Amendments and Updates to E-waybill Extension Provisions: Staying Compliant

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E-waybill extension is a regulatory requirement set by the tax authorities for the transporters and owners of goods moving from one place to another whose worth is more than Rs. 50,000. The officials frequently bring various amendments and updates regarding e-waybill extensions and other functionalities over GST portals.

In this blog, we’ve covered all the relevant aspects of the e-waybill provisions and their recent updates till 2024. Amendments and updates are mentioned considering all the relevant parties, including consignors, consignees, and transporters. Without any delay, let’s begin the guide !! 

1. Legislative changes in E-waybill extension provisions

Till the end of 2023, there have not been any significant legislative changes in the e-waybill extension provisions in India. However, there are some specific changes reported over time. Listed below are some of the legislative updates on every aspect of the e-waybill extension:

  1. Distance-based Validity: E-waybill validity used to be allotted based on the distance between the consignor and the consignee’s location. Authorities used to determine it through PIN codes. However, specific changes have been made over time. Now, the rules have been imposed based upon 200 km every day for regular cargo and 100 km every day for over-dimensional cargo. Plus, the required time is determined based on distance and the estimated time to reach the destination as per the prescribed speed.
  1. Online Only Extension: Nowadays, you can apply for an e-waybill extension through the online mode only. Extending electronic waybills through SMS or mobile apps is not in action anymore. The relevant authorities have made these changes for a streamlined process and efficient record-keeping.
  1. Better Security Measures: Unauthorized access and security breaches are rapidly increasing in this modern AI (Artificial Intelligence) world. Therefore, GST officials have come up with enhanced security measures. It includes multi-factor authentication, complicated password requirements, and consistent security audits. This course of action has been implemented to safeguard sensitive information and ensure the integrity of e-waybill systems.
  1. Reason for Extension: Previously, only heavy reasons like natural calamities could help you to get the extension for the e-waybill. However, tax authorities have recently added certain more acceptable reasons for e-waybill extensions. For instance, traffic jams or roadblocks, poor weather conditions, vehicle breakdowns, or route change due to any unavoidable reason can be considered valid reasons for extension. Hence, e-waybill extension has become much easier now. You are only required to accurately describe your reason to make the authorities better understand your issue for delay.
  1. API Enhancements: GST authorities have also launched API enhancements that have brought various new features and functionalities. It has even boosted the security measures. Moreover, it also helps the businesses to integrate their business accounting software and make the taxation-related work seamless and efficient.
  1. GST Late Fee: If a transporter is unable to deliver goods within original validity, they are liable to pay late fees. It would be 1% of the total value of the goods delivered. Therefore, make sure to apply for an extension if you find any possible delay or discrepancy. Otherwise, you will be penalized.
  1. Transaction Exempted Under GST Act: Goods such as fertilizers, newspapers, food grains, and postal baggage are expected in Schedule III of the GST Act. There are even more items exempted under this Act that are listed under an official list.
  1. Transit Type Specification: A new term named “transit type” has also been introduced in the transportation process. It is used to define the exact location and condition of goods, such as goods in transit on the road, in a warehouse, or any other location. In this way, transporters can provide more accurate information regarding the consignment status and make tracking more efficient.
  1. Not Approved Extensions: Various reasons come into existence with time that don’t allow you to get the e-waybill extension. For instance, if your consignment is delayed due to the transporter’s negligence or fault, they won’t get the extension. Sudden changes in the destination won’t also allow you an e-waybill extension. Showcasing and interpreting false or misleading information won’t allow you to get the e-waybill extension.

2. Legal updates impacting E-waybill extension procedures

Tax and GST authorities have not majorly updated anything that might affect e-waybill extension. But, certain clarifications and developments have been made with the passing of time. We have mentioned certain impactful changes for electronic waybill extension below:

  1. Suspended GSTINs: As per the official e-waybill portal, the suspended GSTINs are not allowed to generate an e-waybill. However, they can still work as a transporter over the electronic waybill generated by another party.
  1. Rejection and Cancelation Scenarios: After the updation in the guidelines, authorities have the complete right to reject or cancel e-waybills. It will make the transporters properly apply for the extension request by fulfilling all the non-compliance with regulations.
  1. Interference of State Systems: Each state is allowed to integrate their own systems with the Central e-waybill systems. It generally creates issues in carrying out the extension process across different states. Moreover, it creates problems in other activities as well.
  1. Multimodal Transport: When goods used to be delivered initially by road and then moved to ship, it used to be considered under the mode of transport named “ship.” Currently, it has been changed to Ship/Road cum Ship for the clearer name of transportation. It has significantly eased the extension procedure through better clarification.

Also Read: Time Limits and Procedures for E-waybill Extension: A Step-by-Step Guide

Latest Updates On E-waybill (up to March 2023)

Date  Updates 
29th August (2021) Taxpayers are not required to face e-waybill blocks for not filing the GSTR-1 or GSTR-3B for March 2021 to May 2021. For monthly filers, it will be applicable for two or more months. Meanwhile, for QRMP taxpayers, it will be applicable for one or more quarters. It is applied from 1 May 2021 to 18 August 2021.
4th Aug (2021) From 15th August, the e-waybill blocking will be resumed because of the non-filing of GSTR-3B.  
1st June (2021)
  • On the notes of the e-waybill portal, officials have clarified that suspended GSTIN won’t be able to generate an e-waybill. However, they will be legally allowed to get a generated e-waybill as a recipient or transporter.  
  • GST officials have updated the “Ship” transportation mode to “Ship/Road cum Ship.” It is for the transportation where goods are delivered through road vehicles and loaded onto a ship. This procedure requires both vehicle number and bill of lading number along with a date of movement by ship. It allows the consignor to have ODC benefits. 
18th May (2021) In the CBIC 15/2021 Central Tax notification, officials have clarified that GSTINs blocking for e-waybill generation would be considered only for defaulting suppliers and not for defaulting recipients/transporters. It is related to their GSTIN (Goods and Services Tax Identification Number). 

3. Compliance obligations following amendments to extension rules

Till January 10, 2024, relevant authorities didn’t get any potential amendments to the fundamental e-waybill extension rules laid out in Rule 138 of the CGST rules, 2017. However, there are certain compliance obligations introduced with time that you should know about.

  1. Maintained Documents: You are required to keep accurate records of all the extension requests, their approvals, and supporting documentation. It will help you tackle the audit process and save you from any sort of legal penalties or punishments.
  1. State Integrations: You have to familiarize yourself with the integrative regulations of your state with the Central e-waybill system. It is one of the significant obligations to comply with, as various states have certain additional requirements for the extension process. It is essential to be updated on those processes in order to streamline a smooth e-waybill process.
  1. Multimodal Transport: After the application of multimodal transport, the processes have been significantly changed. For example, if your consignment is initially transited by road and then moved by the ship, it would be considered under multimodal transport. You have to follow different processes to extend your e-waybill validity.
  1. Digital Adoption: Now, you are obliged to use online platforms and centralized systems to extend your e-waybills. It will allow you to maintain seamless record-keeping and streamline compliances. Here, you have to adopt the technological uses, as relevant authorities have made a complete shift at a technical level.
  1. Accurate and Complete Information: Applying for e-waybill extension requests requires you to provide complete and accurate details. If you provide false or misleading information, then you have to be ready to bear penalties and punishments.
  1. Professional Guidance: To resolve errors and make processes smooth, you should consult with a legal counsel or tax advisor. They will help you understand the best ways to cope up with your state regulations and business operations. This obligation is timely required to properly adhere to all the rules and regulations.

4. Documentation revisions required for updated E-waybill extension provisions

  1. Extension Justification: You are required to revise your documentation and add some genuine explanations along with supporting documents to specify the reason for your extension. If your extension reason is a natural calamity, please attach official news to your extension request. If the reason is a vehicle breakdown, you have to attach the repair slip. Hence, you have to document your reasons to get the authority’s validation.
  1. Review Existing Documentations: You are required to thoroughly understand the exact documents needed currently and compare them with the updated provisions. Next, you have to provide any additional documentation required. This documentation revision will reduce your chances of making any possible error and effortlessly get the e-waybill extension.
  1. Update Internal Processes: When you properly understand the revised documentation requirements, focus on the internal processes of your business. You have to ensure that all the required information is collected and maintained during compliance with new provisions.
  1. Centralized Platform Usage: To efficiently manage your records and adult trails, you are required to use the online centralized platforms. In today’s era, centralized systems are required. Ensure timely revising of this process to identify and rectify any possible errors.
  1. State-Specific Regulations: Transporters are also required to regularly revise the integration process of the state with the central e-waybill system. If you find any necessary changes or updates, make sure to submit the required documentation and fulfil that state-specific compliance requirement for an extension.

5. Reporting obligations for extended E-waybills under amended regulations

  1. Check Official Guidelines: Go to the official GST portal or relevant authorities to access the latest guidelines and notifications about the e-waybills and their processes. You can also turn on their notifications and search for any specific reporting obligation depending upon any amended regulations.
  1. Proactive Communication: You should maintain good communication with your stakeholders, consignee, and transporter. It will allow you to maintain a smooth coordination and report any anticipated delay or discrepancy. In this way, you can maintain a good relationship between the transporter and GST authorities.
  1. Review Amendments: Regularly review the amendments to the regulations governing e-waybills and figure out if there are any potential changes. You should pay full attention towards all the minor and major details. It includes reporting information, format of reporting, and submission timelines. This will allow you to keep updated on any newly introduced rules and regulations.
  1. Stay Informed: Make sure to have consistent eyes over new information or notifications released by GST or relevant authorities. It will allow you to know various real-time updates and clarifications related to the reporting obligations for e-waybills. You only need to ensure that you adopt all the information in a timely manner and make the required changes in your business or e-waybill filing.
  1. Timely Reporting: You are obliged to report for e-waybill extension before or after 8 hours of expiry. It is a stipulated time frame for updating an e-waybill system. If you fail to report within the predefined duration, you might have to bear potential fines or penalties.

6. Challenges in adapting to evolving E-waybill extension requirements

  1. Cope up with frequent regulatory changes: Rules and regulations related to e-waybills and their extension get frequent updates and amendments on a regular basis. Therefore, it becomes really challenging for a consignor or transporter to be constantly updated on these changes and ensure timely compliance.
  1. Accuracy and Consistency in Data: For efficient e-waybills, you have to maintain accurate and consistent data. It is one of the biggest challenges for the owner or transporter of the goods. Even a slight inconsistency or inaccuracy can lead the e-waybills to heavy compliance issues and penalties.
  1. Technological Hurdles: You are required to update your accounting software and ERP systems consistently to align with the latest functionalities of e-waybills. As the technology grows, you might also have to face certain technological glitches and downtime, which can lead to various discrepancies and delays.
  1. Maintain Complex Rules: GST or relevant authorities release regular updates within e-waybill guidelines and regulations. In fact, state-specific regulations can also get regular changes. It can create integration issues between state-specific and central e-waybill systems. It is one of the significant challenges.
  1. IT Infrastructure Challenge: E-waybill operational processes are modified every day. Now, it requires an advanced IT infrastructure to handle the load and complexities of further procedures. It is one of the major investments for a business. Hence, it is only relevant for companies with higher transaction volumes.
  1. Human Factors and Knowledge Gaps: As taxation and e-waybill processes are getting advanced, it becomes challenging for former transporters to cope with new rules and regulations. Therefore, it is required for the transporter to organize training programs to train staff about new rules and regulations. Slight changes in rules can even create confusion and misinterpretation.
  1. Operational Impact: Currently, e-waybill requirements and functionalities have been drastically changed. It has also changed the operational implications for businesses. You have to utilize modern processes and updated documentation and allocate the resources optimistically. Therefore, you must do this much to ensure your business compliances that can easily disrupt your regular operations.

Also Read: Challenges And Solutions In Tracking And Managing E-Waybill Expiry

7. Exemption considerations for specific scenarios affected by amendments

E-waybill rules and regulations haven’t changed majorly for a long time. Still, there are certain exemption considerations that you should know. It will help you streamline your processes and develop a smooth process.

Below, we’ve mentioned certain exemptions for transporter-specific scenarios affected by amendments.

  1. Distance-Based Exemptions: If you’re moving goods within a specified distance (i.e. 50 km) within the same state, it might be expected from e-waybill requirements. To understand this exemption better, you should primarily check for your state-related rules and regulations.
  1. Emergency Situation: Oftentimes, transportation of essential goods, including medical supplies and relief materials for any emergency situation like natural calamity and humanitarian cases, can lead you to temporary exemptions. It is essentially imposed by the Government for the smooth movement of essentials during emergency situations.
  1. Small Consignments: Consignments below a certain weight or value are considered smaller consignment, and they are exempted within certain states. Relevant authorities generally set up a fixed threshold below which you won’t need the e-waybill to move your goods from one place to another.
  1. Consignee as Transporter: If a consignee is acting as a transporter and moving their own goods from one place to another through their own conveyance, they’re not required to generate an e-waybill. It is a special exemption for the specific situation.
  1. Goods Exempted Under GST: Certain goods like agricultural produce or essential items are generally exempt from the GST (Goods and Services Tax). Movement of these GST-exempted goods also does not require an e-waybill, as these are already set up rules by the Government.
  1. Transporter with Suspended GSTIN: Though suspended GSTIN is not liable to generate an e-waybill, it can still act as a transporter over the e-waybill generated by another party. This can also be called a certain exemption.

8. Best practices for staying compliant amid changing E-waybill extension laws

  1. Keep Monitoring Regulatory Updates: One of the basic practices is to closely monitor the GST (Goods and Services Tax) portal in India. The authorities upload the latest updates and guidelines over there. You can also subscribe to their newsletters, updates, and notifications to automatically receive the latest updates. In this way, you will always be compliant with changing e-waybill extension laws.
  1. Form SOPs (Standard Opening Procedures): You are required to develop and document SOPs for your e-waybill compliance. Make sure to develop a step-by-step process for generating, verifying, and managing e-waybills. Also, consistently review and update your SOPs to maintain alignment with the dynamic regulatory changes.
  1. Perform Regular Audits: Make sure to conduct internal audits within your company on a regular basis to be compliant with your e-waybill extension laws. It will allow you to figure out any potential discrepancy or non-compliance issue and give you time to rectify it. It is one of the best practices for staying compliant amid changing e-waybill extension laws.
  1. Engage with Professionals: Tax consultants, accountants, or legal experts can be one of the valuable assets for your business. They have thorough insights into the Indian taxation laws and regulatory changes. Therefore, hiring a professional can provide you with professional guidance over compliance matters and even help you understand complex regulations.
  1. Implement Technological Solutions: With changing taxation laws and regulations, you have to adopt the latest and reliable technological solutions. It will allow you to generate and manage e-waybills as a potential transporter. In simple words, your IT infrastructure should be capable of handling the regularly changing laws and regulations.
  1. Establish Vendor and Transporter Communication: Consignors should establish clear and cohesive communication with their suppliers, vendors, and transporter. It allows them to be compliant with all the regulatory changes and requirements for e-waybill extension. Also, make sure that the information provided by external stakeholders should be aligned with today’s regulatory standards. In this way, you will have a smoother and seamless transhipment process.
  1. Form Internal Communication Channel: For the best practices, you should have an internal communication channel within your company. It will allow you to spread all the regulatory information about e-waybill procedures. This creates a streamlined approach for transparent and extension processes in your business that allows you to have an automated and seamless transhipment experience.

Also Read: Best Practices for E-waybill Validity Management: Timely Renewal and Monitoring

9. Audit and verification of adherence to amended extension provisions

  1. Understand Amended Provision: Read newly updated amended e-waybill extension provisions and understand the changes. You should properly know about new requirements, altered processes, and extended timelines. This will allow you to be confident about any audit and verification and provisions related to it.
  1. Examine IT systems and Processes: Evaluate the level of your IT infrastructure and processes, as they should be aligned with the heavy regulations of e-waybill generation and management. Make sure to use up-to-date technology and comply with the latest amended regulations and requirements. It will prevent you from reaching the point of official audit and verification.
  1. Compliance with Extension Procedure: During the audit and verification process, officials will check your input towards stipulated timelines, valid justification, and state-specific compliance. You should apply for an extension only before/after 8 hours of expiry. In fact, your reason should be valid enough to grant an extension request. It can include natural calamity, unexpected vehicle breakdown, or changing route due to any avoidable reason. Moreover, you should also be compelled with state-specific reasons to be fully ready for the e-waybill extension procedure.
  1. Create an Audit Plan: You need to create a clear and comprehensive audit plan that outlines the procedure, timelines, and responsibilities. It will allow you to be completely prepared for audit and verification. Make sure to create your plan considering the audit objectives and requirements to have an effortless audit and verification process.
  1. Evaluate Internal Controls: For effective audit and verification, you should ensure that your internal controls are efficient enough. You should try to gather any potential weaknesses and improvements to create a seamless process. Therefore, evaluating the internal controls can help your e-waybill extension process to be smoother and more seamless.
  1. Complete and Accurate Documentation: Auditors will securitize your extension request by measuring official approvals and supporting documents. The documents should be absolutely accurate, complete, and consistent with the latest regulations and guidelines. Accuracy and completeness should be reflected in both central and state e-waybill systems. It will allow you to have easy and effortless documentation. 

10. Legal consequences of non-compliance with updated E-waybill extension rules

Taxation is a legal process, and generating e-waybills is a crucial one. There are certain rules and regulations that consignors/transporters have to follow. Similarly, e-waybill extension requests also have certain predefined rules. 

Listed below are certain legal consequences that you would have to face if you fail to comply with the updated e-waybill extension rules.

  1. Financial Penalties: There are certain financial penalties for delay, discrepancy, or any other issues. Below, we’ve mentioned it clearly. 
  • Late Extension Request: If you get delayed in making an e-waybill extension request under 8 hours of the stipulated time frame, you are required to pay the penalty. It might vary from Rs. 100 to Rs. 200 every day per vehicle based on the goods value. 
  • Non-compliance issues: You can also be imposed additional fines and penalties by state authorities if you fail to adhere to the state-specific requirements.  
  • Invalid Justification Reason: If you are found to be providing a false or misleading reason for an e-waybill extension, then you have to bear the penalty of up to Rs. 25,000 or the evaded tax. Whichever is greater would be required.
  1. Detention and Seizure of Goods: Authorities have the right to seize or detain your goods if you transit a vehicle with an expired e-waybill. No matter what, even if you have applied for an extension after expiry, you will have to bear this issue. Moreover, if you fail to get valid extension approval and are found in transit check, you would have to bear the fines and penalties.
  1. Operational Disruptions: If your goods are detained or seized, it might create delays for your consignment, which causes significant losses and customer dissatisfaction. It can significantly disrupt your business. Moreover, suspension of GSTIN or legal proceedings can also disrupt business operations. These operational disruptions directly impact the revenue and profitability of the business.
  1. GSTIN Suspension: Frequent non-compliance with e-waybill extension rules and regulations can lead you to GSTIN suspension. Authorities have the full right to suspend the Goods and Services Tax Identification Number of the consignor or transporter. It significantly hinders your ability to conduct the business properly.
  1. Reputational Harm: Non-compliances trigger trust and reliability issues between the consignor/transporter and relevant tax authorities. It can lead their businesses to face various security and audits. It will directly disrupt your business image in the market.
  1. Litigation and Prosecution: If you intentionally try to evade taxes or circumvent e-waybill regulations via false claims, you have to face criminal prosecution under the CGST Act. Moreover, it can lead your business to confront the legal authorities, which will incur heavy legal expenses.

To Wrap Up!

GST officials frequently release multiple updates and amendments that all the parties involved in transhipment should be aware of. It includes the consignor, consignee, and transporter. We have mentioned all the updates regarding e-waybill guidelines and regulations till 2024. We hope this article helps you find everything you should know about the latest e-waybill amendments.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What are the new E-waybill rules in 2023?

An e-waybill can be generated only by a registered person for the movement of goods exceeding the value of Rs. 50,000. However, a transporter or any registered person can even generate or carry an e-waybill even for goods not reaching the required threshold.

Q2. How can I amend my e-waybill?

Once the e-waybill is generated, it can neither be edited nor modified. You are allowed to update Part B only. However, if you have mistakenly generated an e-waybill consisting of wrong information, you can always cancel it and generate a fresh e-waybill.

Q3. What is the predefined time limit for invoice amendment?

You are allowed to make amendments in the later tax period also, but make sure that even at last, your amended invoice should be revised till the original invoice tax period. For instance, if the original date of your invoice is 15/04/2023, then, at maximum, you can stretch it to 30/04/2023.

Q4. What is the time limit for e-waybill cancellation?

You have to cancel the e-waybill within 24 hours of its generation. After canceling the e-waybill, you can not legally use it anywhere, as it would be illegal. Make sure to cancel your e-waybill within the stipulated time frame.

Q5. Is it possible to cancel an e-invoice after 24 hours?

An e-invoice can not be partially canceled, as it has to be fully canceled. After the cancellation, you have to report to the IRN. Once 24 hours are completed, you can not cancel your e-invoice. You will be required to visit the GSTR-1 return under the official GST portal before filing it.

Q6. What are the latest changes in e-waybill? 

The Government has officially extended e-invoicing applicability to businesses exceeding INR 20 crore turnover w.e.f. April 1 2022. Plus, businesses with an INR 10 crore turnover are also required to generate e-invoices from October 1 2022.

Q7. What is Part B in the e-waybill?

E-waybills are generally divided into two parts: Part A and Part B. In part, there is all the information regarding the product moving from one place to another. In the B part, a vehicle number is mentioned. While applying for an extension, you generally have to make changes in Part B.

Q8. What is Section 68 of the e-waybill?

According to Section 68 of the CGST Act 2017, the Government has to require a person moving goods from one place to another exceeding an established threshold to have governmental documentation named e-waybill. Generally, the threshold limit is Rs. 50,000 for moving goods.

Q9. Can we update the e-waybill if there is any mistake or wrong entry?

E-waybill is official documentation and can not be edited/corrected if it has any mistake or incorrect entry. Therefore, you will only be left with an option to cancel it. Make sure to carefully fill out the application form. 

Q10. Can the invoice date and waybill date be different? 

An e-waybill is required to be generated before the movement of goods. This means that e-waybill is not anyhow related to the invoices. Hence, the dates of e-waybills and invoices are different.

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Prarabdh Gupta Freelance Content Writer & Strategist
Prarabdh Gupta is a finance content writer with 4+ Years of Industry experience in simplifying complex finance terms. He crafts captivating and engaging content around mutual funds, insurance, banking, real estate, taxation, and financial planning. He has completed his graduation from Jiwaji University, Gwalior.

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