Collection

Cross compliance

If you're a farmer or land manager and claim rural payments, you must follow a set of rules called cross compliance.

What is cross compliance?

Cross compliance is made up of ‘Statutory Management Requirements’ (SMRs) and standards for ‘Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions of land’ (GAECs).

They cover:

  • public, animal and plant health
  • environment, climate change and good agricultural condition of land
  • animal welfare.

There’s a lot you need to do to meet the rules, however, in most cases these are things that you should be doing anyway. Depending on the type of holding you have, you may not need to follow every SMR and GAEC.

Who must follow the cross compliance rules?

If you claim these rural payments, you must follow the cross compliance rules:

  • Basic Payment Scheme

  • Countryside Stewardship

  • Entry Level Stewardship

    (including Organic Entry Level Stewardship and Uplands Entry Level Stewardship) agreements starting on or after 1 January 2007

  • Higher Level Stewardship

    (including Organic Higher Level Stewardship and Uplands Higher Level Stewardship) agreements starting on or after 1 January 2007

  • English Woodland Grant Scheme

    (Woodland Management Grant and Farm Woodland Premium elements) agreements starting on or after 1 January 2007.

Inspections

To check that claimants are following cross compliance properly, RPA and the Animal and Plant Health Agency must carry out inspections on a selection of holdings each year. If the inspector finds something wrong, you could lose some (or all) of your rural payments.

Regulations

The main regulations relating to cross compliance are as follows (this is not a complete list):

  • Regulation EUR 2013/1306
  • Regulation EUR 2014/640
  • Regulation EUR 2014/809
  • The Direct Payments to Farmers and Cross Compliance (Simplifications) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2020
  • The Common Agricultural Policy (Control and Enforcement, Cross-Compliance, Scrutiny of Transactions and Appeals) Regulations 2014 (which sets out all the GAECs).

Contact RPA

The Farming Advice Service – if you need help

The Farming Advice Service (FAS) is funded by Defra to provide free, confidential advice to farmers and farming industry advisers to help them understand and meet requirements for cross compliance, water use and quality, and pesticide use including integrated pest management planning.

Call them on 03000 200 301 or search online for more information about the Farming Advice Service.

Read old cross compliance guidance on the National Archives website

Cross compliance 2021

Farmers and land managers must follow these cross compliance rules from 1 January 2021 for the whole year if they claim for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), a stewardship scheme or the English Woodland Grant Scheme (EWGS) in 2021.

Cross compliance 2020

Cross compliance guidance for the Basic Payment Scheme, Countryside Stewardship and certain rural development schemes – for the 2020 year only.

Cross compliance 2019

Cross compliance guidance for the Basic Payment Scheme, Countryside Stewardship and certain rural development schemes – for the 2019 year only.

Cross compliance 2018

Cross compliance guidance for the Basic Payment Scheme, Countryside Stewardship and certain rural development schemes – for the 2018 year only.

Cross compliance 2017

Cross compliance guidance for the Basic Payment Scheme, Countryside Stewardship and certain rural development schemes – for the 2017 year only.

Cross compliance 2016

Cross compliance guidance for the Basic Payment Scheme, Countryside Stewardship and certain rural development schemes – for the 2016 year only.

Cross compliance 2015

Cross compliance guidance for the Basic Payment Scheme, Countryside Stewardship and certain rural development schemes – for the 2015 year only.

Published 15 July 2014
Last updated 18 December 2020 + show all updates
  1. The 'Guide to cross compliance in England 2021' has been published.

  2. Published the 'Guide to cross compliance in England 2020'

  3. Cross compliance 2018 page published

  4. GAEC 7a and 7c August cutting derogation - removed reminder to apply.

  5. Derogation reminder - GAEC 7a Boundaries and GAEC 7c Trees - cutting or trimming in August 2016.

  6. added 2106 cross compliance guidance

  7. First published.