Export shipments need to comply with a range of documentary and procedural formalities stipulated by customs authorities, the GST Council, and other regulatory agencies. One such mandatory piece of paperwork that export consignments must be accompanied by is the e-way bill.
So how exactly should exporters go about generating this documentation? What data inputs are required on the portal? What validations come into play? Let’s walk through the e-way bill preparation process for exports.
Export E-waybill Generation Process
The world of export documentation can seem like an enigmatic web at times. Just when you feel up to speed with trade definitions, Incoterms, and all those packs of pro forma invoices and certificates taking shape on your desk, comes another compliance missile named ‘e-way bills’…and confusion strikes again!
The e-way bill generation mechanism is common across all transactions involving inter-state movement of goods above Rs. 50,000. Certain particulars specifically applicable to exports need to be captured for shipments destined overseas.
Questions flood your mind. What do these mean, and why are they required? When does the e-way bill imperative kick in for my consignments? How do I create them? Let’s get these queries addressed first.
The key steps are:
Access the E-way Bill Portal.
The authorized signatory must first access the portal (https://www.ewaybillgst.gov.in) using valid login credentials.
Select the supply type.
The supply type needs to be specified as “Export” from the drop-down options.
Enter Trade Details.
Details of the exporter, like GSTIN, legal name, state, etc., must be entered accurately under the ‘Bill From’ section.
Specify dispatch and delivery points.
The exporter’s warehouse address goes under ‘Dispatch From’ while code ‘999999’ gets captured against the ‘Ship To’ pincode along with the country name.
Input transporter particulars.
The carrying vehicle number, transporter ID (if registered), document number, etc. need to be entered.
Provide item-wise details.
HSN codes, item-level value, tax rates (if any) applicable, etc. have to be specified for goods exported.
Furnish document references.
Details like the invoice number, date, and corresponding shipping bill references must be provided.
Submit and generate.
On submitting these details after due validation, the portal generates a unique 12-digit reference number acknowledging successful documentation.
Therefore, with adequate registration and documentation groundwork in place, creating compliant e-way bills for exports via the portal comes across as a seamless affair. Stay tuned as we explore allied facets concerning this crucial paperwork.
This largely covers the data inputs involved. Now let’s understand documentation generation flow from a holistic process standpoint below.
Steps for Creating an E-Waybill for Exports
The e-way bill drill is not just limited to portal entries. The process entails integration with export order finalization, invoice generation, transporter coordination, and so on.
Let us traverse this sequence to appreciate interdependencies:
- Analyze export order contract terms to determine the applicability of e-way bills based on value, place of supply, and other factors.
- Classify goods using HSN codes and identify movement routes.
- Prepare a commercial invoice, a packing list with item-level details, and a shipping bill.
- Capture transporter information about who will carry the shipment.
E-way Bill Generation Stage
- Log on to https://www.ewaybillgst.gov.in and enter verified registration credentials.
- Provide input on trade name, supply details, HSN codes, and document references.
- Submit information and generate a unique 12-digit e-way bill reference number.
- Print copies of the generated e-way bill covering dispatch details.
- Handover e-way bill print along with invoice, shipping bill, and goods to transporter
By integrating these steps, a compliant e-way bill supporting export cargo movement can be provided. So an interdisciplinary approach encompassing stakeholders across the supply chain is imperative for timely e-way bill creation without lagging transport schedules.
E-Waybill Generation Guide for Exports
Exporters need to capture certain specific inputs while generating e-way bills, which may vary for domestic transactions. Let’s understand these nuances:
The phrase ‘Bill From’ denotes your business identity and who is billing the export, while ‘Ship To’ captures overseas customers provided code 999999 since they are unregistered.
The ‘999999’ code gets used against the destination state pin code for ships to party outside India.
Currency and Value
Export invoice amount currencies get captured, while item-level values are tracked in INR for the e-way bill.
Only tax heads like IGST and cess (if applicable) need to be captured for zero-rated export items. The GST rate gets captured as ‘0%’.
6-digit HSN codes classify export goods with a description and UQC like units, kgs, etc.
Details like vehicle number or IGM/BL number can be captured based on movement by road, rail, air, or ship.
Thus, the e-way bill portal provides flexibility to enter terminology, codes, values, etc. applicable to forexports with due validation.
Export Documentation: E-Waybill Procedures
It’s enticing, isn’t it? Watching your consignment labels transform from alien port codes into real cargo tags gets adorned on those containers at the yard, headed to distant shores.
Export consignments need to be supported by a set of documents covering aspects like commercial exact details, transporter references, customs clearances, etc.
But hey, let’s not forget our buddy who will enable this transition—the e-way bill! Let’s examine how to make both talk to each other.
The e-way bill integrates with these documents:
|E-way Bill Relevance
|The invoice number and date are to be captured. E-way bill prepared based on invoice details
|Shipping bill number, date, and port details are to be provided.
|It helps check goods quantity and item details align between documents.
|Bill of Lading/AWB
|Transporter references should match the e-way bill.
Thus, information like trade particulars, supply status, item-level specifications, etc. needs to be consistent across the e-way bill and documents like packing slips, shipping manifests, invoices, etc.
Therefore, the e-way bill cannot function in isolation and pulls essential data inputs from other paperwork that exporters need to furnish.
Creating an E-Waybill for Export Compliance
Earlier, we saw the procedural guidelines around e-way bill preparation for exports. But what governs its requirements in the first place? Let’s examine the regulatory provisions concerning e-way bills for international trade.
As per Rule 138(14) of the CGST Act, 2017, the e-way bill provisions expressly apply to export transactions. Further, a notification dated November 15, 2017 issued by CBIC also clearly mandates this compliance, even for zero-rated supplies. Only specified categories, like SEZ to port shipments, imports and exports by courier, etc., enjoy exemption.
So simply classifying a shipment under export codes does not suffice to bypass e-way bill documentation. Key facets that determine its applicability include:
- Movement initiation from a registered person’s place—from a factory, warehouse, etc.
- Value exceeding ₹50,000: Based on export invoice value
- Inter-state movement: applicable as exports cover cross-border trade
Thus, any violations can attract penal provisions under Section 122 of the CGST Act and other laws.
Hence, exporters need to view e-way bill compliance as intrinsic to their overall documentation framework rather than an avoidable overhead.
Positive outcomes like timely clearances, credibility with authorities, invoice reconciliations, etc. can also be realized. by integrating this discipline.
Export Transactions: E-Waybill Generation Steps
Diversity is indispensable in international trade. We deal with enterprises of all sizes and shapes. Transactions range from recurring contract manufacturing orders to seasonal agriproduce exports.
So a ‘one-way bill regime fits all’ seems challenging. But fret not; options exist for key scenarios!
Let’s check out some ways of adopting agility with this compliance:
FTWZ to Port Transfer
Where goods are warehoused in an FTWZ first before port exports, separate e-way bills must be created from the FTWZ to the gateway port by specifying vehicle details.
A supporting exporter can create the e-way bill on behalf of the actual exporter, who undertakes documentation. Consent proof may need to be presented.
Air cargo exports
For air cargo, the AWB number can be captured as the transport document reference along with airline details when generating the export e-way bills.
Free Sample Exports
Even for export-purpose sample dispatches not having commercial value, EWB needs generation if cargo movement happens using vehicles owned by registered persons.
Exhibition Goods Returns
Goods earlier imported for overseas exhibitions being re-exported will also necessitate e-way bill creation for shipments above value thresholds.
Thus, based on the context, supply nature, and movement types, suitable workarounds have been provisioned to furnish compliant e-way bills covering all primary and allied export trade workflows.
While change is slow, progress seems sure and steady. With digitization enhancing ease as we go along, we can optimistically look forward to e-way bills eventually becoming an integral component of our export consignment management framework.
As we have seen, the intricacies around e-way bill generation can vary depending on the transaction profile involving international trade. However, adopting early acclimatization with technology integration can smooth mandatory documentation.
Seeking professional assistance is prudent, especially for MSME sector exporters lacking the wherewithal to keep pace with evolving compliances. Availing competent services like reconciling invoices, validating HSN codes, or assessing distance calculations prevents bottlenecks when coordinating logistical movements.
With digitization measures enhancing transparency, aligning with norms helps build trust and credibility with external stakeholders too. E-way bill discipline also signifies the genuineness of export activities, differentiated from black marketing motives.
While change management seems cumbersome, the positive intent behind improved governance and process standardization efforts needs acknowledgment. Hence, viewing compliance through a collaborative lens rather than as punitive and diminishing is constructive for ethical exporters genuinely contributing to foreign trade.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can multiple e-way bills be issued where exports involve several shipments dispatched via air, road, etc.?
Yes, based on the approved shipping schedule and transport modes finalized for the export order, respective e-way bills for road, air, or rail cargo must be generated separately prior to commencement of the transit, covering respective consignment details.
How do I generate an export e-way bill for a B2C transaction involving a courier shipment?
For B2C exports transacted via courier below the value threshold mandating an e-way bill, the generation prerequisite doesn’t apply. However, select details like invoice number or date, courier name, and AW number may optionally be captured by the exporter.
Who generates the e-way bill if goods first move from the manufacturer to the dealer warehouse?
Where export goods move in multiple segments (for example, from the factory to the dealer warehouse and then to the gateway port), the manufacturer generates the first e-way bill covering movement until the dealer warehouse. Thereafter, the dealer generates another covering final warehouse for the port leg.
Can Customs officials verify export e-way bill details?
Yes, customs authorities can look up export e-way bill details furnished by the exporter using shipment or container references while goods are en route to the gateway port. This helps them validate movement legitimacy and GST compliance.
Can the exporter update the vehicle number online if it is transhipped midway to the gateway port?
Yes, the transporter coordinating physical movement can update changed vehicle numbers online where necessary in the case of transhipments before export cargo reaches the customs office, port, or airport by capturing the reason for the amendment. A new EWB is not required.
If exporter Stuff exports goods in LCL containers shared with other exporters, then how should e-way bills get created?
In cases where LCL (less than container load) cargo gets aggregated and exported via shared containers, the individual e-way bills of the respective exporters with their invoice value specifications must accompany the container movement, covering the total goods stuffed.
How do you handle export returns and correlate them with earlier clearing documents?
While returning previously exported goods, the earlier invoice and shipping bill details need referencing in the fresh commercial paperwork. Based on this, a new e-waybill will also be accordingly generated, capturing supply now marked as export returns. Previous e-way bills can help with verifications.