What is an E-way bill?

An e-way bill is like an electronic pass for transporting goods within a state or across state borders. Learn more about its regulations, advantages and processes in this blog.


In India, to fight tax evasion, the government launched the e-way bill system in 2018. This essentially requires a digital permit (e-way bill) for moving valuable goods.

What is an e-way bill?

In India, if you're moving goods worth ₹50,000 or more within the country, you need an e-way bill. Think of it as a digital pass for your stuff. Imagine a website where you fill in details about the goods, who's sending them, who's getting them, and who's driving them. This online system helps prevent tax evasion and keeps track of everything moving around. Plus, you can even generate or cancel this e-way bill through your phone for extra convenience!

When it should be issued?

An e-way bill acts like a digital permit for moving goods in India, but only when the value crosses ₹50,000 and the journey happens within the country. This applies whether you're:

  • Selling something: This includes both normal sales and situations where payment might not be involved (like gifts or transfers between branches).
  • Swapping/exchanging goods: Basically, any situation where the ownership of goods changes hands.

Essentially, whenever you're moving valuable stuff around, this online system helps track things and prevent tax evasion. Remember, all these cases require an e-way bill created on the same platform.

Who can generate this bill?

Anyone with a stake in moving those high-value goods (over ₹50,000) in India can generate the e-way bill:

  • The seller (consignor)
  • The buyer (consignee)
  • The receiver (if different from the buyer)
  • The transporter (driver, airline, etc.)

Basically, whoever's responsible for getting the goods from point A to point B can create the online permit. But, there's a catch: if neither the seller nor buyer does it, the transporter has to step up and generate the e-way bill themselves.

How to generate an e-way bill?

Getting your e-way bill is easy! Just choose your preferred method:

  1. E-way bill portal
  2. SMS
  3. Android app
  4. GST Suvidha providers
  5. Site-to-site integration

No matter which way you choose, start by registering on the e-way bill portal. It's the first step to getting your digital permit for those valuable goods on the move!

Steps to generate your permit:

  1. Head to the e-way bill generation page and log in.
  2. Click "Generate New" under the e-way bill menu.
  3. Select "Outward" if you're sending goods, "Inward" if you're receiving them.
  4. Choose your document type (invoice, challan, etc.) and enter its number and date.
  5. Describe your product(s), including HSN code, quantity, value, and tax rates.
  6. Review everything and click "Submit" to generate your unique 12-digit e-way bill number and QR code.
  7. Print a copy and give it to the transporter – it's like their passport for your valuable goods!

Remember, this is just a summary. For complete details and specific requirements, always refer to the official e-way bill portal (

Want to generate your e-way bill on the go? SMS is your answer, but first things first:

  • Register your mobile number on the e-way bill portal.
  • Steps to generate e-way bill on mobile via SMS
  • On the portal, under "Registration" drop-down, choose "SMS".
  • An OTP will land on your registered mobile number and email.
  • Enter the OTP and hit submit to initiate the e-way bill creation request.

Documents required to generate an e-way bill:

  • Proof of the goods (invoice, bill of supply, etc.)
  • For road transport: Transporter ID or vehicle number.
  • For air, rail, or ship transport: Transporter ID, transport document number, and documentation date.

Format of an e-way bill:

Think of an e-way bill as a two-part permit for your valuable goods on the move in India:

Part A: The Invoice Details

  • This section acts like a product description, mentioning:
    • GSTINs of the seller and buyer
    • Delivery address
    • HSN codes (product codes)
    • Invoice number

Part B: The Transporter Information

  • This part focuses on the journey itself, including:
    • Vehicle number
    • Transporter ID

Under the current system, you (as a taxpayer) can fill in both parts. But here's the key:

  • Part A must be filled and submitted BEFORE your goods start moving.
  • Part B (transporter details) can be filled in later by the transporter themselves.

E-way bill rules in India: A quick guide

When is an e-way bill needed?

  • You need an e-way bill for any movement of goods worth ₹50,000 or more within India.
  • If you generate an e-way bill but don't transport the goods, you must cancel it.
  • If you're transporting multiple consignments together, you need a separate e-way bill for each one.

What happens if you don't have an e-way bill?

  • You could face penalties.
  • The authorities may seize your goods and vehicle.

Handling Your E-way Bill in India: Modifications, Cancellations & Rejections

Cancelling an E-way Bill:

  • No new e-way bill for the same invoice until the old one is cancelled.
  • Got a change of plans? Cancel your e-way bill online within 24 hours of creation if the goods aren't delivered as mentioned.
  • Here's how:
    1. Go to the portal's "e-way bill" option and click "cancel."
    2. Enter the bill number and hit "go."
    3. Choose a reason (duplicate, order cancellation, data error, etc.).
    4. If your reason isn't listed, type it and click "cancel."

Modifying an E-way Bill:

  • Only transportation details in Part B can be modified after creation.
  • Entered wrong info? Cancel the bill within 24 hours and create a new one.

Rejecting an E-way Bill:

  • As the recipient, you can check e-way bill details created against you.
  • Have concerns? Reject the e-way bill within 72 hours of creation.
  • Remember, if not cancelled or rejected within the timeframe, it's considered accepted.

When You Can Skip the E-way Bill in India: Exceptions to the Rule

Relax, you don't need an e-way bill in these cases:

  • Low-value goods: If your stuff is worth less than ₹50,000, you're good to go.
  • Tax-free items: Moving GST-exempt products? No e-way bill needed.
  • Muscle-powered transport: Using a non-motorized vehicle? Skip the e-way bill.
  • Customs clearance journey: Moving goods to customs clearance facilities? You're covered.
  • Secure transport: Goods under customs control or seal? No e-way bill required.
  • Short trips within state: Moving goods less than 10 km within your state? You're exempt.
  • Nepal & Bhutan transit: Passing through these countries with your cargo? No e-way bill needed.
  • Empty cargo containers: Moving empty containers? Easy skip.
  • Railways with govt. consignor: Central, state, or local governments using railways? No e-way bill.
  • State-specific exemptions: Check your state/union territory's GST rules for additional exemptions.

E-way Bill in India: Weighing the Pros and Cons


  • Cuts costs: E-way bills improve accuracy and reduce tax evasion, leading to lower logistical costs for everyone.
  • Convenience for carriers: Regular transporters can use an RFID device in their vehicle, eliminating the need for paper copies and allowing seamless verification.
  • Faster journeys: Fewer checkpoints mean quicker transportation with lower turnaround times.
  • Paperless efficiency: No more trips to the e-way bill department! Everything's done online.


  • Tech troubles: Generating e-way bills can be tricky in areas with poor internet connectivity.
  • Compliance challenges: Businesses with frequent product transfers might find complying with the system demanding.
  • Duplication dilemma: Bill extensions can create multiple e-way bill numbers from one invoice, leading to potential confusion.

The e-way bill system in India is a significant step towards ensuring transparency and curbing tax evasion in the transportation of goods. While it may come with some challenges, understanding the rules, exceptions, and procedures can help businesses comply smoothly.

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