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India To Expand GST E-Way Bill Pilot

Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Indian Government has provided an update on the roll-out of the e-Way Bill system, which was introduced on April 1, 2018, confirming it will be extended to another five states from April 15, 2018.

The e-Way Bill system is intended to enable goods to be sent to other Indian states without border checks, following on from the introduction of goods and services tax (GST) last year.

The regime provides that taxable persons have to declare ahead of time consignments worth at least INR50,000 (USD780) and obtain and furnish on request an "e-way bill," to eliminate the need for checks at border checkpoints between states. The system is intended to enable the removal of non-tariff barriers to trading between states, to establish a single market across India, similar to that in place in the European Union.

However, when attempting to launch the system before, on February 1, the tax agency announced the administration platform had buckled under demand, tweeting that: "In view of difficulties faced by the trade in generating e-way bill due to initial tech glitches, it has been decided to extend the trial phase for generation of e-way bill, both for inter- and intra-State movement of goods. It shall be made compulsory from a date to be announced."

At its March 10 meeting, the GST Council announced that it would be relaunched in a handful of states from April 1. By law, states have until June 30, 2018, to introduce the system.

In an April 10 update, the Indian Government said: "E-Way Bills are getting generated successfully and [as of] April 9, 2018, more than [6.3 million] e-Way Bills have been successfully generated. It is hereby informed that e-Way Bill system for intra-State movement of goods would be implemented from April 15, 2018, in the following States:

  • (i) Andhra Pradesh
  • (ii) Gujarat
  • (iii) Kerala
  • (iv) Telangana
  • (v) Uttar Pradesh"

"With the roll-out of e-Way Bill system in these states, it is expected that trade and industry will be further facilitated insofar as the transport of goods is concerned, thereby eventually paving the way for a nationwide single e-Way Bill system."

Affected businesses are being encouraged to enrol ahead of implementation in these states via the Government's e-Way Bill portal.