BPS 2017

Everything rural businesses need to know about the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) in 2017.

Latest news

Financial Discipline Mechanism (FDM) reimbursement

Farmers with a 2017 BPS claim worth more than €2,000 will receive a reimbursement from the 2016 FDM fund. Read the ‘Financial Discipline Mechanism Reimbursement’ section below for more information about the reimbursement.

The information on this page relates to the BPS 2017 scheme year.

For the latest news and information about BPS 2018, click here.

For the latest news and information about BPS 2019, click here.

20 December - BPS 2017 payments update

More than 71,000 farmers have now received their BPS 2017 payments.

Payments have been made to just under 84% of eligible claimants, worth some £1.3bn in total so far. More BPS payments will be released in the next few days and during next week.

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.

Common land grazing rights (PDF, 636KB, 54 pages) - to find out how the value of the common land part of the BPS payment is calculated read the example below.

The BPS 2017 exchange rate is: €1 = £0.89470.

Entitlement values for 2017

Payment region Entitlement value
Non-SDA (Severely Disadvantaged area) €180.46
SDA €178.90
SDA moorland €49.63

Greening payment rates for 2017

Payment region Greening payment rate
Non-SDA (Severely Disadvantaged area) €77.69
SDA €76.92
SDA moorland €21.32

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 2017

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 and updated information on these checks 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.

Example calculation:

How the value of the common land part of the BPS payment is calculated.

The common has:

  • an eligible area of 300ha; and

  • grazing rights being claimed under BPS for 200 sheep and 70 cattle.

RPA must calculate the livestock unit (LU) value of all the rights being claimed for the common:

  • Each sheep is equivalent to 0.15 LU, so the calculation for the sheep grazing rights being claimed is: 200 sheep x 0.15 LU = 30 LU

  • Each adult cow is 1 LU, so the calculation for the cattle grazing rights being claimed is: 70 cattle x 1 LU = 70 LU

  • The total LU being claimed for the common is therefore: 30 LU + 70 LU = 100 LU

  • The area to be allocated for each LU claimed for the common is calculated as: 300ha / 100 LU = 3.0ha/LU

  • If the farmer declared 40 LU of rights to activate entitlements on their BPS 2017 application they would be allocated 3.0ha/LU x 40 LU = 120ha of the total eligible area of the common.

  • This area will be used to activate entitlements in the same way as any other land declared by the farmer on their application. The examples shown above under ‘Main BPS payment’ and ‘Average entitlement value’ show how this is done.

The above examples are based on a single common and do not take account of any split rights.

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: From the ‘Business overview’ screen, click ‘Land’ then ‘View land’.

We will use these land updates to calculate BPS 2017 payments.

Financial Discipline Mechanism Reimbursement

Each year the European Commission uses some of the BPS budget to create a ‘crisis reserve’. This is used to support the farming industry in times of crisis, such as disease outbreak. To do this - and to make sure that the overall European budget for BPS is not exceeded - a mechanism called ‘financial discipline’ is used. ‘Financial discipline’ means BPS payments across all Member States are reduced.

If the FDM funds have not been used to relieve a crisis, they are reimbursed to eligible farmers in the following scheme year. Farmers with a 2017 BPS claim worth more than €2,000 will receive a reimbursement from the 2016 FDM fund.

Payments will start from early October 2018. The payment is called ‘FDM reimbursement’ on the remittance advice, which is being sent after a payment is made.

The rate to use to calculate the reimbursement for 2017 is 1.310%. RPA takes a farmer’s claim value, removes the first €2,000 and any reductions if they apply (but not cross compliance penalties), then multiplies this by 1.310%. They take the resulting amount and remove any cross compliance penalties from it.

Here’s an example:

A farmer has a claim value of €10,000

The reimbursement does not apply to the first €2,000:

€10,000 - €2,000 = €8,000

The reductions (not including any cross compliance penalties, for example, a late claim penalty) that apply to the 2017 claim = €200

€8,000 - €200 = €7,800

FDM reimbursement is €7800 x 1.310% = €102.18

A 5% cross compliance penalty applies:

€102.18 - 5% = €97.07

The FDM reimbursement is €97.07

Some farmers may receive a further payment under FDM for previous years.

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

Other guidance and forms you may need

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

Continuation booklets

Contact RPA


Helpline 03000 200 301

Published 23 August 2016
Last updated 28 September 2018 + show all updates
  1. We have included information for farmers with a 2017 BPS claim worth more than €2,000 as they will receive a reimbursement from the 2016 Financial Discipline Mechanism fund.

  2. We have updated the link to the 'Commons eligibility checks updated areas' and advised that updated information will also be published on the new page.

  3. Commons data for BPS 2017 added, and example calculation.

  4. Updated latest news to show BPS 2017 payments figures as at 20 December 2017

  5. Information about checks on the eligibility of land cover on common land has been added.

  6. Greening Administrative Penalties information added 'An update on the Basic Payment Scheme' for 2017 published

  7. Link to Active farmer certificate and guidance page added

  8. Latest news - the euro exchange rate for BPS 2017 payments has been set.

  9. 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.'

  10. Update to latest news to include: 14 August - updates to digital maps on the Rural Payments service.

  11. Deadline for RPA to receive BPS applications has passed. Some functions on Rural Payments have been switched off.

  12. Added Spring Bank holiday opening times

  13. Update to text about Changing an application after you've submitted it.

  14. 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.

  15. Reminder about the application deadline for BPS 2017.

  16. Slight formatting changes to BPS 2017: Hints and tips document

  17. BPS 2017: Hints and tips document added

  18. Updated opening times for Drop in centres and Contact centre for weekends of application period

  19. Not applied online before leaflet added

  20. Easter and bank holiday opening hours published

  21. New and Young Farmer guidance and form updated

  22. Added Maize and Mangosteen to the eligible crop list within the BPS 2017 scheme rules

  23. Launch of BPS 2017 on 1 March, including publication of BPS scheme rules for 2017 and associated forms and guidance.

  24. Updated with a reminder about what BPS applicants can do now - in advance of applications being available in early March.

  25. Updated with link to the newly published 2017 cross compliance rules.

  26. Updated with important information about the 2017 scheme year - including the scheme rules and how to apply.

  27. First published.