Cross compliance 2018

Farmers and land managers must follow these cross compliance rules from 1 January 2018 if they claim for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), a stewardship scheme or the English Woodland Grant Scheme (EWGS) in 2018.

This guidance is for the 2018 year only.

Find the latest rules on the cross compliance pages.


The guide to cross compliance in England 2018 (PDF, 1.65MB, 84 pages) Appendix - SMR 13: Animal welfare (PDF, 269KB, 8 pages) Appendix - GAEC 3: Groundwater (PDF, 89.3KB, 1 page)

What’s new in 2018

SMR 1: Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs)

If your land was in an NVZ for the first time in 2017 you should read about the transitional arrangements under Nutrient management: Nitrate Vulnerable Zones.

Inspections – changes to how RPA checks existing rules

The way RPA checks the following rules is changing from 1 January 2018. These are not new rules but RPA must check them differently. Therefore, remember that for:

  • GAEC 5: Minimising soil erosion – you must make sure you have put in place suitable practical measures to limit soil and bankside erosion, and can show this during any inspection.
  • SMR 7: Cattle identification and registration, and SMR8: Sheep and goat identification – you must make sure that all your cattle and sheep are correctly identified and that lost and damaged ear tags are replaced within the deadlines. You must also make sure that any cattle notifications you make to BCMS are made within the deadlines.

You can read the rules about suitable practical measures, or animal identification and registration and deadlines in The guide to cross compliance in England 2018 (PDF, 1.65MB, 84 pages).

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.

Inspections and calculating penalties

For detailed information about inspections and penalties, read from page 10 of ‘The guide to cross compliance in England 2018’ above.

RPA has produced a video about ‘Cross compliance inspections’ which gives an overview of what an inspector looks for during an inspection.

Cross compliance inspections

If you’re inspected and the inspector finds something wrong, they use a set of standards called ‘verifiable standards’ to assess how serious the non-compliance is. This is based on the extent of the non-compliance and how severe and permanent it is.

RPA uses a guide to work out the penalty that is to be applied.

They also use a calculator to work out how severe a non-compliance is for cattle identification and registration for SMR 7.

Get a copy of these documents from Tell them which documents you want and use ‘Verifiable Standards 2018’ as the email heading.

These are the results from cross compliance inspections in 2018 (PDF, 195KB, 25 pages) – they show the reasons why farmers failed to meet each Statutory Management Requirement (SMR) and Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions (GAEC).

Contact RPA

Published 3 November 2017
Last updated 29 June 2020 + show all updates
  1. Fixed table summary on inspections failure sheet

  2. 2018 Inspection failure results published.

  3. Published updated version of ‘Appendix - GAEC 3: Groundwater’

  4. The guide to cross compliance in England 2018 has been published

  5. First published.