Cross compliance

If you claim rural payments you must follow a set of rules called cross compliance.

You must follow the cross compliance rules if you claim these rural payments:

  • the Single Payment Scheme

  • the Basic Payment Scheme

  • Countryside Stewardship

  • Entry Level Stewardship

    (including Organic Entry Level Stewardship and Uplands Entry Level Stewardship)

  • Higher Level Stewardship

    (including Organic Higher Level Stewardship and Uplands Higher Level Stewardship, but not including HLS agreements that started before 1 January 2007)

  • English Woodland Grant Scheme

    (Woodland Management Grant and Farm Woodland Premium elements only)

There are quite a lot of things you need to do follow the rules and some of them are quite complicated. They cover:

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

You could get inspected to check that you’re following the rules properly. If you’re not, you could lose some (or all) of your rural payments.

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, ‘greening’, water protection and the sustainable use of pesticides.

Call their helpline on 0345 345 1302 or search online for more information about the Farming Advice Service.

Read old cross compliance guidance on the National Archives website


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

  • Regulation 1306/2013
  • Regulation 640/2014
  • Regulation 809/2014

You can also refer to ‘The Common Agricultural Policy (Control and Enforcement, Cross-Compliance, Scrutiny of Transactions and Appeals) Regulations 2014’ which sets out all the GAECs.

Contact RPA


Guide to cross compliance in England 2016

30 December 2015 - Guidance

  1. Cross compliance: guidance for 2015

    • Guidance


  1. Cross compliance: inspections

    • Detailed guide
  2. Cross compliance: 2013 inspection results

    • Official Statistics