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Imports and exports are one of the main aspects of an economy as it determines the volume of foreign exchange earnings.
While we discuss the movement of goods, we should also focus on goods being moved in the process of importation and exportation and the e-way bill requirement for the same.
E-way bill is mandatory for inter-state movement of goods of value above Rs 50,000 and for all intra-state movements with further relaxations.
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.
As per the GST Act, import and export are understood in simple terms. Import of goods means bringing goods to India from a place outside India while export means taking goods from India to a place outside India. Further, import of goods as per the IGST Law will be treated as an inter-state supply and IGST will be levied on it. Export of goods will be considered as a zero-rated supply and no tax will be levied on it.
While we just discussed that import is considered to be an inter-state transaction and we know that e-way bill is applicable on inter-state transaction, let us examine the applicability of the same and when one must generate e-way bill under each situation:
A typical import procedure has the following stages:
A- Goods are said to have been imported into India when they reach the port/ airport.
B- on reaching the port/ airport, the goods are under the custody of the customs department and are further transported to an Inland Container Depot (ICD) or a Container Freight Station (CFS) for clearance. This transportation i.e. transportation as per B above is exempted from the requirement of generating an e-way bill under rule 138.
C- from the ICD or CFS, the bill of entry is filed, customs duty is paid by the importer and the goods are cleared for home consumption (eg. place of business like factory or warehouse of the importer). This transportation at ‘C’ requires an e-way bill. OR
D- the goods can also be kept in a bonded warehouse until it is cleared for home consumption. The transportation of goods as per ‘D’ i.e. from ICD to the bonded warehouse is exempt from the requirement of carrying an e-way bill. But when the goods are cleared from the bonded warehouse at a future date to the factory of the importer, an e-way bill must be generated.
Stages in the Export procedure is as follows:
A- when goods are being transported from the place of business or warehouse of the exporter to an ICD/ CFS an e-way bill has to be generated.
B- transportation of goods from ICD/CFS to port is exempted from the requirement of carrying an e-way bill. Further, certain transactions are exempted from e-way bill requirement like petrol, diesel, kerosene, pearls etc. These exemptions hold good even for import and export transactions. Apart from these exemptions, specific movements are also exempted from e-way bill generation such as:
The portal and the steps to generate the e-way bill remains same in case of import or export transaction. But below are some key points a user has to note while generating an e-way bill in this situation:
|Particulars in e-way bill||Import||Export|
|Transaction sub-type to select||Import||Export|
|Document type and number||Bill of entry||Tax invoice meant for export of goods|
|Bill From||Unregistered Person (URP)||Exporter’s details (name, GSTIN etc.)|
|Dispatch From||Pin code 999999 has to be entered and in state column ‘other countries’ to be selected||Address of exporter’s place of business/ warehouse|
|Bill to||Importer details (name, GSTIN etc.)||A person outside India who maybe unregistered (mention URP)|
|Ship to||Address of importer’s place of business/ warehouse||Pin code 999999 has to be entered and in state column ‘other countries’ to be selected|
|Transportation details||Details of transporter (vehicle details, transporter ID etc.)||Details of transporter (vehicle details, transporter ID etc.)|
One of the key aspects of an e-way bill is to calculate the validity of an e-way bill based on the distance to be travelled. So when we have cases of import and export, we need to know from what point we need to start calculating the distance in order to know the validity.
a. In case of import, the e-way bill has to be generated once the goods are cleared for home consumption. The distance has to be calculated from the ICD to the place of business of the importer and validity of the e-way bill determined accordingly.
b. In case of export, the e-way bill has to be generated when the goods are being moved to the port for exportation. For e-way bill validity purpose, the distance will be calculated from the warehouse/ place of business to the port.
What happens when there is a high sea sale? Since the sale is not covered in any of the above illustrations and it takes place outside the boundaries of India, there is no need to generate an eway bill. Therefore, we can conclude that the government is making efforts to reduce the compliance burden for businessmen involved in foreign trade. If the importers and exporters ensure the other documents like shipping bill and bill of entry are in place and the e-way bill is valid, the process is surely going to be less cumbersome.