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Minister Coughlan reminds farmers about the deadline of 15 May 2008 for applications to transfer payment entitlements for the 2008 Single Payment Scheme Year

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Mary Coughlan TD, today reminded farmers and their advisors that the closing date for receipt of applications to transfer entitlements for the 2008 Single Payment Scheme year is 15 May 2008.

The Minister said that entitlements may be transferred by way of sale/lease/gift or inheritance.

Entitlements may be sold with or without land but can only be sold without land once 80% have been used in a preceding calendar year.

Entitlements cannot be leased without land. They can only be leased out to another farmer if accompanied by an equivalent number of hectares of eligible land. Entitlements may also be transferred, with or without land, by gift or through inheritance.

In the event of inheritance of an estate where the land is bequeathed to one party and the residue of the estate is bequeathed to another party, the entitlements form part of the residue of the estate unless otherwise specified in the Will.

In the event that a herdowner wishes to make any change to his/her herdnumber, such as the addition/removal or change of name, and wishes the entitlements to also be changed to the new name, a Transfer of Entitlement form must be completed.

National Reserve entitlements may only be transferred by way of gift or inheritance.

The Minister said that a specific application form for the Transfer of Entitlements for the 2008 scheme year, along with the detailed rules attaching to Transferring Entitlements, has been published and is available from Local Offices of the Department or the Department's website at http://www.agriculture.gov.ie or from Teagasc. These forms are also available from the Transfer of Entitlement Section, Single Payment Unit, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Eircom Buildings, Knockmay, Portlaoise, Co Laois at Lo-Call 1890-200-560.

If a farmer wishes to apply to Transfer Entitlements in respect of the 2008 Single Payment Scheme year, the completed application form, along with any supporting documentation, must be submitted by the closing date of 15 May 2008.

The Minister said that last year 70% of all Transfer of Entitlement applications had to be returned because of the incomplete nature of the material submitted. This caused inevitable delays. In order to avoid such problems, and to assist farmers in completing their Transfer application, her Department has placed a number of standard documents on the Department's website which include:

  • Standard Lease Agreement
  • Standard Partnership Agreement
  • Standard Dissolution Agreement
  • Transfer of Entitlement Indemnity Form (where transfer is via inheritance and Grant of Probate is not available)
  • Transfer of Entitlement Waiver Form (where beneficiaries of a Will wish to waiver the entitlements to a third party).

These documents/forms are also available from the Transfer of Entitlement Section, Single Payment Unit, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Eircom Buildings, Knockmay, Portlaoise, Co Laois at Lo-Call 1890-200-560, Local Offices of the Department or from Teagasc.

Transfer of an entire holding between 31 May 2008 and 31 December 2008.

The Minister reminded farmers that the 10 months land availability rule has now been abolished. To claim the direct payment under the 2008 Single Payment Scheme, all of the hectares of land declared by a farmer to support a claim (owned, rented-in and leased-in) must be available to the farmer for a period that includes 31 May 2008.

(This date was included in Council Regulation (EC) No 1782/2003 (as amended) to avoid dual claims on the same land parcel).

Where an entire holding is transferred from one farmer to another, between the date of application for the Single Payment Scheme and 31 December 2008, no payment can be made to the transferor as conditions for granting the Single Payment concerned have not been fulfilled.

For payment to issue to the transferee, the transferee must agree to succeed to the responsibilities of the transferor by completing a Declaration of Undertaking (SPS/UND).

This form must be completed by both the Transferor and Transferee and must be accompanied by a Transfer of Entitlement form (SPS/TE) available on the Department's website http://www.agriculture.gov.ie

The transferee must fulfil the conditions for granting the aid and honour the undertakings given by the transferor.

The holding transferred will be considered as a separate holding and will not be combined with any existing holding held by the transferee for the year in which the transfer occurs.

Date Released: 28 March 2008