Bill to Ship to – more layers to unfold

 

Recently, e way bill site has allowed the generation of e-way bill in case of Bill to Ship To transactions. Unlike the earlier version requiring two e-way bills, the new system allows the generation of one e-way bill. Accordingly, the amendment in the process now has now “place of dispatch”, “details of Bill to”, “details of Ship to” added to Part-A of the FORM EWB-01. The amendment seem to have aligned the requirement of e-way bill with the legal framework as the e-way bill is a document to cover the movement of goods and not for supply. This also sounds logical as the timing for second e-way bill shall always be a challenge for all parties as multiple permutations of billing and shipping locations would require godlike preciseness and circumspection.

However, the system is not obvious as to who shall fill the e-way bill in case of “bill to Ship to” transactions. Moreso, when such transactions have multiple versions across the country wherein either the information of the price at which goods are supplied to ultimate buyer is sensitive, in other cases, the price of procurement is sensitive or both. Further, in such cases, who shall be said to have caused movement of goods, whether the original supplier or the buyer.

Both the answers to my mind are two sides of the same coins. The key word for generation of e-way bill still remains “person causing such movement”. The phrase is no where defined and thus, will have to depend on the precedence to address the situation. The phrase primarily means “person who effects the movement”, meaning thereby, the same shall depend on the arrangement between the buyer and supplier. In cases of ex-factory sale, where buyer assumes ownership of the goods at the factory gate, and arranges for transportation, it can be said that such buyer is the person who has caused such movement of goods and thus, such buyer would be responsible for the generation of e-way bill. This shall also find strength from the consignment note as provided by the transporter when it states the name of the buyer as consignor. In other cases, where the role of consignor is player by the supplier, such e-way bill shall be generated by the supplier, as shall be in most of the cases, including, FOR sale. It is important to note that many other factors like the agreement between the buyer and seller, the insurance, the risk and rewards might influence such determination.

Having addressed the first part, the second part is as to what value of goods should be filled in the e-way bill in cases of “Bill to Ship to” transactions. It has been clarified that the consignment value shall be based on the value determined under Section 15 of the CGST Act plus GST. Again, my view on this is aligned to my pervious view that since e-way bill is a shipment document, the same is to be visualized from the perspective of the person who is required to fill it. If the same is by the original Supplier, the valuation of first sale shall be taken, but in case of intermediate buyer (Bill to person) is the person responsible to fill e-way bill, the value to be filled shall be the value of goods as determined from his perspective as per Section 15 of the CGST Act.

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