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How to calculate transport distance and validity of e-Way Bill

E-Way Bill is one of the most important offshoots of the Goods and Services Tax regime that has been introduced in our country last year. It is an electronically generated document that is mandatory to be carried in its physical form or electronically by a transporter when he/she is ferrying goods from one place to another. The consignor or the consignee can generate e way bill and it is compulsory for transporting goods whose value is above Rs 50,000. It has to be kept in mind that this document is valid for a specific period of time and depends on both the distance to be covered and what is being transported.

How to calculate approximate distance
The provisions of the e-Way Bill state that its validity is calculated on the basis of the distance between the location of the supplier and the location of the recipient instead of the distance between the location of the transporter and the location of the recipient.
The MAP feature is used to find out the approximate distance to be travelled between the point of dispatch and the point of delivery.
However, there is a rider. The e Way Bill portal, till now, allows someone who is trying to generate the document to put in a maximum distance of 3000 kms in the distance field. So, it is a problem for people who want to generate a Bill for transporting goods for a distance exceeding 3000 kms. However, the goods are allowed to be transported for the distance of more than 3000 kms provided it is done within the stipulated validity period.
The computation of the validity period requires furnishing the distance between the place of the supplier and the place of the recipient. However, after entering this detail, the field cannot be modified unless it becomes necessary to extend the validity period of the electronic Way bill.

Determining the validity of the e Way Bill
Before we delve into the particulars of the validity of the Bill and how to compute it, it is important to understand a phrase: over dimensional cargo. Over-dimensional cargo is that cargo that exceeds the standard or ordinary legal size and/or weight limits for a specified portion of road, highway or other transport infrastructure such as air freight or water freight.
The validity of the e-Way bill depends on whether the cargo is over-dimensional or not. For over-dimensional cargo, the validity is 1 day for any distance up to 20 kms and after that, one extra day for every 20 kms or part thereof. For other than over-dimensional cargo, the validity is 1 day for a distance of 100 kms and thereafter, additional 1 day for every 100 kms or part thereof.

Some other details
It has to be kept in mind that the validity of the e Way Bill for the first day ends by the midnight of the next day. For e.g.: An e-Way bill is generated at 6 p.m. on the 15th of May for transporting goods for 80 kms. It will be valid till the midnight of 16th of May i.e. for 1 day.
Similarly, a Bill may be generated at 6 p.m. on the 15th of May for transporting goods for a distance of 190 kms. In this case, it will be valid for two days I.e. till midnight of 17th May.
Another important point that has to be kept in mind with regard to validity of e-Way Bill is that the validity starts when the vehicle number is updated for the first time by the consigner/consignee or by the transporter in Part B of the e Way Bill.
For example, the supplier of goods handed the goods over to the transporter on the 15th of May and Part A of the Bill was submitted after updating the GSTIN of the transporter. However, the transporter loaded the goods on the 17th of May and filled Part B of the electronic way bill by updating the vehicle number. Then, its validity starts from May 17th only.

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