Transfer BPS Entitlements by 2 May 2017

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The deadline for notifying the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) of a transfer of entitlements for the 2017 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) is 02 May 2017.

What is an entitlement?

BPS entitlements form the basis for payment under the BPS. To receive payment a farm business must hold entitlements which they then can activate against an equivalent hectare of land (by declaring the land on their 2017 Single Application) in order to claim payment under the Basic Payment Scheme. Entitlements were first allocated in 2015 but farm businesses can transfer entitlements by sale, gift or lease to another farm business.

I have entitlements that I won’t be activating in 2017, what should I do?

You don’t have to activate all your entitlements every year. However, it is important to note that under the two year rule, any entitlements that you don’t use for two years in a row will be confiscated. For example, if you did not activate your entitlements in the 2016 scheme year you will be at risk of having these confiscated if you do not activate them in the 2017 scheme year. If you are no longer farming, and therefore not claiming payment under BPS, you can sell or lease your entitlements by transferring them to another farm business.

How can I check my entitlements?

You will be able to view the quantity, unit value and total value of your BPS entitlements within your 2017 Single Application. If you successfully transferred entitlements or received a transfer of entitlements during 2016 then your most up-to-date position will be shown. The land which you claim on your 2017 Single Application, to activate your BPS entitlements, must be the eligible land which you are farming in 2017 and where the agricultural activity being carried out is under your control, ie you have the decision making power and bear the benefits and financial risks of the agricultural activity.

How can I transfer my entitlements?

This year you can complete any transfers by sale, gift or lease through DAERA’s online transfer service. Log on to www.daera-ni.gov.uk/onlineservices and ‘click’ on the menu option ‘BPS Entitlements’ and from here you can access the ‘Entitlement Transfer Service’. This is a convenient, quick and easy to use service which provides automatic transfer of entitlements, cutting out paperwork and saving you time. You will need the Business ID and Entitlement Transfer ID of the person you are transferring your entitlements to. Once you have completed the transfer you will get a confirmation email straight away.

If you are nominating an agent to complete the transfer on your behalf, make sure you provide them with the Business ID and Entitlement Transfer ID of the farm business you are transferring to in order to avoid any delay.

Transfers of entitlements due to inheritance must be completed using the paper TE1 form which is available to download from the Department’s website at www.daera-ni.gov.uk/publications/transfer-entitlements-forms or can be requested by calling 0300 200 7848. Completed forms must be received by the Department by 02 May 2017.

Need assistance?

Further information and guidance including the ‘2017 Guide to the Basic Payment Scheme’ and the ‘Guide to the Transfer of Basic Payment Scheme Entitlements’ are available on the Department’s website at:

www.daera-ni.gov.uk/articles/area-based-schemes-2017-information-and-guidance

You can view a helpful ‘how to’ video which demonstrates how to complete your transfer of entitlements online. This is available here:

www.daera-ni.gov.uk/articles/how-transfer-bps-entitlements-online

You can call the SAF Advisory Service on 0300 200 7848 between 9.00 am to 5.00 pm Monday to Friday, excluding Bank Holidays.

Don’t Delay!

Over 1,000 farm businesses have already successfully completed their online transfer of entitlements for 2017 BPS. We recommend you check your position and gather your information now to make sure you have completed the transfer before the 02 May deadline, avoiding any risk to payments.

Applications to transfer entitlements received after the 02 May 2017 will not take effect until the 2018 BPS scheme year.