Option to extend CAP payment application deadline open to each country

European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan has given the option of a month’s extension to EU member states for Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) payment applications.

EU countries that wish to extend the deadline (for farmers to submit their applications for direct payments and certain payment claims under rural development) will be allowed to do so, Commissioner Hogan has confirmed.

Several member states had requested the extension of the deadline as a result of delays in restructuring their administration of the scheme following earlier rule changes.

It is not yet clear if the authorities in Ireland intend to avail of this – or if they even deem it necessary at this point.

Commissioner Hogan has confirmed that the deadline will be extended from May 15 to June 15, 2018, although it is up to member states to decide whether to use the extension.

A formal implementing regulation confirming the extension will be adopted by the commission soon.

Commissioner Hogan said: “The commission’s decision to extend this deadline will benefit farmers by allowing them an additional month in which to submit their applications or claims.

“The decision responds directly to a request from a number of member states that are implementing changes to their administrative system following increased flexibility in the administration of direct payments decided in the so-called Omnibus regulation earlier in the year.

This has involved re-organisation of information technology systems, changes to procedures and awareness-raising activities towards beneficiaries to inform them of the new legal requirements.

“In addition, some member states are experiencing delays in the implementation of the geo-spatial aid application that have led to exceptional administrative difficulties there,” he added.

“Member states that decide to postpone the final date for submission of aid application up to June 15 must still ensure that rules on sound financial management are respected.”