The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has recently published a reminder, notifying farmers that they should make their 2016 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) claims before midnight on 16 May 2016.
The RPA has asked farmers, where possible, to complete and submit their applications before this deadline, even where they are waiting for the balance of their 2015 BPS payment or still have an outstanding query on their 2015 BPS claim. The RPA have announced that all 2016 claims will be automatically updated with any verified changes in 2015 claims.
As at 3rd May, the RPA indicated that around 61.5 percent of anticipated applications had already been submitted or were in progress and stated that they were very pleased with the way that the new online claims element of the Rural Payments Service was working. It is hoped that, as a result, 2016 claims will be processed and paid earlier in the payment window.
The Chief Executive of the RPA Mark Grimshaw recently gave the following assurance:
“We know that BPS money is hugely important to farmers so we want to give everyone all the help they need to make their 2016 claim on time. That is why we’re geared up to help with extensive support available online at GOV.UK, over the phone and in person. Our helpline people are working seven days a week answering calls and 14 support centres are available to help people claim online. People can drop-in during the week and we have plenty of appointments left for weekend visits.
We are urging people to apply using the Rural Payments service, but I want to reassure farmers that there is a paper option for those who need it.
The level of applications submitted or in progress means we are on track, with figures to date matching this stage in previous years. But we are never complacent and hundreds of RPA people are standing by to help farmers get their applications done and in on time.”
Other Key dates
Other important dates that you should be aware of regarding the 2016 BPS claim are:
- 9 May 2016: this was the last day that farmers were able to ask the RPA for a paper form to make sure it is received by 12 May, giving applicants time to complete and submit the form by midnight on 16 May.
- 31 May 2016: the last day to make changes to a BPS claim submitted before 16 May without incurring penalties. You should note that you are able to make changes to your claims submitted before 16th May, right up to 31st May, without incurring any penalties.
If a farmer does not submit their BPS claim by midnight on 16 May 2016, they are still able to make a claim until midnight on 10 June 2016. However, you should be aware that penalties apply to claims submitted between those dates. This means that farmers will lose 1% of the value of their claim for every working day after the 16 May deadline that their application arrives at the RPA. The penalty rate is 3% for farmers applying for new entitlements from the national reserve.
If you have any queries regarding submission of your application please contact the agricultural team at Myerson who will be happy to assist.