Deadline for Basic Payment Scheme application fast approaching
Farmers are being reminded that the closing date for the acceptance of applications for this years’ Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), is Monday, May 16, 2016.
The Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney said he would like to remind farmers of the importance of this closing date to ensure they benefit from the maximum payment under their BPS.
My Department is urging all farmers who have not yet submitted their BPS application to do so at the earliest possible date. Given the range of benefits which online applications provide for farmers, I would also like to encourage farmers to apply online via agfood.ie.
Farmers should ensure that they lodge their applications by May 16, in order to avoid penalties that must be applied where applications are received late.
Given the significance of the Basic Payment to farm income, it is imperative that farmers allow themselves enough time to complete the form accurately and to make sure it is submitted on time.
In relation to online applications, it should be noted that higher rates of online applications lead to increased efficiency in the processing of applications and the subsequent issuing of payments.
Farmers may submit their application using the on-line facility themselves or through an authorised agent via www.agfood.ie.
For further information and assistance contact the on-line application lo-call Helpdesk at 0761 064424.
This year, the Department is also implementing a system of preliminary checks for online applicants only. Essentially these checks will allow farmers the opportunity to address any dual claims, over claims and overlaps identified on online applications within specified time frames after the BPS closing date without penalty.
Given the importance of the May 16 deadline, the Department has put in place a number of additional supports for farmers and agents as follows:
- To assist farmers applying online, one to one assistance is available for any farmer who wishes to obtain guidance in applying for their BPS online. Department staff will be available to offer this service to farmers at the Department’s office at Government Buildings in Portlaoise from Wednesday 4 May.
- A dedicated telephone helpdesk is also available during normal office hours to assist farmers applying online. The helpdesk can be contacted at 0761 064424.
- In addition, this helpdesk will also be available to farmers applying online from Monday 9 May to Friday 13 May until 9 pm each night and on both Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 May.
- The Department’s office at Government Buildings in Portlaoise will be open for extended hours as the deadline approaches. From Monday 9 May to Friday 13 May the Portlaoise office will be open until 9 pm each night. The Portlaoise office will also be open from 9 am to 5pm on Saturday 14 May and Sunday 15 May. Finally, the Portlaoise office will be open until midnight on the application deadline of Monday 16 May. These extended hours will facilitate the acceptance of paper applications and the extended provision of one to one assistance for farmers applying online.