What Happens If An E-Waybill Expires?

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Published Date:  15-12-2023   Author:   eva-mukherjee
what happens if an e waybill expires

Overview of Electronic Waybill and its Validity

An electronic waybill or e-way bill is a mandatory online document generated primarily on the GST’s official website. As a valid document, it highlights the evidence related to interstate and intrastate movement of goods. A person must get a valid e-way bill in the following conditions-

  • When the consignment value of the goods to transport exceeds Rs. 50,000.
  • Interstate transfer of any handicraft item by an individual exempted from registration.
  • Interstate transfer of any item to the job worker by the principal.

The validity of e-way bills expires after a certain period according to the distance travelled by the goods. In this situation, every involved party should be aware of the e-way bill validity and the ramifications of overdue e-way bills.

E-way Bill Validity as Per the Latest CGST Rules

The latest CGST rules determine the validity of an e-way bill based on the type of cargo used and the distance travelled. Accordingly-

Cargo Categories

 

Inter-state or Intrastate Distance Travelled by the Vehicle

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Validity Period
Over Dimensional Cargo

 

To a maximum of 20 kilometres One day
Over Dimensional Cargo

 

For each 20-kilometer or its part after the respective distance

 

One day and an extra one day
Excluding the Over Dimensional Cargo

 

To a maximum of 200 kilometers One day
Excluding the Over Dimensional Cargo

 

For each 200-kilometer or its part after the respective distance

 

One day and an extra one day

 

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Cases When You Extend the E-way Bill Validity

If the validity of an e-way bill expires before any consignment goes to its destination, one can extend its validity based on the following conditions-

Validity Extension via a Commissioner

A commissioner may extend the e-way bill validity period as per the recommendations given by the Council. However, the council should issue an official notification to extend the e-way bill validity for certain types of goods.

Validity Extension from a Transporter

The transporter may extend the e-way bill validity period after updating its details in the EWB portal as well. However, the circumstances of validity extension must be exceptional. These include an unexpected breakdown in the vehicle, vehicle accident, natural calamity, and related valid reasons.

How Can I Extend the E-way Bill Validity with Ease?

Note-

Both the commissioner and the transporter may extend the e-way bill validity period only before 8 hours or after 8 hours of the exact expiry of the already generated e-way bill.

Legal Actions for Expired E-way Bills after the Goods’ Inspection

Every registered person must accompany a proper e-way bill to transport or move goods whose value exceeds Rs. 50,000. The proper officer authorized by an Indian state or the Centre has the right to intercept the goods available for transition. The interception lets the authorized officer inspect the goods and documents, including the e-way bill. Moreover, the authorized officer gets the right to take legal action for expired e-way bills and for no e-way bills. Accordingly-

Confiscation, Seizure, and Detention of the Goods in Transit

If the involved parties fail to produce the mandatory e-way bill or their e-way bill expires, authorized officers may confiscate, seize, and detain the goods in transit. Thus, the effects of electronic waybill expiration will be

Detention

The authorized officers do not let the owner access his goods by passing a legal notice. However, the ownership of goods will continue to the same person. The officer detents the goods when he suspects that they are liable to be confiscated.

Seizure

Seizure refers to taking over the possession of goods by the authorized department or the officer. Authorized officers may seize the goods only after they investigate or inquire that goods are liable to be confiscated.

Confiscation

Confiscation is the final action related to handling expired e-way bill situations or no e-way bill situations. The officer in charge may do so only after the adjudication procedure. Once the officer in charge confiscates the goods, the original owner loses both the possession and ownership of the goods. Now, the ownership and possession will go into the hands of the Indian Government or the CGST authority.

Penalty Associated with the Seized Goods

Whether an individual transports goods without an e-way bill or with an expired e-way bill, the proper officer may seize his goods, vehicle carrying the goods, and related documents. The owner may release his goods only after he pays the tax and other penalties for overdue electronic waybills or no e-way bills. In this situation, one faces two different scenarios, which include the following-

  • When the owner of seized goods comes forward, he must pay a 100% penalty and equal to the tax amount to the proper officer.
  • When the owner of the seized goods remains absent, authorized officers will charge 50% of the total value of the goods before charging tax as the penalty amount.

Example and Table to Explain the Penalty

Suppose the value of seized goods is Rs 1,00,000 and the GST is applicable at 10%. Accordingly, the scenarios in tabulated form will be

Entities When the Owner is Present When the Owner is Absent
Value of Goods Rs 1,00,000 Rs 1,00,000
GST Rs 10,000 Rs 10,000
Applicable Penalty Rs 18,000 (100% of the tax/GST amount) Rs 50,000 (50% of the total value of the goods)
Total Amount Rs. 28,000 Rs. 60,000

 

Based on the table, the penalty is higher if the owner of the seized goods remains absent from the scene. In other words, when the owner is not present or does not go ahead, he would face relatively hard consequences of an expired e-waybill.

Fines Related to Confiscation of Goods

The minimum fine associated with confiscation of goods is the same as in the case of seized goods. However, the maximum fine will be equal to the market value of the confiscated goods before paying the tax. If the authorized officers confiscate the vehicles, the owners must pay a fine equal to the taxation payable on the captured goods. Other than that, involved parties or individuals are bound to pay additional charges, taxes, and penalties after paying the fine for confiscated items.

Conclusion

Overall, every individual involved in the transaction of goods must produce a valid e-way bill document to the proper officer. If the validity of the e-way bill expires or the e-way bill is not present, the authorized officer may impose a certain penalty amount as per the latest CGST rules. Simultaneously, the officer in charge may seize, detent, and confiscate the goods in transit.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should the involved parties do after the e-way bill validity expires?

The transporter may extend the e-way bill validity after he updates the reason for its extension after the e-way bill expires. He should mention the details in Part B of the new GST form.

Who has the right to extend the validity period of an e-way bill?

The transporter responsible for carrying the consignment should extend the validity period of the expired e-way bill.

What are the consequences if the transporter fails to extend the e-way bill validity?

If the transporter fails to extend the e-way bill validity, the proper officer will detent, seize, and confiscate the goods in transit based on the updated CGST rules.

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Eva Mukherjee

Eva has expertise in writing content in diverse niches, including the latest rules and norms related to CGST Act, Stock Market and Shares.

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