Basic Payment Scheme
The BPS replaced the Single Payment System (SPS) in 2015.
You must apply for your Basic Payment each year, usually by May 15th. From 2018, all BPS applications must be made online on the Department of Agriculture’s Agfood Website
In order to qualify under the Basic Payment Scheme, you must have at least one entitlement linked to one hectare of eligible land.
Number and value of entitlements
The number of entitlements allocated to a farmer is based on the number of eligible hecatres declared in either 2013 or 2015, whichever is lesser.
The value of entitlements owned (held or leased out) under the SPS in 2014 and, if relevant, the value of payment under the Sheep Grassland Scheme, forms the basis for calculating the value of entitlements in 2015 under the BPS.
You must have an eligible hectare to accompany each entitlement. Click here for information on land eligibility.
Convergence – how your entitlement value may change
Entitlements may be subject to convergence, which will either increase or decrease their value over the five years of the Scheme.
Entitlements worth less than 90% of average
Farmers who hold entitlements with an initial value below 90% of the national average entitlement value will have the value of their entitlements increase by one-third of the difference between their initial value and the 90% national average value. This increase will take place in five equal steps over the five years of the scheme.
Entitlements worth more than 100% of average
Farmers who hold entitlements with an initial value over 100% of the national average will see their value decrease over the period of the scheme. The reduction will be determined by the amount needed to fund the increase for those whose entitlements are being increased.
Entitlements worth 90-100% of average
Farmers who hold entitlements with an initial value of between 90% and 100% of the national average value will see no change in their entitlement value over the five years of the scheme.
By 2019 all entitlements will have a minimum value of 60% of the national average entitlement value.
By 2019 no farmer will receive a payment per hectare greater than €700.
EU regulations provide that payments under the BPS will be made within the period 1 December to 30 June of the following calendar year. Payments will be made in a maximum of two installments within that period.
Department of Agriculture commitment
Under the Charter of Farmers Rights, the Department of Agriculture has committed that:
- 50% advance payments of Basic Payment will commence on October 16 each year with a target of paying 100% of cleared cases and 90% of all applicants in the first week.
- Balancing BPS payments will commence on December 1 each year with a target of paying 100% of all applicants on that date
By submitting a BPS application, applicants agree to permit officials or agents of the Department to carry out on-farm inspections.
These include land eligibility and cross-compliance inspections.
5% of applicants will be inspected on land eligibility (1% on farm, the remainder by remote sensing). Up to 14 days notice may be given.
1% of applicants will be subject to Food, Feed Hygiene, TSE & Animal Welfare inspections. No notice will be given in advance of these inspections.
3% of applicants will be subject to Pig/Cattle/Sheep/Goat ID and Registration inspections. Up to 48 hours notice may be given in advance.
1% of applicants will be subject to SMRs and GAEC inspections. Up to 14 days notice may be given.
Where a problem is identified in the course of administration checks a letter is sent to the applicant by September 15th at the latest setting out the nature of the query and likely consequences if not resolved. The farmer must respond within 14 days to provide an explanation or clarification. Where a farmer does not respond within 14 days, a reminder letter will be sent seeking an immediate response.
If the claimed areas is over declared or under declared reductions/penalties may be applied.
If an applicant is found to be in breach of cross compliance, penalities may apply.
A farmer who has had a penalty imposed may appeal that decision to the Agriculture Appeals Office. Appeals must be lodged within 3 months of the date of the Department’s decision letter.