Cross compliance 2019

Farmers and land managers must follow these cross compliance rules from 1 January 2019 for the whole year if they claim for the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS), a stewardship scheme or the English Woodland Grant Scheme (EWGS) in 2019.

This guidance is for the 2019 year only.

Find the latest rules on the cross compliance pages.


The rules set out in this guide apply for the whole of 2019. Therefore, you must meet the rules throughout the year.

The guide to cross compliance in England 2019 (PDF, 4.45MB, 84 pages)

Appendix - GAEC 3: Groundwater (PDF, 208KB, 1 page)

Appendix - SMR 13: Animal welfare (PDF, 286KB, 18 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.

What’s new in 2019

There are no confirmed changes to the cross compliance rules in 2019. However, there is an important reminder below.

SMR 1: Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs)

If your land was in an NVZ for the first time in 2017, the transitional arrangements come to an end in July 2019. The requirement to meet all the NVZ rules starts on 31 July 2019. You can read about the transitional arrangements under Nutrient management: Nitrate Vulnerable Zones.

Inspections and calculating penalties

For detailed information about inspections and penalties, read from page 10 of ‘The guide to cross compliance in England 2019’ above.

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 then 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 2019’ as the email heading.

Contact RPA

Published 14 December 2018