- Part of:
- Farming and rural
Deadline extended by one month.
The deadline for submitting Single Application Forms (SAF) for farm funding has been extended by one month to June 15, 2016.
It comes after the European Commission granted Member States the discretion to extend the application window again this year, in recognition of the challenges implementing the new, more complex Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) being experienced by nations across the EU.
The Rural Payments and Services online application system continues to operate well. The Scottish Government expects to receive around 21,000 SAFs and for the vast majority of customers there is nothing to delay submission this year. However, a small number of farmers, principally around 1,300 who were subject to land inspections in respect of their 2015 claims, have not yet been provided with fully updated mapping data on which to base their 2016 claim.
Following discussion with NFUS representatives, who requested an application extension, the Scottish Government has now confirmed it will make use of this flexibility and extend the SAF window.
Given that the system is working well for the majority of farmers, Scottish Government encourage all those who can to submit their SAFs as soon as possible, and not to delay just because of the extension. The extension of the window will have an impact on the 2016 programme and the earlier SAFs are submitted, the earlier Scottish Government can begin the processing of 2016 claims, thereby mitigating the impact on the timetable for 2016 claims.
In a normal year, there is a period after the SAF submission deadline during which SAFs can be amended without penalty but under the EU's terms of the extension, there will be no such period in 2016. This means that for farmers who find they need to amend their SAF after submitting it, SAFs submitted earlier in the window can be amended before 15 June without penalty but SAFs submitted late and amended after 15 June may be subject to EU penalties.
The terms of the extension offered by the EU means that there is no separate penalty free period for amendments to add or increase a claim to a SAF. A SAF can be amended after June 15, 2016 by writing to the Scottish Government. SAFs amended, to add or increase a claim, between June 16 and July 11, 2016 will be subject to late penalties. The Scottish Government cannot accept a SAF received after July 11, 2016 unless Force Majeure or Exceptional Circumstance provisions apply.
As of May 9, 2016, a total of 8,758 SAFs have been submitted – 1,777 paper and 6,981 electronic – which is over 40 per cent of the expected total.
If customers have any queries about registering for the new system or completing their SAF, then they should contact their local RPID area office by phone or visit in person.
The deadline for submitting supporting Agri-Environment Climate Scheme documents remains unchanged at May 16, 2016.
Producers are also reminded that the Beef Efficiency Scheme, a five-year programme open to farmers and crofters to help improve the efficiency and genetic value of Scotland's suckler beef herd, is open for applications. The window for applications will close on Tuesday, 31 May, 2016.
So far, over 14,000 farmers and crofters have received 2015 Basic Payment Scheme and Greening payments, which equates to over 78 per cent of the 18,137 eligible claims. More than 5,100 claimants have received a National BPS payment while National LFASS payments, valued at over £53.9 million, have been made to over 11,000 farm businesses in Scotland's most remote and fragile areas. Almost 7,000 beef producers have also received a Scottish Suckler Beef Support Scheme payment. For more, see: https://www.ruralpayments.org/publicsite/futures/topics/your-business/your-2015-entitlements-and-payments/q-a-entitlements-and-payments-2015-2016/bps-payments-for-2015/