Courier companies seek relief on GST E-way bill rule

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Courier companies such as FedEx, DHL, and UPS are in a bind over-delivering imported goods to customers because of a goods and services tax rule that bars defaulters from issuing e-waybills. The document is mandatory for transport of goods worth over Rs 50,000. On the other hand, the customs department won’t hold such goods in its storage once they’re cleared. The companies, including local ones such as DTDC, Safe Express, Gati and Delhivery, have petitioned the government to seek a way out of the dilemma.

The government said it’s examining the issue. GST Rule 138E, which took effect in November, doesn’t allow an entity that hasn’t filed returns for two straight months to generate an e-waybill. While the rule won’t impact direct deliveries to ecommerce customers, business-tobusiness (B2B) orders from overseas will likely get hit.  Import consignments of companies, which may have missed filing returns and are unable to generate an e-waybill, cannot be delivered. But the goods cannot be kept inside the customs premises once cleared.

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