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Minister Smith reminds farmers that the closing date for receipt of amendment forms under the 2008 Single Payment Scheme is 3rd June 2008

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith, TD, today reminded farmers that the closing date for receipt of amendment forms under the 2008 Single Payment Scheme is Tuesday, 3 June 2008. "I am anxious that farmers be fully aware of the closing date for receipt of amendment forms, particularly as it allows farmers the opportunity to make amendments to their SPS applications, without incurring a penalty," the Minister said. He added that the date of 3 June arises because it is the first working day after the regulatory deadline of 31 May which falls on a Saturday.

Amendments to applications under the 2008 Single Payment Scheme, including the addition of parcels or plots and the amending of net areas, is allowed without penalty, on or before Tuesday, 3 June 2008. While amendment forms with additional parcels, plots or amended net areas will be accepted after this date, the payment due on the parcel(s) concerned will be reduced by 1% for each working day the amendment form is late up to and including 9th June. After that date, in accordance with the regulatory penalty as laid down in the governing EU regulations, all late applications and amendments are subject, except in cases of force majeure, to a 100% penalty.

An applicant may withdraw land from an application any time after the 3 June closing date for amendments, provided the Department has not notified the individual concerned of any irregularities concerning the individual's SPS application or, if the applicant has been notified of an on-the-ground inspection and should that inspection subsequently reveal an irregularity, an amendment to that part of the application affected by the irregularity revealed at inspection, cannot be accepted.

The Minister noted that initial screening by his officials shows that many application forms are incorrectly completed in the parcel-use column, in that the necessary distinction is not being made between winter and spring crops or the applicant did not declare a claimed (net) area, if it was not pre-printed. While this is the first year that this distinction in arable crops is necessary, the Minister noted that where forms are incorrectly completed it would be necessary to clarify the issue via correspondence with the farmer in question, which will inevitably result in delays in processing applications. "I would therefore urge all applicants to check the copy of their application form, which they retained, and, where they identify an error or omission, advise my Department immediately. In doing this, processing will not be delayed, thereby helping ensure that payments issue from the earliest possible date," the Minister concluded.

23 May 2008

Note

While the regulatory deadline under the governing EU regulations for the receipt of amendment forms under the 2008 Single Payment Scheme is 31 May 2008, as this date falls on a Saturday, a non-working day, as defined, under EU rules, the closing date must then be close of business on the next working day, which in this instance is Tuesday, 3 June 2008, as Monday, 2 June is a Bank Holiday.

Date Released: 23 May 2008