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The E-way bill defines rules not only for traders but also for transporters regarding the transportation of goods. Rule 138A and 138B specifies rules for a person-in-charge of a conveyance and the compliance that is required from his end

In this article we cover the following:

  1. The documents to be carried
  2. Meaning of RFID and compliance requirements
  3. In case Eway bill is not required, the documents required
  4. The Process of document verification
  5. Impact of rules on taxpayers and transporters

Extension in the Validity of e-way bills

Update as on 9th June 2020

Any e-way bills generated on or before 24th March 2020 (whose validity has expired on or after 20th day of March 2020) is extended till 30th June 2020.

Update as on 5th May 2020

Any e-way bill generated on or before 24th March 2020 remains valid until 31st May 2020, if its validity period expires anytime between 20th March 2020 and 15th April 2020.

Update as on 3rd April 2020

The validity of the e-way bill extended till 30th April 2020, if the e-way bill expires between 20th March 2020 to 15th April 2020.

Further, the CBIC’s notification of extended time limit up to 30th June 2020 for any compliance falling due between 20th March 2020 and 29th June 2020 does not apply to the generation of e-way bills after 15th April 2020.

The documents to be carried

The person in charge of the vehicle should carry the following documents:

  1. Invoice, bill of supply, delivery challan as required
  2. A copy of Eway bill, Eway bill number or Eway bill mapped to a Radio Frequency Identification Device, RFID

Note- An Eway bill mapped to  RFID will not be applicable in case the goods are transported by means of rail, airway or a vessel. Further, it is also important to note that if goods are transported by rail, the goods shall be delivered to the consignee only on producing a valid Eway bill.

Meaning of RFID and compliance requirements

In case a dealer generates an Invoice Reference Number (IRN) by uploading Form GST INV-01, then the transporter need not carry a physical invoice. Quoting the IRN to the verifying officer would suffice.

A certain class of transporters is required to get an RFID embedded in their vehicle. Such class of transporters is to be notified by the Commissioner. When the RFID is embedded, an Eway bill has to be mapped to the RFID before the commencement of movement of goods. As of today, this notification has not yet been issued.

In case Eway bill is not required, the documents required

In certain circumstances, which are yet to be notified, the Commissioner may require the transporters to carry the following documents instead of an Eway bill:

  1. An invoice, bill of supply or bill of entry or
  2. A Delivery Challan (DC) in cases where movement of goods is for other than supply, transportation of job work, transportation of liquid gas etc. The DC should be issued in triplicate and in accordance with rules of the Act.

The Process of document verification

An authorized officer may intercept any vehicle carrying goods during their movement. On the interception, the transporter has to furnish the documents he is carrying for verification. This includes a verification of all the above-mentioned documents

For vehicles with embedded RFID, the RFID will be read by a reader and details of Eway bill mapped will be matched with the goods that the transporter is carrying.

An authorized officer may also carry out a physical verification of the conveyance and the goods. In case an officer received any information of tax evasion, he may carry out a physical verification without being authorized by his higher authorities.

Impact of rules on taxpayers and transporters

On reading the above rules, we can take a stand that there is something for everyone:

  1. For traders and transporters who have not yet gone digital, they can still carry a physical invoice and an Eway bill, whereas, for traders who are digital, they can use the IRN and EBN.

This ensures that when there is a technical break- down there is an alternate route that the dealers could opt for.

  1. But for small-time transporters, this digital process might disrupt their business. They may find the RFID expensive to be installed and ultimately may not be able to withstand the competition from large transport agencies.

In few earlier schemes pertaining to Micro and Small Enterprises, the Government had proposed to give subsidy/ financial assistance for installing RFID. Whether these schemes will be carried forward and benefit the dealers is something we have to wait and watch.

  1. Carrying multiple invoices and Eway bill may be cumbersome for the transporter. Even a small delay like a break-down of the vehicle might put the transporter in a difficult situation. IRN and Eway bill in electronic form helps.
  2. Carrying valid document is a must. The person in charge of carrier will have to check the validity of the Eway bill and in case the goods are being shifted to another vehicle, the Eway bill needs to be updated with the new vehicle details.

Hence the ultimate goal of reducing the waiting time might be achieved in case everyone goes digital, they are in compliance with the rules and most importantly there are no technical glitches.

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