Minister announces opening of 2019 BPS scheme

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, today announced the early opening of the application process for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) and the Greening Scheme.

The minister commented: “I am delighted to announce that the online application system for applications for the 2019 BPS is now open. Farmers will now be receiving a BPS information pack in the post containing terms and conditions of the scheme as well as maps and land details.

“Under the EU regulations, all applications must be submitted online. Last year saw all Irish farmers apply online and this is reflective of the range of benefits that online application brings for farmers.”

The minister confirmed that the closing date for BPS applications in 2019 is Wednesday, May 15, and urged all farmers and advisors to avail of the early opening of the application process now rather than waiting until nearer the closing date.

“To help farmers to submit their application online in 2019, I have ensured the early opening of the BPS application facility.

“This will provide ample time for farmers to familiarise themselves with the online application facility and to submit their applications before the deadline.

“Officials from my department will also be providing a range of supports to farmers over the coming weeks and months, including a series of BPS clinics in locations throughout the country.

“Further supports, such as telephone helplines, will also be in place. These supports will ensure that all farmers are able to access these important payments.”

Among the benefits available to online applicants is the availability of preliminary checks for online applications. These preliminary checks allow online applicants to be advised of certain errors at an early stage and to correct any such issues without penalty.

The minister noted that “preliminary checks have proved very successful in previous years, and they represent one of the many advantages for farmers that the BPS applications online system offers”.

All elements of the direct payments schemes – BPS, Greening, Young Farmers Scheme, National Reserve, transferring of entitlements, and the Areas of Natural Constraint Scheme – are now online.

This helps to ensure that the department can process all applications under these schemes as efficiently as possible.

Over 10,000 farmers benefitted from preliminary checks in 2018, thereby reducing their risk of penalties.

The minister concluded by stating: “I would urge all farmers to avail of the opportunity to apply for the BPS at this early stage via the online system. It is open for farmers to do this either as individuals or through an agent.

“Online applications allow my department to continue to build on the success of the delivery to farmers of essential payments under schemes such as BPS and the Areas of Natural Constraint Scheme.”