The window for submitting Single Application Forms (SAF) opened on Monday March 16, 2015 and is currently planned to close on Friday May 15, 2015. However, after industry lobbying Phil Hogan has signaled that this date could be extended by one month if Member States choose.
Speaking before the Commissioner’s announcement that potentially allows the Scottish Government to extend the deadline, Scotland’s Chief Agricultural Officer David Barnes said:
“The SAF window has now opened, and this is the first year that farmers and crofters can apply for new CAP funding schemes such as the Basic Payment and Greening. The new CAP is more complex than the previous policy, and the difficulties caused by European delays in getting the fine technical details we need for implementation are well documented.
“Our new Rural Payments and Services website has been designed specifically for the new CAP and SAF. It is important to note that the online system will be unavailable on occasion for planned maintenance and other updates – although we are seeking to minimise disruption as much as possible.
“We are encouraging as many people as possible to apply for their SAF online. However, we will still accept paper applications from those who choose to apply that way, and we are sending those customers who used a paper SAF last year their pre-populated form as well as hard copies of our guidance on Greening, Cross Compliance Guidance and the Basic Payment Scheme.
“In order for the Scottish Government to process payments, all claimants – regardless of whether they complete their SAF online or on paper – need to register for the Rural Payments and Services system and make sure we have the correct bank account details.
“We expect to receive around 22,000 SAFs and, as of yesterday, more than half of farmers, crofters and other eligible businesses – just over 11,100 – have successfully signed up. Anyone who has not registered yet should do so as soon as possible, and before the deadline of May 15, 2015.
“All the guidance that farmers, crofters and land managers need to complete their SAF has now been published on Rural Payments and Services website. Although there will be no more significant changes to the guidance for this year’s direct payment schemes, I would always advise farmers, crofters and land managers filling in their SAF to double check the latest information online or with their local RPID area office.”
To apply for CAP funding, farmers, crofters and land managers must register on the Scottish Government’s new Rural Payments and Services system, which replaces Rural Payments Online. Register online at: https://www.ruralpayments.org
All the guidance farmers, crofters and land managers need to complete their SAF is now available on Rural Payments and Services https://www.ruralpayments.org/publicsite/futures/topics/all-schemes/