Commissioner Phil Hogan announced this week in Strasbourg a set of new measures on administrative penalties as part of the CAP simplification process. It consists of three important elements:
1.Preliminary checks of aid applications
The legal basis for the preliminary checks have recently been published and hence, allow national administrations to identify problems with farmers' applications so that, during a period of up to 35 days after the final date of submission, farmers will be allowed to make corrections to their aid applications without the application of any penalties.
2. A simplified system of administrative penalties
The current system was made more proportionate and understandable. Whereas the current system for the calculation of penalties is based on different categories that can result in penalties more than double that which is over-declared, it was replaced by a simple penalty, which is 1.5 times the area over-declared. This reduced level of penalties will apply from 2016. Small over-declarations that are up to 3 per cent of the area declared or 2 hectares will continue not to be penalised.
3. A "yellow card" system for first offenders
For a first offender, where the over-declaration is minor (below 10 per cent of the area declared) the administrative penalty will be reduced by 50 per cent.
Farmers having received a yellow card will be registered and where appropriate will be subject to an on-the-spot control inspection the following year.