With the application window for the 2016 Basic Payment Scheme now open, the RPA has reported a reasonable uptake of its online service.
Figures to 30 March show that more than 2,000 applications have been completed and submitted in the first two weeks.
The RPA is encouraging farmers and agents to make their claims sooner rather than later, keeping the 16 May deadline in mind.
The RPA has also prepared the following Q&A for farmers and agents:
What’s new for 2016?
The online application process allows you to view your maps online and transfer land parcels and entitlements.
The Rural Payments service includes built-in checks to give you guidance on meeting greening rules, completing information about your land correctly and making the right declarations.
Key advice for online form filling
- Check your information, already held on the Rural Payments service, is correct.
- Change any information you need to – including any changes to land and entitlements
- Complete your declarations
- Confirm the information in your application before submitting
It is important to have a full and accurate email address on the Rural Payments service as this is how the RPA will be keeping applicants informed. This can be easily updated in your business and personal details section.
Look out for more handy hints and tips on the BPS 2016 website
What are the benefits for applying online?
Benefits include prompt confirmation that your application has been submitted successfully, while the Rural Payments service includes checks that help to ensure that you submit your data correctly.
You can also print your application for your records.
I haven’t applied online before, but would like to. Is this possible?
Yes. You just need to contact the Rural Services helpline on 03000 200 301 who can help you to set your application up.
Will those who haven’t applied online before receive a paper application?
Yes. About 20,000 paper application packs will be sent out to those who did not apply online for the Single Payment Scheme in 2014. This will include “how to apply online” paper guidance.
What if I notice missing or incorrect data when I log in to the Rural Payments service?
Any changes to your application can be completed online. You may want to wait until you have received your 2015 claim statement for comparison before submitting your final 2016 application.
Full details on making changes to your online application can be found in the BPS 2016 How to claim BPS online booklet.
When do I need to use an RLE1 form?
You need to use a paper RLE1 form and sketch map to register new land parcels, transfer part of a field, make a new permanent boundary change and to add or remove a permanent ineligible feature (PIF).
Some types of land and entitlements transfers also require an RLE1 and you can check these in the guidance. You don’t need to submit an RLE1 for a temporary ineligible feature.
Is full BPS 2016 guidance available online?
You can find guidance and full scheme rules at GOV.UK/rpa/bps2016 and the RPA will be sending all registered customers paper guidance about how to apply online.
This is also available as a PDF on GOV.UK. You can also find guidance on registering, land use codes, common land and shared grazing, active farmer, cross compliance, RLE1s and BP5 continuation booklets.
Can farmers and agents visit support centres for help this year?
Yes. To make an appointment you should contact the Rural Services helpline on 03000 200 301.
What further support is the RPA be making available to farmers?
A range of “how to” videos are available on the RPA’s YouTube channel.
These include: “How to make an application on the Rural Payments service”,“How to change your land use”,“How to view your land”,“Transferring land”,“Transferring entitlements” and a general overview of how to apply online.