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Minister Coveney reminds farmers of closing date for late amendments under 2012 Single Farm Payment

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, TD, today reminded farmers of their options, should they need to make amendments to their applications under the 2012 Single Payment Scheme.

"Amendments to 2012 SPS applications, including the addition of parcels/plots, may be made up to 31 May 2012, using the appropriate 2012 SPS Amendment Form”, the Minister explained. This form sets down full details of the circumstances under which amendments during this period will be accepted. "While certain amendments will be allowed after 31 May, under governing EU rules, these will be subject to a 1% reduction for each working day the amendment is late, up to, and including 9 June", the Minister said. Minister Coveney confirmed that there is also a facility to withdraw land, reduce the claimed area of a parcel or change parcel use for eligible to ineligible (for example, the transfer of a house site), without penalty, after the 31 May deadline. "Farmers are free to use this option provided the farmer in question has not been notified by my Department of any irregularities concerning his/her application, nor notified of an on-the-spot inspection. Furthermore, the option is not available where either full or partial payment of SPS has issued", the Minister explained.

Concluding, the Minister confirmed that provision is again being made under the 2012 Scheme for the resolution of recognised 'innocent errors', without penalty. "An obvious or innocent error would be a minor clerical error, generally relating to missing details for an application, such as crop use. Perhaps one of the parties in a joint application failed to sign the form. Another example would be where the same parcel is declared twice, on the same application form, by mistake. My Department considers each such case on its merits".

Copies of the 2012 SPS Amendment Form are available from the Department's Single Payment Unit in Portlaoise, Department Local Offices, Teagasc and other Agricultural Consultants. It is also available on the Department's website www.agriculture.gov.ie

Date Released: 28 May 2012