Payment claims for EFS must be made on SA

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The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) has reminded farmers who have an Environmental Farming Scheme (EFS) agreement that they must submit their claim for payment on the online 2019 Single Application.

Claims can be made from 8 April 2019 for Wider Level agreements from 1 July 2017 or 1 January 2019 and Higher Level agreement from 1 January 2018 or 1 January 2019.

You do not need a separate claim for EFS. There is a section specifically for EFS on the online Single Application and you must complete this section to claim your EFS payment. You should also complete the Land Details Section of the Single Application regardless of whether or not you wish to claim for the Basic Payment Scheme.

It is important that you make sure your claim is as accurate as possible. This may include reducing areas to reflect ineligible features in fields.

You may also need to reduce the lengths of linear options such as hedging or fencing to match the amount you have actually completed and similarly for capital items like gates and posts.

If you are claiming for Irish Moiled Cattle, ensure your livestock unit calculations are correct and include the ear tags of all eligible animals.

If you claimed for a Capital Item or a Non-Productive Investment (NPI) in year one of your agreement for which payment has been made, you are still required to maintain and claim these Capital Items/NPIs in years 2 to 5 of your EFS Scheme.

If it becomes clear, after you have submitted your Single Application, that you will not complete all of the EFS work claimed for, you can make changes and resubmit up to 10 June 2019.

After that you can use an EFS SAF3 Amendment Form (as you would for Basic Payment Scheme) to reduce your claim, unless we have notified you of an inspection before you submit a SAF3.

Download advice and guidance in making your EFS claim on the Single Application at: https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/publications/how-complete-your-efs-claim-online-2019 or call the Single Application Advisory Service on 0300 200 7848 or use the convenient web chat facility within the application or you can also email areabasedschemes@daera-ni.gov.uk.

Advisers will help you with any queries about your application or the schemes.

The closing date for the 2019 Single Application is midnight 15 May 2019. Applications received after this date will incur a penalty. Check out the list of key dates to bear in mind when completing your application at: https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/publications/single-application-2019-key-dates-and-checklist

Government Gateway

The Government Gateway Service has been updated recently.

Check you have access to DAERA Online Services to prevent any delay with your 2019 Single Application. If you need help contact your local DAERA Direct Office on 0300 200 7848 or 0300 200 7840.

Workshops

DAERA are running a series of ‘How to Complete your Single Application’ workshops at CAFRE campuses in Enniskillen, Cookstown (Loughry) and Antrim (Greenmount). These workshops are very popular and you don’t need any particular IT skills to attend as staff will be there to help you.

Book a place now by contacting 028 7131 9955. This is an appointment only service, so make the call now and don’t miss out while places are available.

Direct Payments for the 2019 scheme year will be made on the same basis as before. Rules derived from current EU legislation for the Basic Payment Scheme, Greening and Young Farmers’ Payment will apply throughout the whole of 2019.