29/02/12 ~ Single Payment Scheme 2012 – Online applications open now
As the free SPS Online service opens for 2012 claims, the Rural Payments Agency is urging English farmers and agents to join the 30,000 satisfied customers who have already discovered how quick and easy it is to submit their SPS claims electronically.
RPA Customer Services Director Justin Chamberlain said:
“Currently nearly a third of our customers file their claims online. The benefits include an automatic check for commonplace errors before the claim is submitted as well as an instant online receipt as soon as they press the submit button – so they can be confident immediately of what they’ve applied for.
“Applying online makes the process faster and also saves time and money. Online claimants no longer have to photocopy their forms, go to the post office, pay for stamps and envelopes, wait in a queue or risk their application becoming lost or delayed in the post.”
Once an online application is confirmed as received by RPA, customers can use SPS online to track their claim to see if RPA is waiting for additional information from them to be able to process their application. They can also view and print claim and entitlements statements for previous years (as far back as 2009, even if those original applications were made on paper).
The online service is now available on the Business Link website which can be accessed here www.businesslink.gov.uk/sps-claim.
Farmers who applied online in 2011 will not receive a paper SPS application form in the post this year. Instead, the RPA is sending them the Guidance Supplement for 2012 which includes the key updates for this scheme year.
Dual Use and Common Land
Farmers and landowners are reminded to consider carefully whether they can still satisfy their obligations under the scheme when another farmer is claiming under a different scheme on the same land – this is known as ‘dual use’.
As part of ongoing improvements in customer communications RPA will be writing to a number of customers over the next couple of weeks to alert them to the need to check their claims for dual use issues.
The Agency will also be writing to farmers who had difficulties while claiming on common land in 2011 to provide guidance on how to claim correctly and avoid potential penalties in 2012. Customers are advised to seek independent professional advice if they have any concerns.
Paper application forms are also being sent out over the next couple of weeks to those farmers and agents who did not apply online last year.
To make it as simple as possible for customers to switch to online claims, all those receiving a paper application (who have not already registered for our online service) will also be sent an e-channel personal identification number (PIN) along with a helpful booklet explaining how to register and enrol for the online service.
Farmers wishing to apply on paper who have not received their application pack by 26 March should contact RPA.
All SPS 2012 applications, whether on paper or online must reach RPA by 15 May 2012.
For questions about using the SPS online service, claimants should call the RPA’s Customer Service Centre on 0845 603 7777.
Notes to Editors
The SPS Online service is now available on the Business Link website. Go to www.businesslink.gov.uk/sps-claim and select ‘Log in to RPA Online’. Farmers who have not used the service before should then select ‘Go to RPA Online to register’.
See http://rpa.defra.gov.uk/sps2012 for all relevant information about SPS applications.
About the RPA
The Rural Payments Agency’s work helps the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to encourage a thriving farming and food sector and strong rural communities.
RPA makes Common Agricultural Policy support payments, traces livestock and carries out inspections. We manage more than 40 schemes, paying farmers and traders more than £2 billion each year.
To administer such a wide range of schemes and meet EU requirements we manage information on more than two million land parcels.
Page published: 9 May 2013