BPS 2023 query and appeals deadline
The RPA introduced a new 60 day deadline for all BPS related queries from 1 January 2024.
This means that where there was an issue, it must have been passed onto the RPA within 60 days. The 60 days will also apply to appeals, so if a query is responded to then there will be a further 60 days to appeal from that date.
For all issues which were communicated before 1 January 2024, the 60 day deadline closed on 29 February.
For those made after 1 January, the deadline is 60 days after the date the RPA responded, whether for an appeal or in response to a query.
The final payments for BPS 2023 were issued on 1 December 2023. In the main, these were balance payments, following the advance payments issued in August and September. The RPA stated on 4 December that 97% of BPS 2023 claimants had received their payments. The NFU will continue to monitor the situation of those that are still waiting for their outstanding payments.
Claim statements will be issued throughout December and into January. It is important that you check your statements and ensure you agree with the figures included on it. This is not to be confused with the information statements also being sent out during this time for the delinked payment process – both will be important to keep and check through to ensure any figures quoted are accurate and correct.
For more information on the delinked payment process please visit our page: Delinked payments – guidance from NFU experts.
Another key consideration is the RPA’s intention to introduce a new 60 day deadline for all BPS related queries from 1 January 2024 onwards. This means that if there is an issue, it needs to be passed onto the RPA as soon as possible. There is also an intention to match the 60 day deadline for any appeals too, meaning any BPS related issues must be communicated and potentially appealed to the RPA by 29 February 2024.
Finally, with the ending of BPS also comes the end of the cross compliance rules in their current form. Many of the cross compliance rules exist with both European and domestic Legislation governing good environmental and agricultural practices.
These will remain in force through domestic provisions rather than the GAEC and SMR standards seen in the Common Agricultural Policy. For more information on the ending of cross compliance please see our page: NFU summary: Cross compliance 2023.
If you have any further queries on BPS and Cross Compliance in 2023, NFU Members can contact CallFirst on 0370 8458458 for assistance with the cross-compliance rules.
The BPS 2023 payment rates have been announced. The payment rates are as follows:
There is no change to the payment rates from 2022.
The RPA makes BPS payments in two instalments:
- The first payment is made from August 2023
- The second will be made from 1 December 2023
All claims will be reduced again in 2023 due to the application of the progressive reductions. The reduction figures for BPS 2023 are set out below. These will be applied to the total claim value ahead of making the respective advance and balance payments. Once a payment has been made, a remittance notice is sent in the post confirming the amount paid. The full payment breakdown will be shown via the claim statement which will be issued once the balance payment is paid.
|2023 percentage reduction
|1. Up to £30,000
|2. £30,000 - £50,000
|3. £50,000 - £150,000
|4. More than £150,000
As of 15 May 2023 at 11.59pm, the application window for in time BPS 2023 applications has closed.
The late application window for those who were unable to apply on time also closed on 9 June 2023.
After a submission has been made, it's not too late to carry out one final check or clarify any information on the application form that you need to submit.
Late claims (and certain amendments to claims) are still able to be submitted up to 11.59pm on 9 June.
It is particularly critical to get an eligible BPS claim into the RPA this year, even if it is late, as you must claim and be eligible for BPS payments in the 2023 scheme year to be able receive delinked payments for 2024 to 2027 where they are eligible.
Points to consider:
- Rules – Was there anything you didn't understand that you want to double check before it is too late? Detailed information on BPS 2023 and how to apply can be found on this page.
- Is your copy of the online application you submitted an accurate account of what you want to claim on? Please read the scheme guidance carefully and double check your retained BPS claim PDF summary and the areas shown in column C8 of the field data sheet and summary total to see if they show what you are expecting. For commons, check the options you have applied for and if they're what you were expecting to see.
If there are problems, please follow the information on amending an online claim via the ‘Activate Less BPS Area’ section of the Rural Payments Online Service within the BPS section to ensure that the application submitted correctly and shows what is wanted to claim on (the applied for / C8 column) and how to resubmit a new application if one has already been submitted.
- Has the RPA received your online claim? – For online claims there are four ways to see if a claim has been successfully submitted:
- immediately after submission, an online notification should have appeared (and then disappears)
- the status of claim would show as ‘submitted’ with the time and date matching the submission
- there will also be a message in ‘Your businesses and messages’ tab that shows the claim has been submitted
- after submitting the claim, when you should have generated and downloaded a final PDF of the application, this will show this copy document with a status of ‘submitted’ and with the time and date showing. That copy should show the correct entries for your claim.
- Supporting Documents – Did you send to the RPA everything it required and in the right way? When emailing documents the RPA please read the guidance on the government's website at GOV.UK | Emailing documents to the RPA. Remember the RPA will only accept emails from addresses registered in the Rural Payments service and only if the sender has the right permission levels.
- Copies of Documents – Have you got a ‘carbon copy’ of everything sent to the RPA (for BPS claims that is a hardcopy/copy saved on your computer showing the time and date of submission) in case the RPA seeks clarification on an element of the claim made?
- Information sent via the post – If you have posted your documents, follow the RPA guidance on what receipts should be received. You are urged to make sure you get an acknowledgment of receipt from the RPA where they are issued. If you encounter any problems, then you need to contact the RPA as soon as possible.
This is the final year that BPS and cross compliance will operate. BPS and cross compliance requirements operate to the 31 December 2023, so you need to continue to follow the rules in 2023.
- BPS 2023 guidance can be found at: Basic Payment Scheme | GOV.UK
- Cross compliance 2023 guidance can be found at: Cross compliance 2023 | GOV.UK
- Read our summary at: Cross compliance 2023 | NFUonline.com
- All the key dates for BPS, CS and ES can be found at: Rural Payments Agency key dates | GOV.UK
From 2024, cross compliance will not apply to Delinked Payments or any other rural payments in England. However, most of the standards in cross compliance will continue to apply to farm activities as they remain in other English laws. Defra will update the industry of these legal requirements, as well as the approach to enforcing them, before 2024.
In the meantime, Defra have pulled together all the relevant rules for farming in one place to make it easier post cross compliance; these can be found at: GOV.UK | Rules for Farmers.
The RPA state that if you hold land after the BPS scheme has closed, you will still need to keep their land data up-to-date by checking your digital maps in the Rural Payments service. Not doing so could affect payments under any existing schemes or future schemes entered into.
Entitlements to end after 2023
Entitlements will end with the BPS scheme in 2023. You will still need to hold entitlements on 15 May 2023 if you want to use them to claim BPS in 2023. Entitlements will not be needed after this date.
Progressive reductions in payments continues
As in previous years, the BPS 2023 claim value will depend on the number of entitlements, with eligible hectares (ha), a farmer claims in 2023 and on whether they claim the young farmer payment. Progressive reductions will be applied to the total claim value (after any other reductions or penalties applied). Details for BPS 2023 are set out further down the page.
Delinked payments will replace BPS in 2024
Direct Payments, currently paid in the form of BPS are being phased out through to 2027 as the government introduces ELMs (Environmental Land Management schemes).
As part of this process, the RPA plan to replace BPS with Delinked Payments based on a farmer’s average BPS payments for the 2020 to 2022 scheme years. These payments will be reduced each year as they are phased out.
We've provided more information on delinked payments. Visit: Delinked payments – read our latest guidance | NFUonline.com
Lump Sum Exit Scheme reminder
The application period for the Lump Sum Exit Scheme closed on 30 September 2022. If you applied successfully, you must remember you have to submit a ‘Lump Sum Exit Scheme entitlements and evidence form’ to the RPA by the deadline of 31 May 2024.
If you applied for the Lump Sum Exit Scheme and have not yet completed your exit from farming and have not been paid, you may want to apply for BPS 2023. This will protect you if you then find that:
- you are not eligible for the lump sum or;
- cannot complete the transfer of your land by 31 May 2024
As a reminder, to apply for BPS in 2023, you will need to meet the BPS scheme rules, including making sure the land stays eligible for the rest of the year.
In applying for BPS 2023 farmers can have access to future Delinked Payments if they do not proceed and complete the Lump Sum Exit Scheme rules.
Read our guidance at: Lump Sum Exit Scheme | NFUonline.com
Sustainable Farming Incentive
You can claim BPS and SFI on the same land parcel, provided that land parcel meets the relevant eligibility rules under both schemes.