Everything rural businesses need to know about the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) in 2017.
7 December - Commons eligibility checks
These are checks on the eligibility of land cover on common land. For more information about these checks please see commons eligibility checks.
15 November - ‘An update on the Basic Payment scheme’ is published
2017 payments: payments for BPS 2017 will start on 1 December. To find out more, read An update on the Basic Payment Scheme (PDF, 607KB, 4 pages) which explains:
why some claims may not be paid in December
important updates about greening
cross compliance update
preparing for BPS 2018
15 November - Greening Administrative Penalties
These are additional penalties that will be applied to the greening part of Basic Payment Scheme payments from 2017 onwards. For more information about these penalties please see greening administrative penalties.
How BPS 2017 payments are calculated
To find out how payments are calculated, read the ‘Payments, Reductions and Penalties’ section of the Basic Payment Scheme: rules for 2017. Page 89 explains how RPA calculates payments.
You may also need to read information about greening administrative penalties that apply from BPS 2017.
The BPS 2017 exchange rate is: €1 = £0.89470.
Entitlement values for 2017
|Payment region||Entitlement value|
|Non-SDA (Severely Disadvantaged area)||€180.46|
Greening payment rates for 2017
|Payment region||Greening payment rate|
|Non-SDA (Severely Disadvantaged area)||€77.69|
Payment queries from previous years
If you have a query about a BPS payment that you’ve received, please fill in a BPS payment query form and send it to RPA.
Commons eligibility checks
RPA regularly checks and updates its digital maps. This includes common land. Land cover eligibility on common land is checked using the latest enhanced satellite images and a limited number of supplementary physical land checks. These checks are different from RPA’s usual land eligibility checks. The main differences are:
RPA is checking the eligibility of the land cover on commons and not land boundaries
RPA is surveying the eligible area of a common separately to the enclosed land farmed by the common land graziers who declared grazing rights on the common for BPS
Graziers claim for a common by declaring their grazing rights rather than applying directly for an area of land. This means that there will be no penalties for over-declaring if RPA discovers the eligible area is less than previously used
When and where to check for changes
RPA needs to make sure that all land data on their systems is no more than 3 years old. These checks are carried out on an ongoing basis. This means each common will not be checked every year.
After a common is checked, if the eligible area has changed, RPA will write to those customers who declare rights on it. RPA will publish the new eligible area on GOV.UK.
The changes might affect the value of customers’ BPS 2017 and agri-environment and woodland claims and payments.
This is because the ‘notional area’ used to calculate a customer’s 2017 BPS payment may be less than last year. Therefore, their 2017 BPS payment may be lower than they are expecting. Read more information about how the ‘notional area’ of the common is calculated on page 28 of the Basic Payment Scheme: rules for 2017 (PDF, 4.33MB, 118 pages) .
What to do if you do not agree with the updates
Customers who want to query the revised eligible area need to discuss their query with the other commoners, and relevant Commons Association or equivalent organisation, to reach an agreed view.
It is important that individual customers do not make any changes to the land cover on the common, such as removing scrub, without discussing it with the other graziers/commoners. This is because it might affect the scheme agreements in place with other commoners.
Once customers have reviewed and discussed the findings with the other commoners, if they still want to query or disagree with RPA’s findings, they can call RPA on 03000 200 301.
RPA will focus on making payments using the updated eligible areas and then will review any queries received. This is to avoid delays in making payments.
Helpline opening hours over the Christmas and New Year period
Our customer helpline will be open as follows.
|Monday 18 December||Friday 22 December||Normal opening hours (8.30am – 5pm)|
|Saturday 23 December||Tuesday 26 December||Closed|
|Wednesday 27 December||Friday 29 December||Normal opening hours (8.30am – 5pm)|
|Saturday 30 December||Monday 1 January||Closed|
|Tuesday 2 January||Fri 5 January||Normal opening hours (8.30am – 5pm)|
Rural Payments service
You can use the Rural Payments service to:
- Register for rural payments
- View your BPS 2017 application summary
- Update your personal and business details
- Give someone else (like an agent) permission to act on your behalf
- View your BPS entitlements
- See and print digital maps of your land parcels
Now the 2017 application period is over, you cannot use the service to:
edit land use
add or delete common rights
make an active farmer declaration for BPS 2017
RPA will let you know when you can do this for BPS 2018.
From 15 May, it was not possible to:
transfer entitlements to use in the BPS 2017 scheme year – either online or using an RLE1 form
transfer land using the Rural Payment service (You can use an RLE1 form for land changes during the BPS 2017 scheme year, as long as the land was at your disposal on 15 May)
RPA will let you know when you can do this for BPS 2018 using the Rural Payments service, so you don’t need to send an RLE1 form.
How to use the Rural Payments service – help is available
There’s help onscreen in the service to guide you if you get stuck (you can also download a copy of the onscreen help (PDF, 2.45MB, 55 pages) )
Updates to digital maps on the Rural Payments service
The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) is making a number of updates to digital maps, this started in August 2017 and will continue through into autumn 2017. For more information on these updates please see the RLE1 page.
To view your individual land parcels, go to: www.ruralpayments.service.gov.uk/. From the ‘Business overview’ screen, click ‘Land’ then ‘View land’.
We will use these land updates to calculate BPS 2017 payments.
Planned maintenance of the Rural Payments service
There will be times when the Rural Payments service is unavailable because of essential planned maintenance and updates.
Check ‘Rural Payments: registering and updating your details’ to keep updated about availability of the Rural Payments service.
Forgotten your online password?
If you’re logging in with a Customer Reference Number (CRN) and have forgotten your password, you can create a new one from the sign-in page.
Click ‘Having trouble signing in?’ then ‘create a new one’.
If you can’t remember your CRN, call RPA on 03000 200 301.
Scheme rules and other guidance
- Basic Payment Scheme: rules for 2017 (PDF, 4.33MB, 118 pages) find out how the scheme works
Other guidance and forms you may need
- Active farmer certificate.
- Active farmer readmission: accountant certificate
- Rural Payments: land use codes
Greening workbook for 2017 (PDF, 287KB, 10 pages)
- The guide to cross compliance in England 2017
Winter varieties of Brassica crops for ‘crop diversification’ (PDF, 112KB, 3 pages)
- Young and new farmer form (PDF, 231KB, 8 pages) (including applications for entitlements) and guidance on completing the Young and new farmer form (PDF, 669KB, 11 pages)
Read the RLE1 form and guidance if you need to use an RLE1 form to change your online maps, or to transfer entitlements by paper.
Guidance to help you apply
- How to claim BPS online in 2017 (PDF, 3.26MB, 46 pages) gives extra information about claiming online
- How to apply using a paper form (PDF, 907KB, 60 pages) gives extra information about applying on paper
- Not applied online before? (PDF, 2.49MB, 2 pages) leaflet gives paper customers information to help apply online
- BPS 2017: Hints and tips (PDF, 1MB, 24 pages) to help you make your application
BP5 continuation booklet – Part C: Field data sheet (PDF, 171KB, 12 pages)
BP5 continuation booklet – Part D: Greening: ecological focus areas (EFA) (PDF, 174KB, 8 pages)
BP5 continuation booklet – Part E: Common land grazing rights (PDF, 162KB, 8 pages)
Helpline 03000 200 301
Published: 23 August 2016
Updated: 7 December 2017
- Information about checks on the eligibility of land cover on common land has been added.
- Greening Administrative Penalties information added 'An update on the Basic Payment Scheme' for 2017 published
- Link to Active farmer certificate and guidance page added
- Latest news - the euro exchange rate for BPS 2017 payments has been set.
- Updated Latest News with 'The Rural Payments helpline will close on Friday 25 August at 5pm and reopen on Tuesday 29 August at 8.30am.'
- Update to latest news to include: 14 August - updates to digital maps on the Rural Payments service.
- Deadline for RPA to receive BPS applications has passed. Some functions on Rural Payments have been switched off.
- Added Spring Bank holiday opening times
- Update to text about Changing an application after you've submitted it.
- Updates to 'latest news' section - it's not too late, you can still apply for BPS; and to information about transferring land and entitlements online. Information included about changing an application after it's been submitted. Information updated about drop-in centres.
- Reminder about the application deadline for BPS 2017.
- Slight formatting changes to BPS 2017: Hints and tips document
- BPS 2017: Hints and tips document added
- Updated opening times for Drop in centres and Contact centre for weekends of application period
- Not applied online before leaflet added
- Easter and bank holiday opening hours published
- New and Young Farmer guidance and form updated
- Added Maize and Mangosteen to the eligible crop list within the BPS 2017 scheme rules
- Launch of BPS 2017 on 1 March, including publication of BPS scheme rules for 2017 and associated forms and guidance.
- Updated with a reminder about what BPS applicants can do now - in advance of applications being available in early March.
- Updated with link to the newly published 2017 cross compliance rules.
- Updated with important information about the 2017 scheme year - including the scheme rules and how to apply.
- First published.