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Act Now on Basic Payments

View profile for Julie Robinson
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The key message has to be to act now to register with the Rural Payments Service and get online to check your maps and work through the various elements of your claim as soon as the 'functionality' is made available by the RPA.

Entitlement transfers

The RPA assured delegates that online transfers will be possible from early March i.e. next week. This is a crucial part of the 'getting ready' process for any farmers who have bought or taken on extra land under a tenancy. It will also allow people to trade surplus entitlements that will be lost if not claimed on this year (e.g. if a part field is losing its eligible status because of utility works or because it contains solar panels).

Below are a few points to bear in mind if you have to transfer entitlements, or have them transferred to you.

  • The transferring party must be registered with the Rural Payments service, even if they are withdrawing/retiring from farming and not planning to make a claim.
  • The party receiving entitlements must be registered with the Rural Payments service and must be recognised on the system as an active farmer.
  • That means that the active farmer element of the application process will need to be completed first by the transferee. This may catch some people out.
  • If the party receiving entitlements operates an activity on the negative list (permanent sports ground etc., see list on pp7-12 of the BPS Guidance), they will need to go through the re-admission process.
  • For farmers with less than 36ha of eligible land,  being accepted as an active farmerwill mean obtaining an Accountant Certificate. No entitlements can be transferred to them until the RPA has received the evidence.
  • The six-week transfer period no longer applies; entitlement transfers will happen within approximately 24 hours of the button being press by the transferor (provided, of course, that the transferee is recognised by the system as an active farmer and everything else is in order).


We are advising clients to get on and register and to consider whether they may be caught by the active farmer test. If so, and they have less than 36ha of eligible land, they will need to move quickly to sort out the necessary evidence and Accountant Certificate. We would advise doing that well ahead of the 15 May BPS application deadline, and as soon as practically possible if entitlements need to be transferred in.