E-way bill is a permit generated on the GST portal that is required for the movement of goods worth over Rs. 50,000 within India. This system was introduced to ensure smooth and efficient transportation of goods across the country, and its impact on the e-commerce sector has been significant.
E-commerce operators are among the major users of the e-way bill system, as they rely mostly on the transportation of goods. Implementing the e-way bill has posed challenges and opportunities for e-commerce operators, and its impact on their operations has been the subject of much discussion.
While many e-commerce businesses have collaborated with logistic service providers to meet their business demands, some players have built their own internal logistics infrastructure. While internal logistics businesses dominate roughly 50% of the market, the remaining 50% is controlled by third-party logistics service providers, including e-commerce-focused providers, India Post, and conventional Logistics Service Providers.
Internal Logistics Capability:
Most e-commerce retailers have built their own internal logistics capabilities to ensure that they have a complete control over their supply chain. This may include managing delivery vehicles, warehouses, and inventory management systems. With these capabilities, e-commerce retailers can ensure greater control over the complete logistics process and provide a better customer experience.
Traditional Logistics Service Providers:
E-commerce retailers partner with traditional logistics service providers, such as courier companies, to handle the last-mile delivery of products to customers. These logistics providers have extensive experience in handling deliveries across different geographies, and their logistics operations expertise helps e-commerce retailers manage inventory and optimise delivery times.
E-commerce-centric Logistics Service Providers:
Demand for e-commerce logistics has been growing, and new logistics providers are emerging that specialise in catering for the unique needs of e-commerce retailers. These providers offer services such as order fulfilment and last-mile delivery, specially tailored to the requirements of e-commerce businesses. By leveraging the expertise of these specialised providers, e-commerce retailers can streamline logistics operations and provide an improved customer experience.
Before implementing GST, waybills were mandatory during the transportation of goods. These waybills were physical documents issued by VAT authorities. However, due to their complexity and compliance requirements, they posed a challenge during the movement and delivery of goods across different states. As a result of this, the transportation industry ended up spending 30-60% of its time and resources on tax compliance, with 16% of that time being utilised by trucks waiting in line at interstate checkpoints for inspection and tracking.
When goods are transported through commercial aircraft, trains, or ships, it is mandatory to generate e-way bills by either the consignor or the consignee. On the other hand, when goods are transported by road, the transporter must produce the e-way bill.
In cases where neither the consignor nor the consignee generates an e-way bill, and the value of the goods being transported exceeds Rs. 50,000, it becomes the transporter’s responsibility to generate the bill.
You can learn more about E-way bills in our comprehensive guide here.
The person transporting or conveying goods must carry the following documents:
As long as the officer receives the necessary consent from the Commissioner or the officers designated on this behalf, physical verification of the conveyance may also be carried out by the officer upon receipt of explicit information about tax evasion.
When a vehicle is stopped and detained for longer than thirty minutes, the transporter may upload the relevant information in FORM GST INS- 04 to the common site.
Impact of Eway Bill Implementation on E-Commerce Operators
The Eway bill is a crucial part of the GST system. Before items are moved to another state, the document must be generated. Here is the impact on e-commerce operators.
The e-way bill system has significantly impacted e-commerce operators in India, bringing in greater accountability and efficiency in the movement of goods. While the system has required e-commerce businesses to adapt and comply with the regulations, it has also reduced transit times and streamlined processes. The e-way bill system has helped to create a level playing field for e-commerce and traditional businesses, ensuring transparency in the supply chain and promoting fair competition.