporter, the unregistered person or such transporter might, at their preference, generate e-way bill on the common portal in the form GST INS-01.
II. Once the e-way bill is generated on the common portal, a unique EBN (e-way bill number) would be made available to the supplier, the transporter and the recipient on the common portal.
III. A transporter transporting the goods from one conveyance to the other in course of the transit should, before the transfer and any further movement of the goods, needs to generate a new e-way bill in FORM GST INS-01 on the common portal furnishing the mode of transport.
IV. Where several consignments are to be transported in a single conveyance, the transporter should indicate a serial number of the e-way bills generated of each consignment on the common portal electronically and also a consolidated e-way bill should be generated in form GST INS-02 by such transporter on common portal before moving the goods:
Provided where a consignor hasn’t generated the FORM GST INS-01 as per the rules and value of the goods which are transported in the conveyance exceeds INR 50,000, the transporter should generate the FORM GST INS-01 based on the bill of supply or the invoice or the delivery challan, and also generate the consolidated e-way bill on the common portal in FORM GST INS-02 before moving goods.
V. The details provided in Part A of GST INS-01 would be made available on the common portal to a registered supplier who could utilize it for furnishing the details in GSTR-1:
Provided when the information is furnished by the unregistered supplier in GST INS-01, the unregistered would be informed electronically, in case the email or the mobile number is available.
VI. Where the e-way bill is generated under this rule, but the goods aren’t transported or aren’t transported according to the details provided in e-way bill, the e-way bill could be electronically cancelled on common portal, directly or via the Facilitation Centre notified by Commissioner, within a period of 24 hours of e-way bill generation:
Provided the e-way bill cannot be canceled in case the e-way bill has been verified in transit as per the provisions of the rules laid down.
VII. An e-way bill or a consolidated e-way bill generated under this rule shall be valid for the period as mentioned in column (3) of the Table below from the relevant date, for the distance the goods have to be transported, as mentioned in column (2).
6. Documents and devices to be carried by a person-in-charge of a conveyance
I. A person who in charge of the conveyance should carry —
i) An invoice or a delivery challan or a bill of supply, and
ii) Copy of the e-way bill or e-way bill number, physically or mapped to RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Device) embedded on to conveyance.
II. The registered person could obtain the Invoice Reference Number from the common portal by uploading the tax invoice on the said portal which is issued by him in GST INV-1, and offer the same for verification by a proper officer in lieu of tax invoice and such invoice reference number would be valid for 30 days from date of upload
III. Where a registered person uploads invoice under the sub-rule (1), information containing in Part A of the form GST INS-01 would be auto-populated by common portal depending on the information provided in the form GST INV-1.
IV. The Commissioner might, by notification, need a class of transporters to obtain the unique Radio Frequency Identification Device and the said device embedded on to conveyance and map e-way bill to such RFID before moving the goods
V. Where the circumstances require, the Commissioner might, by notification, ask the person who is in-charge of the conveyance to carry with him the below-mentioned documents in place of the e-way bill:
i.) A tax invoice or bill of entry or bill of supply; or
ii.) A delivery challan, where goods are moved other than by way of supply
7. Verification of documents and conveyances
I. The Commissioner or the officer who is empowered by the commissioner in this behalf might authorize proper officer for intercepting any conveyance for the purpose of verifying e-way bill or e-way bill number in the physical form for all the intra-State and inter-State movement of goods.
II. The Commissioner would get the RFID readers installed at the places where the verification of goods movement is required and verification of vehicles movement should be performed via such RFID readers where the e-way bill is mapped with the RFID.
III. Physical verification of the conveyances would be performed by proper officers as authorized by Commissioner or the officers empowered by the commissioner in this behalf:
Provided that on the receipt of explicit information of tax evasion, physical verification of the conveyance could also be executed by the officer after receiving required approval from the Commissioner or the officers authorized in this behalf.
8. Inspection and verification of goods
I. A summary report with respect to each inspection of goods in transit would be recorded online by a proper officer in Part A of the form GST INS – 03 within 24 hours of the inspection and final report in Part B of the form GST INS – 03 would be recorded within a period of 3 days of such inspection.
II. Where physical verification of the goods which are being transported on the conveyance is conducted during the transit at a particular place within a State or in other State, there won’t be any further physical verification again in the State, except where any specific information with respect to tax evasion is received subsequently.
9. Facility to upload information with respect to the detention of the vehicle
Where any vehicle is intercepted and held for more than thirty minutes, the transporter can upload such information on the common portal in FORM GST INS- 04.