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€20 Million in Annual Premium Payments to Issue to Forest Owners

The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with Special Responsibility for Forestry, Tom Hayes, has announced that the annual tax-free forestry premium payments for 2016 will be issued in the coming days, and indicated that payments should reach bank accounts week beginning Monday 11 April 2016.  The payments currently being issued are to those forest owners who applied through the paper-based system. 

Minister Hayes said “this year, €19.76 million in respect of some 6,600 such applications is being paid in this week’s bulk payment run, bringing the total value of forestry premium paid so far this year to almost €55 million. The Department will continue to process forestry premium applications as they are received throughout the year, with the total paid in forest premiums each year averaging just over €75 million.

Forest premiums are payable annually under the Afforestation Grant and Premium Scheme, which also provides grants to landowners to cover the cost of planting new forests.  The Scheme supports the planting of different types of forests ranging from commercial forests for timber production to native woodlands planted for conservation purposes.

Forest owners, who are still eligible for forest premiums on their plantations, may apply for the payment of the annual premium online, through the Department’s Online Services (www.agfood.ie), or by completion and return of the Application for Annual Forest Premium (Form 4).  To date, almost 9,000 online forestry premium applications, valued at nearly €35 million, have been processed and paid through the Department’s online services. 

A new Afforestation Grant and Premium Scheme came into operation on 1st January 2015 under the Forestry Programme 2014-2020.  In addition to the availability of establishment grants, an annual forestry premium of up to €635 per hectare for 15 years is available under the Scheme, details of which, including associated terms and conditions, are available on the Forestry page of the Department’s website http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/forestservice/

Note for editors

The Department’s forestry online services now facilitate payment to forestry applicants who use the Integrated Forest Information System (IFORIS) over the Internet. The IFORIS computer system was developed by the Forest Service for the processing of forestry pre-approval, grant and premium applications. The system was subsequently expanded to IFORIS Internet (iNet) to provide facilities to forestry companies to submit and manage their clients’ forestry scheme applications online. Forest owners who are not registered and who would like to avail of this online service can register online at www.agfood.ie

View Press Release as a PDF:  DAFMPR 35/2016 (pdf 370Kb) 

 

 

Date Released: 08 April 2016