Kerala was one of the States that created an intermediary system after implementing GST to monitor the movement of goods before the e-way bill system was implemented.
During the VAT era, a self-declaration approach was used to monitor the transportation of goods across the State of Kerala. Beginning on January 12, 2011, registered persons transporting goods out of the state border were required to file an online declaration, known as an “e-consignment” in Form 8F. This declaration had to be made online and assigned a token number before the goods could pass through the Kerala State Border Check Posts. The requirement for e-Consignments applied to specific goods.
The “e-consignment” had two sections. The first section contained information such as the vehicle’s license plate, the anticipated checkpoint, and the expected arrival time. The second section contained details of the consignment transaction. Invoices, bills, or challans could also be added to the e-consignments. If the consignment arrived at a checkpoint other than the planned one or the vehicle was modified during transit, the driver would inform the check post authorities. In such cases, the check post administrators updated the token information and authorised the shipment.
At the specified check posts, an official verified the e-consignment token. If there were no anomalies, the carrier was permitted to proceed.
Before implementing the Kerala State e-way bill system on January 11, 2018, a monitoring mechanism was already in place for goods transportation under the GST scheme. Carriers of goods were required to have online access to GST KER 1, GST KER 2, and GST KER 3 forms for single consignments, parcel carriers, and personal use items, respectively. These forms had to be presented for review whenever necessary during transportation. The GST KER 1 form includes details such as the vehicle number, supplier, consignee, product type, amount, tax rate, and GSTIN. Additionally, GST KER 2 was required for entering packages into Kerala, while GST KER 3 was necessary for individuals carrying products for personal use. The latter required information such as the car and phone number for a one-time verification.
A registered person under GST who has goods in transit must generate an e-way bill if the value of goods being transported to or from is over Rs. 50,000 or if the value of goods is less than Rs. 50,000. However, the registered person still wishes to generate an e-way bill.
Suppose an unregistered individual is supplying goods to a registered person. In that case, the receiver must ensure that all compliances are met, including the generation of an e-way bill by the unregistered person.
Additionally, if a transporter is transporting goods via road, rail, air, etc. must generate an e-way bill if the supplier has not.
To generate an e-way bill in Kerala, you must have certain documents on hand, including a relevant invoice, bill of supply, or challan for the shipment of goods.
If the shipment is being transported by road, the vehicle number or transporter ID must be provided. Whereas if it is being transported by rail, air, or ship, the transporter ID, transport document number, and date must be provided.
To register on the Kerala portal for generating e-way bills, a user must follow the below-given steps:
To generate e-way bills, users can follow the step-by-step procedure available on the e-way bill portal.
Additionally, users can also generate and manage e-way bills through SMS. For example, residents of Karnataka who use the e-way bill system must send an SMS code to a registered mobile number provided by the Kerala Commercial Tax Department.
Android-enabled applications for e-way bills are also being developed, which includes API integration with ERP systems. This allows business owners to integrate their e-way bill software with the government portal for easy compliance with e-way bill regulations.
Implementing the e-way bill system under GST in Kerala has streamlined the transportation of goods within the state. The system ensures greater transparency and accountability, reduces tax evasion, and eases business compliance procedures.