- Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, Rural Payments Agency, Environment Agency, Natural England, and Animal and Plant Health Agency
- Part of:
- Animal and plant health, Rural economy and community, and Farming industry regulation
- 15 July 2014
- Last updated:
- 27 October 2016, see all updates
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).
- 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
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.
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.
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.
Helpline 03000 200 301
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 them on 03000 200 301 or search online for more information about the Farming Advice Service.
Cross compliance 2017
Farmers and land managers must follow these cross compliance rules from 1 January 2017 if they claim for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), a stewardship scheme or the English Woodland Grant Scheme (EWGS) in 2017.
Cross compliance 2016
Cross compliance guidance for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), a stewardship scheme or the English Woodland Grant Scheme (EWGS) - 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
Updated: 27 October 2016
- GAEC 7a and 7c August cutting derogation - removed reminder to apply.
- Derogation reminder - GAEC 7a Boundaries and GAEC 7c Trees - cutting or trimming in August 2016.
- added 2106 cross compliance guidance
- First published.