Using the national e-waybill system will be compulsory for the movement of goods between states from February 1, the Goods and Services Tax Council said on Saturday. The system will become mandatory for movement of goods within states from June 1.

An e-waybill is an electronic permission granted to move goods that have a value greater than Rs 50,000. A national e-waybill system under the GST regime is expected to make the movement of goods across the country smoother by digitising the process of obtaining the permission to do so.

The system will, however, be in place by January 16, and traders and transporters can use it voluntarily after that, the GST Council said after its 24th meeting, held through video-conferencing.

After the GST structure was rolled out in July, states were asked to continue their own separate e-waybill systems until a national system was ready. This was “causing undue hardship” to traders and transporters in the inter-state movement of goods, a government release said.