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Cross Compliance

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The term 'cross-compliance' refers to the requirement for farmers to comply with a set of Statutory Management Requirements (SMRs) and keep their land in Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition (GAEC) in order to qualify for the full single payment and other direct payments. The SMRs relate to the areas of public, animal and plant health, environment and animal welfare. The standards of GAEC relate to the issues of soil erosion, soil organic matter, soil structure, ensuring a minimum level of maintenance, avoiding the deterioration of habitats and protection and management of water.

The protection of permanent pasture is a standard of GAEC and Member States have to ensure that the ratio of permanent pasture to total agricultural area from 2003 is maintained.  Where the ratio decreases to the detriment of permanent pasture, Member States must oblige farmers not to convert permanent pasture without prior authorization.  Where it cannot be ensured the ratio doesn't fall by more than 10%, Member States must oblige farmers claiming the single payment to re-convert land back to permanent pasture.  Where the ratio falls by 5%, an individual farmer obligation may be required.

All the SMRs and the majority of the standards of GAEC relate to pre-existing legal requirements that claimants should already be adhering to. For further information on the requirements please see the cross compliance publications listed in the Farmer Guidance part of this section.

If you need technical advice or assistance about cross compliance, please phone the Farming Advice Service between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday on 0845 345 1302 or visit the website at

Latest cross-compliance news and updates

23/01/14 ~ Flooded or waterlogged agricultural land

10/12/13 ~ Changes to cross compliance rules for 2014

21/06/13 ~ Important cross compliance updates now available online

01/01/13 ~ New 2013 cross compliance now online

Previous news updates

Page published: 23 January 2014