In the second part of our Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform series, we outline the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) entitlements and their usage.
Much like the Single Payment Scheme (SPS) before it, you will need entitlements to claim BPS. These entitlements must be ‘activated’ against a minimum of 5 hectares of eligible land if you wish to receive a BPS payment.
Any existing SPS entitlements you may have will become BPS entitlements from 1st January 2015, when the new scheme will commence. Remember, any SPS entitlements not activated in 2013, must have been activated in 2014 if you want to keep them for BPS.
There are a number of ways that ‘active farmers’ with no existing SPS or new BPS entitlements can get entitlements.
Up to 3% of BPS funds are being used to create a National Reserve of entitlements. Potential applicants include Young Farmers (under 40 years old), or new entrants to the BPS scheme.
Trading is another alternative. Until Midnight on 19thOctober 2014, existing SPS entitlements can be traded or transferred. After this date, no entitlements can be traded until mid January 2015. From that point on, entitlements can only be sold or leased to those defined as ‘active farmers.’
As part of the CAP reform, usage of entitlements is changing.
Entitlements over and above your declared amount will expire on 15th May 2015. Provisions are to be set to safeguard circumstances where eligible area is reduced due to, for example, pipe line works.
Two changes are being made to usage rules:
At least once every two years, you must activate all your BPS entitlements in a single year; and
You will no longer be able to keep entitlements live by part-activation year on year.
To end our three part blog series, we’ll explain how Greening fits into CAP reform.