How have E-way bills changed the way we transport goods

How have E-way bills changed the way we transport goods

As per the GST requirements, transporters need to carry E-way bill with them while transporting goods in case of inter-state transports. A person registered under GST cannot transport goods worth more than Rs.50,000 without generating an E-way bill on ewaybillgst.gov.in. In most cases, supplier needs to generate an E-way bill. However, in cases where the seller does not generate, the transporter may do so after the authorisation by the seller.

An E-way bill previously in VAT regime well known as road permit, E-sancharan, way bill, E-sugam, ST Form-10, Form-61&62, Form-DIX, Form-402 & 403, Form-38, Form-26, JVAT-504G, Form-16, Form-49, Form-35, Form-40, Form-33, Form-32, Form-25 & Form-50 etc. different states, different names.

Purpose of E-way bill

The E-way bill has been introduced by government to keep tax evasion under check and monitor trade better. The main goal of E-way bills is to ease transportation of goods and replace the traditional waybills and transport bills used by companies. Generating an E-way bill will also create information to be filled in the supplier’s GSTR-1 form. The supplier need not fill all details of invoices in the GSTR 1 for which he has generated E-way bills. Double data entry can be avoided by this.

Changes / Modifications to E-Way bill

Once the registered person either consignee to consignor generates E-way bill, a unique bill number (EBN) is allocated to the E-way bill and is shared with the supplier, recipient and the transporter.

However, once generated the E-way bill cannot be edited or modified. It can be cancelled (within 24 hours) and a fresh bill can be generated again.

The same bill can also be cancelled and even generated through the Android App of E-Way bill, SMS or  site-to-site integration. (using API)

In case, the bill expires during transit of goods, it cannot be moved further except under few exceptions. These exceptions include natural calamity, accident of conveyance, legal order, or transshipment delay.

How E-way bills have changed the landscape of transportation industry

In Transportation, Logistics and Supply chain industry, there were existing issues like lack of transparency, no real-time tracking, enormous paper work, and delay in overall cycle, etc.  The E-way system bill is a definite solution to link all stakeholders involved in the supply chain i.e. suppliers, transporters, and recipients.

With the GST E-way bills in the place, there will be a direct connection between what is declared and what is moved. This will make the processes and protocols more transparent and organized. It will also eliminate any repetitions in data entry.

Replaced traditional way

In old practice, dealers used to move goods first and then inform department on periodic basis. Traditional systems were subject to state-specific rules and bills / Callahan’s were generated through different state-specific portals.

Under E-way bills rules, registered person has to submit details first and then transport goods from one place to another. It enhances transparency across supply chain. Also, under GST, E-way bill is generated electronically and governed by a uniform set of rules which is applicable across the nation.

Elimination in frauds

The National Informatics center that is handling the E-way bill project has formatted its system in a way that will make sure that duplication of E-Way bills is completely ruled out. According to the system once an E-way bill has been generated corresponding to an invoice number then no one will be allowed or be able to generate another E-way bill on the same invoice number.

Quick processes

E-way bill facilitate no waiting time at check post and enable faster movement of goods, this in turn, optimises the use of transport vehicles and other resources. The nullification of idle time at check posts for tracking and inspection and easier tax compliance are the two positive outcomes of innovative measures under the E-way bill system.

Easy to generate E-way bill

It is very easy to generate an E-way bill on the E-Way bill Portal. The portal is user-friendly and does not involve any complex proceedings. It’s safe and secure system.

Savings in costs

An E-way bill is an electronically generated bill. It reinforces appropriate invoicing process and reduces logistics costs. It is structured in such a way that it controls / reduces tax avoidance.

Reduction in paperwork

Goods can be tracked with RFID mechanism. The person in charge of the vehicle never again needs to convey physical copies as the RFID device is attached to the transport vehicle. Hence, the E-way bill can be mapped and verified through the device. This reduces huge amount of state wise documentation and ultimately eliminates unnecessary paper work.

Efficiency in logistics and transportation

The biggest issues in the existing system are efficiency and speed of transportation. Well, E-way bill addresses this challenge. It is expected to reform the industry for better. A truck in India covers an annual average distance of 85,000 km as compared to 1,50,000 to 2,50,000 km in developed countries which pose a clear indication that our transportation systems need some reforms. And, the E-way bill system seems to handle and solve this concern.

Closing words:

A cohesive E-way bill system has pushed for a common network for way bills, or transport bills valid throughout India. With all Indian States and Union territories having joined this league, a single unified compliance for movement of goods has now turned into a reality. It has ensured and will keep ensuring streamlined supply chain and seamless interstate movement of goods.

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