BPS 2023 – essential information

An aerial view of farmland fields

The BPS window has now closed. It's now time to ensure all you post-application tasks are completed, and that your details are correct and up to date with the RPA. This is especially important as to be eligible for delinked payments from 2024-2027, you must be eligible and have applied for BPS this year. 

We will be continuing to provide updates and information on how Delinked Payments will be replacing BPS after 2023, particularly as further information comes to light in the coming weeks and months.

BPS 2023 payment details

The BPS 2023 payment rates will be announced later in 2023.

The RPA announced on the 25 July that the vast majority of the BPS 2023 advance payments due will be issued on 1 August.

Advance payments will be up to 50% of the total BPS payment due for 2023.

The RPA states that it expects the vast majority of farmers to be paid in early August, though there will be a small number of farmers whose claims will require additional checks which will take longer to process.

The RPA will contact these farmers to inform them of next steps, while maximising the number of farmers receiving their advance payment by the end of August.

Following the delivery uncertainty created last year of when the payment was to arrive, it is good to see the RPA responding with its approach to payments landing in August.

NFU Senior Support Schemes adviser Richard Wordsworth

NFU Senior Support Schemes adviser Richard Wordsworth welcomed the news on the advance payments: “With farmers continuing to face extreme inflationary pressure and businesses being squeezed more than ever, any advance payment of BPS monies for this year is positive and will help cash flow. I’m pleased Defra and the RPA has continued to roll over this practical solution again this year.

“Following the delivery uncertainty created last year of when the payment was to arrive, it is good to see the RPA responding with its approach to payments landing in August to help manage cashflow, which is what it is there to do.”

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

Working with the RPA, the NFU is monitoring the situation for those that may not be paid in the first tranches to ensure there is minimal adverse impact from uncertainty around delivery of payments.

Please make sure the RPA has your correct bank details to avoid a delay in receiving the payment. Remain vigilant of fraudsters who have in the past targeted farmers receiving support payments. More details on how to minimise the risk are set out below.

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.

Payment Band 2023 percentage reduction
1. Up to £30,000 35%
2. £30,000 - £50,000 40%
3. £50,000 - £150,000 50%
4. More than £150,000 55%

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Be aware of fraud

Following the RPA’s announcement, Richard also warned those expecting payments to “remain vigilant of the risk of fraud and follow the advice set out by the RPA”.

Stay vigilant to fraudsters' attempts to scam you when you're claiming payments. Read our guidance.

Key information: late application window closed

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. 

Post submission checklist

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.

Key information: final year of BPS

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.

Cross compliance

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 await more information on how this transition will work for those who have experienced a business change since 2020.

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:

  1. you are not eligible for the lump sum or;
  2. 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.

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Applying for BPS 2023

While the application window has now closed, with the exception of case force majeure/exceptional cases, information on BPS is still relevant. 

The RPA has updated / reviewed the BPS Guidance and Forms for BPS 2023. The latest versions can be found at Basic Payment Scheme | GOV.UK 

Key documents include:

  • BPS rules for 2023 (the ‘Handbook’)
  • How to apply for BPS 2023 online
  • BPS in England 2023 How to apply using a paper form
  • Editable RLE1 form and guidance - Changes to land, entitlements guidance

Useful links:

Sending supporting evidence

You have until 30 June 2023 to submit any hemp seed labels.

Please note that an application will be rejected if the supporting evidence (apart from hemp seed labels) is received after 11:59pm on 9 June 2023.

The RPA will need original documents for any other evidence, which should be sent by post, therefore you should keep copies of any evidence you send in.

Before sending evidence, it should have the claimant’s name and address on the front page, and the SBI (Single Business Identifier) on every page. The RPA will post confirmation receipts for any evidence received; if  they are returning evidence they will do so by post (usually within 3 working days).

You should keep any evidence after it has been returned in case the RPA needs to see it again in the future. The RPA will send reminders of the application deadline to the home address and email address of the farmer or their agent, if they have one.

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Got a question? Contact NFU CallFirst

Our NFU CallFirst advisers can help guide any queries you may have to one of our experts. Call 0370 845 8458 and we'll be happy to help.

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