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What do Import and Export Mean Under the GST Act?

Imports and exports form the core of a country’s international trade and boost its foreign exchange earnings. In India, all entities taking part in import and export activities are required to abide by the eway bill rules specified under the GST Act. As per the Act, an ‘Import’ is defined as bringing the goods from other nations to India. An ‘Export’, on the other hand, means transporting goods from India to a foreign country.


As far as the role of a GST E-Way bill is concerned, one must be generated for all goods’ consignment that travel interstate and have a market value of over ₹50,000. Such goods attract what is known as the Integrated Goods and Service Tax (IGST) as per the law. However, the export of goods does not attract any tax as it is considered as a zero-rated supply. This article will talk about the eway bill requirements when it comes to matters of import and export of goods. Read on to know more.

Is E-Way Bill Required for Export and Import Activities

E-Way Bill requirements vary depending on whether the goods are being imported or exported. In some cases, there is no need to generate an E-Way bill while in other cases, there is minimal to zero E-Way bill requirements. Let us now examine the import and export process in detail.

Eway Bill for Import & Stages of Importing a Consignment Into India

Eway Bill Requirements in Stages of Import Process

  1. A consignment is considered to be successfully imported into the country when it either reaches the seaport or the airport.

  2. After that, the goods are moved to the custody of the customs department. Then, they are transported to an Inland Container Depot (ICD) or a Container Freight Station (CFS) for clearance purposes. This type of transportation does not require the generation of an import E-Way bill.

  3. At the ICD or CFS, a bill of entry is filed and the applicable custom duties are paid by the importer. Post which, the goods are cleared for home consumption. In case they are not cleared, they are kept in a bonded warehouse until clearance. The movement of the goods from an ICD/CFS to such a facility does not require the generation of an E-Way bill either. But, as and when they are cleared, the transportation of goods that follows this clearance requires the generation of an Eway bill for import.

Eway Bill for Export & Stages of Exporting a Consignment out of India

Eway Bill Requirements in Stages of Export Process

  • When goods are being transported from the place of business to the warehouse of the exporter, the concerned individuals will be required to generate an eway bill for export.

  • The goods are then later transported to an ICD or a CFS. This part of the export process does not require the generation of an export E-Way bill.


Note that the likes of petrol, diesel, and kerosene do not require eway bill generation.


Apart from the above, no GST E-Way bill needs to be generated in the following scenarios:

  1. If the goods are being transported to or from Nepal/Bhutan

  2. If the goods are being moved between custom ports/ICDs or CFS


The table below shows when E-Way Bill is required and not required in case of import and export.


E-Way Bill Required

E-Way Bill Not Required


Movement of goods from ICD or CFS or warehouse to factory or importer’s business location

  • Inward entry at Customs port

  • Movement of goods from port to ICD/CFS

  • Movement of goods from ICD/CFS to warehouse



Movement of goods from exporter’s business place to ICD/CFS/Warehouse

  • Movement of goods from ICD/CFS to port /warehouse

  • Movement of goods from one port/station to another port/station


How to Generate Eway Bills for Export and Import

The steps for eway bill generation process remains the same in the case of import and export but below mentioned E-Way bill particulars needs to be noted while generating an eway bill in case of import and export.

Import/Export E-Way bill Particulars



Transaction Subtype



Document number and type

Bill of Entry

The tax invoice meant for the export of goods

Bill From

Unregistered Person (URP)

Details of the exporter (such as their name and GSTIN number)

Dispatch From

The pin code 999999 will have to be entered and ‘other countries’ will have to be selected in the ‘State’ column

Address of the warehouse/ place of business of the exporter

Bill to

Details of the Importer (such as their name and GSTIN)

An unregistered person person living outside (mention URP in such cases)

Ship to

The address of the warehouse/business place of the importer

The pin code 999999 has to be entered. Additionally, “Other Countries” must be selected in the state column

Transportation details

Transporter details (such as vehicle details, transporter ID, and the likes)

Details of the transporter (such as vehicle details and your transporter ID, among others)

While a GST eway bill generation is mandatory for the import and export of goods, it is important that the e-way bill generated stands valid. The validity of an e-way bill depends on the distance of movement of goods. For imports, the distance is calculated between the ICD/CFS and factory/importer’s business location, whereas for exports, the distance is computed between the warehouse/exporter’s business location to the ICD/CFS. Ensure that the distance covered is calculated exactly when generating the e-way bill.

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