MORE than 129,700 farmers applied online for their 2018 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) in advance of last Tuesday’s deadline.
This figure is in line with application numbers for previous years, according to Minister for Agriculture, Food & the Marine, Michael Creed.
In addition, over 17,800 Transfer of Entitlement applications have been received online by the May 15th deadline. 2018 was the first year that all applications for the BPS and Transfer of Entitlements were to be made online.
The Minister commented: ‘I am very happy to confirm that so many Irish farmers have met the requirement to apply online in 2018. My Department has put a range of supports in place to help farmers make this transition, and the move to online application has proved to be very successful.’
Outlining the advantage of applying online, the Minister added: ‘In recent years, online BPS applicants have seen the benefits of preliminary checks in particular. Now that we have reached 100% online application, these benefits will be available to all farmers.
‘Preliminary checks afford online applicants the opportunity to address any dual claims, over-claims and overlaps identified on online applications within specified time frames to ensure prompt payment with the avoidance of penalties. Online applications also help my Department to continue its strong record in the processing of Transfer of Entitlement applications and the payment of the BPS in a more efficient and effective way.’
Where farmers have made their BPS online application, but now wish to make an amendment, they may make such changes online at www.agfood.ie until midnight on Thursday, May 31st next, without penalty.
Every year, the Department also receives a number of late applications for the BPS and there is a 25-calendar day period after the closing date for the acceptance of late applications and any necessary supporting documentation. However, deductions to payments at a rate of 1% per day in respect BPS payments will apply to late applications which are received during this period. Minister Creed concluded: ‘I would like to thank farmers for their co-operation in moving to online application. I am particularly pleased that many farmers attended the BPS application clinics I put in place around the country, and my Department will continue to work to ensure that important financial supports such as the BPS are paid to farmers in the most efficient way possible.’