North’s Basic Payment Scheme entitlements transfer window to open in April

Farmers in Northern Ireland will have their first opportunity to transfer Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) entitlements when the window opens on April 4.

The North’s Minister for Agriculture, Michelle O’Neill said that from this date, farmers and agents can begin transferring entitlements for 2016 BPS.

“Entitlements can be transferred by gift, sale, lease or through actual or anticipated inheritance.

“They can also be transferred as the result of a business merger or scission.

“For a transfer to take effect for the 2016 BPS year DARD must receive the application between April 4 and May 3, 2016.”

The Minister said that this year her Department is offering a new online service to complete the transfer.

“If the transfer is straightforward the easiest way to do this is using DARD’s new online Entitlement Transfer service.”

This service is secure, fast and easy to use. There is no paper form to complete and the transfer takes place instantly.

Farmers who wish to transfer entitlements on paper must do so using Form TE1 ‘Transfer Application’.

For a transfer to take effect for the 2016 BPS Scheme year DARD must receive the TE1 application between April 4 and May 3, 2016.

DARD plans to have issued Entitlement Statements to all eligible farmers by the end of March.

The Entitlement Statement shows the final number and value of the entitlements that were allocated to farm businesses under the 2015 BPS.

It also shows the unique Entitlement Transfer ID which farmers will need if they wish to use the online transfer service or the paper transfer application.

“If you have already registered through the Government Gateway all you need is the Business ID and Entitlement Transfer ID of the person you are transferring your entitlements to.”

If you don’t already have a Gateway ID or password, call the DARD online services team on 028 94426699 or text EASY to 67300 or go to the Department’s website.

Conditions to transfer entitlements:

1. In order to transfer entitlements in 2016 you must have received a 2015 Final Entitlement Statement before the closing date for transfer applications.

2. Entitlements can only be transferred to the following businesses:

  • Farm businesses which have activated BPS entitlements or received ANC payment in the 2015 BPS scheme year.
  • New Farm businesses which have been approved after May 15, 2015.
  • Farm businesses which have cattle on APHIS in the three month period prior to the effective date of transfer or have sheep according to the DARD register the previous January (or later date).
  • Farm businesses which can provide evidence of exercising agricultural activity, if requested by the Department, during the calendar year of the effective date of transfer.

3. An exception may apply where entitlements are transferred by inheritance or anticipated inheritance.