Over 50 percent (44,800) of completed Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) applications have now been received by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) - but with 2 weeks remaining, farmers are urged to submit their BPS 2015 applications as soon as possible.
Ahead of the 15 June deadline for BPS claims, farmers still have time to post their application. Alternatively, they can take it to one of the RPA’s 50 drop-in centres where an advisor can carry out a basic check and issue a receipt. The check will ensure applicants have included their Single Business Identifier (SBI) number, land data, filled in the active farmer section and signed the declaration.
Opening hours have been extended at some drop-in centres and full details of locations and opening times can be found on GOV.UK - search for ‘find help to claim rural payments’.
Any farmer who has not received their BP5 application form should contact the Rural Payments helpline on 03000 200 301. If a farmer has given an agent permission to act on their behalf they should check if forms have been sent to the agent first.
Farmers and land managers who are claiming under existing agri-environment or woodland grant schemes are reminded that their deadline is also 15 June.
Claimants should submit their applications as soon as possible and contact Natural England or the Forestry Commission, if they need help.
Latest support available
This week RPA mobile support units are visiting a range of locations including:
|2 to 4 June
||NFU Office, South of England Showground, Ardingly, West Sussex
||9am to 4pm
||NFU Mutual, Wormbridge Court, Wormbridge, Herefordshire, HR2 9DH
||9:30am to 4pm
||Upper Teesdale Agricultural Support Services Ltd (UTASS), Middleton -in-Teesdale, Co. Durham, DL112
||9am to 12pm
||Ward & Chowen, Tavistock Livestock Centre, Tavistock, Devon, PL19 9BS
||9am to 5pm
||Northallerton Auctions Ltd, Applegarth Mart, Northallerton, North Yorkshire, DL7 8LZ
||10am to 5pm
||Thame Farmers Auction Mart ltd, The Cattle Market, Thame, Oxfordshire, OX9 3FD
||8am to 4pm
In addition, anyone attending the North Sheep event in Cumbria on 3 June, or the Royal Cornwall Show from 4-6 June, can visit the RPA stand to hand in their BPS application or register on the Rural Payments system.
The RPA will also be at the Cereals show in Lincolnshire from 10-11 June together with Natural England who will be on hand to answer questions about Environmental Stewardship agreements and the new Countryside Stewardship scheme.
Submitting BPS claims
If you post your form to RPA, they will issue a receipt by first class post. If you have not received one within five working days of sending your form, please call the Rural Payments helpline on 03000 200 301. Receipts are sent to the business address farmers have recorded on the Rural Payments online system.
The RPA has published a handy checklist to help farmers complete their BPS applications. They’ve also published some top tips to help farmers make their claim.
The RPA will accept your BP5 application form whether Part I is filled in or not. This will not affect the way claims are processed.
An agent or empowered person should ensure the permissions their clients have given them are up to date on Rural Payments.
Here are some clarifications about correct levels of permission you need as an agent or an empowered person:
RLE1 form to transfer entitlements
‘Amend Entitlements’ or ‘BPS Submit’ permission levels are the levels of permission required by an agent / empowered person to send in a signed RLE1 form for entitlement transfers.
The RPA will check with the customer before actioning an entitlement transfer in the event the empowered person does not have ‘Amend Entitlements’.
RLE1 form for land changes
‘Amend Land’ or ‘BPS Amend’ or ‘BPS Submit’ are the levels of permission an agent / empowered person needs to send in a signed RLE1 form for land changes.
RLE1 form for land transfers
‘Amend Land’ or ‘BPS Amend’ or ‘BPS Submit’ are the levels of permission an agent / empowered person needs to send in a signed RLE1 form for land transfers.
The RPA will check with the customer before actioning a land transfer in the event the empowered person does not have ‘Amend Land’.
Make young/new farmer declaration on BP5
You can make a young or new farmer declaration on behalf of a client with ‘full business permissions’ or ‘BPS Amend’ or ‘BPS Submit’ permissions.
Applying for entitlements
You can apply for BPS entitlements (from the ‘national reserve’) with ‘Amend Entitlements’ or ‘BPS Submit’ permissions.
Updating permissions on Rural Payments
If you have submitted a BP5 claim form on behalf of a client and you do not have the correct permissions on the online Rural Payments service, please ensure your client makes the necessary changes at gov.uk/ruralpayments.
If you submit claims with missing permissions, the RPA will check with your client after the 15 June application deadline and if the customer gives permissions, the claim will be processed.