Date set for advance BPS payments

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine intends to issue advance payments in respect of cleared cases under the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) from October 16 onwards.

Balancing payments will then begin to issue from December 1, the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, confirmed to AgriLand.

However, it is unclear as of yet to what percentage the advance payments will reach.

Under EU regulations, payments under the BPS/Greening may commence on December 1, 2017, but an advance payment of up to 50% may be made from October 16.

However, last year the department received European approval to issue an advance payment of 70% in mid-October. Similar action was also taken in Northern Ireland.

In accordance with EU regulations, all EU scheme payments to farmers can only be made to a bank account. Farmers are urged to submit their bank account details to the department as soon as possible, if they have not already done so.

According to the department, the maximum payment that will be granted to any one farmer under the BPS scheme (excluding the Greening payment) in a single scheme year is capped at €150,000.

Online applications

Earlier this year, Minister Creed revealed that a total of 87% of farmers decided to submit their BPS application online in 2017.

Minister Creed confirmed that Irish farmers made a significant shift to the online method of applying for the annual BPS scheme this year.

Speaking following the closure of the deadline for BPS applications, he said: “87% of farmers availed of the online option for the 2017 scheme, a number which far exceeds the EU target of 75% for this period.

“13,000 extra farmers made the move online, making it a total of 113,600 online applications which puts Ireland well on track to meeting the 100% online target for 2018.”

Under EU regulations, member states are required to move to 100% online applications by 2018.