Gildernew praises EU changes to Single Farm Payment
Sinn Féin Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew MP MLA has praised the EU decision to replace the ten month rule.
Discussing the EU move the Minister said:
"The ten month rule created the potential for complications, especially when completing the Single Farm Payment (SFP) application form. The decision by the EU Agriculture Council to replace this rule is a welcome simplification. Taken together with the end of horticultural authorisations and a zero rate of set-aside, this is the third simplification of the SFP Scheme in 2008 when compared with previous years. I look forward to making more progress on simplification during the CAP Health Check."
Starting from the 2008 SFP Scheme Year, claimants will be required to have land on which they are claiming SFP at their disposal for one day only - 15 May. However, the claimant will be responsible for cross compliance obligations relating to that land for the entire calendar year, as well as ensuring the land remains in a use which is eligible for SFP claims. For 2008 only, these cross compliance provisions will apply from 1 April 2008 to 31 December 2008 rather than for the full calendar year. The previous arrangements will apply until that date.
SFP claimants should be aware that if they transfer land to another person after 15 May, they (the claimant) will remain responsible for ensuring that the cross compliance requirements relating to that land are met until the end of the calendar year. Therefore, claimants will wish to consider putting in place an appropriate agreement with the other party to protect their position in the event of a cross compliance breach.
Similarly, if a claimant acquires land from another person before 15 May and subsequently uses it to claim SFP, the claimant will be responsible for the maintenance of cross compliance for the full calendar year, including the period from 1 January (1 April 2008 for this year only) to the date when the land was acquired. Therefore, when the land is being transferred, the claimant should carefully consider the implications of this requirement along with the third party.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- EU Member States at a meeting of the Agricultural Council on 21 January 2008 reached agreement on the EU regulation which replaces the SFP 10 month rule.
- Full details of the changes will be given in the 2008 SFP scheme literature which will be issued at the end of March 2008