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20 Dec 2017

Implementation of e-way Bill System

The e-way bill system under GST is a medium of facilitating seamless movement of goods across the country without need of checking of vehicle at each check post. The implementation of e-way bill system was a highly progressive step and would have speeded up the transportation of goods due to absence/reduction of regular checking of the vehicle and goods being moved by it. However, it required competent hardware and software for proper implementation of the process and to ensure that there is no lag in the said department, the implementation of e-way bill system was deferred upto 1st April 2018 although the rules were notified on 30th August 2017. In the meantime, the states were authorized to continue their own separate e-way bills system. Such authorization led to separate systems in states like Karnataka, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh etc. whereas no such system was put in place by states such as Rajasthan, Delhi, Haryana etc. leading to problems in day-to-day operations of transporters.

It was put forward by the trade and transporters that current separate e-way bill system in operation in different states is causing undue hardships on inter-state movement of goods. The council considered the grievances of trade and transporters and felt that an all India e-way bill system has become a necessity.  After reviewing the progress of readiness of hardware and software required for introduction of nationwide e-way bill system and after discussions with all the states, the council decided that inter-state e-way bill system shall be made compulsory from 1st February 2018. It is expected that the system will be ready by 16th January 2018. Subsequently, the uniform system of e-way bill of inter-state as well as intra-state movement shall be implemented on PAN India basis by 1st June 2018. The said decisions were communicated by way of a press release and the relevant text of such press release is produced hereunder-

  1. The nationwide e-way Bill system will be ready to be rolled out on a trial basis latest by 16th January, 2018. Trade and transporters can start using this system on a voluntary basis from 16th January, 2018. 
  2. The Rules for implementation of nationwide e-way Bill system for Inter-State movement of goods on a compulsory basis will be notified with effect from 1st February, 2018. This will bring uniformity across the States for seamless inter-State movement of goods.
  3. While the System for both inter-State and intra-State e-way Bill generation will be ready by 16th January, 2018, the States may choose their own timings for implementation of e-way Bill for intra-State movement of goods on any date before 1st June, 2018. There are certain States which are already having system of e-way Bill for intra-State as well as inter-State movement and some of those States can be early adopters of national e-way Bill system for intra-State movement also. But in any case, the Uniform System of e-way Bill for inter-State as well as intra-State movement will be implemented across the country by 1st June, 2018.

Therefore, the implementation of e-way bill system has been pre-poned from 1st April 2018 to 1st February 2018 on inter-state movement of goods, with the nationwide application deadline being fixed at 1st June 2018. States can adopt the national e-way bill system for intra-state movement also, prior to 1st June 2018 but no further delay beyond the said date has been allowed by the council. Further, the step to have a trial run of the system from 16th January 2018 will help in dealing with any deficiency in the software till the system becomes operational on 1st February 2018. This early roll out is expected to ease the hardships being faced by traders and transporters on daily basis.