In a GST Council meeting held on Saturday, the decision to implement the e-way bill mechanism throughout the country by June 1 was taken, in a bid to plug gaps. Under the e-way bill system, goods worth more than ₹ 50,000 have to be pre-registered online before they can be moved from one state to another. An e-way bill is an electric-way bill for the movement of goods which can be generated on the GSTN (common portal). After the implementation of this bill, any movement of goods of more than Rs 50,000 in value cannot be made by a registered person without an e-way bill. It will be allowed to be generated or cancelled through SMS.
When an e-way is generated, a unique e-way bill number (EBN) is allocated and is available to the supplier, recipient, and the transporter. As per the schedule of implementation, the nationwide e-way bill system will be ready to be rolled out on a trial basis latest by January 16, 2018, the Finance Ministry statement said. Trade and transporters will be able to use it on a voluntary basis from January 16. Now, the bigger question is that when is an e-way bill generated?
The e-way bill is generated when there is a movement of goods:
1. In relation to the supply.
2. For reasons other than a supply (say a return).
3. Due to inward supply from an unregistered person.
In this case, a supply can either be:
1. Sale – sale of goods and payment made
2. Transfer – branch transfers for instance
3. Barter/Exchange – where the payment is by goods instead of in money
This brings us to the other part which is who generates an e-way bill? It has to be generated to or from a registered person if the movement of goods is more than Rs 50,000 in value. A registered person or transporter can choose to generate and carry e-way bill even of the value of goods is less than Rs 50,000.
Unregistered persons or their transporters may also choose to generate an e-way bill. This means that an e-way bill can be generated by both registered and unregistered persons. However, where a supply is made by an unregistered person to a registered person, the receiver will have to ensure all the compliances are met as if they were the supplier.