2007 SPS Application form FAQ
Q34 amended (23/04/07)
Q16 updated (18/04/07)
Q30 – 33 have been added (05/04/07)
1. What is the deadline for submitting the SPS SP5 application form?
The deadline for the receipt of the SP5 application form is 15 May 2007. Late applications are accepted up to 9 June 2007, but will be subject to substantial late claim penalties. Applications received after 9 June will be rejected.
2. I have not received an SPS 2007 application pack, what should I do?
If you have authorised an Agent to act on your behalf please check whether they have received your pack. Once you have checked with your agent you should contact the RPA Customer Service Centre (CSC) on 0845 603 7777, you will be asked for your SBI and business name.
Blank SP5 forms and guidance notes can be collected from an RPA Drop in Centre 8:30 am - 5:00pm Monday to Friday from 16 April to 15 May 2007.
3. Can I submit my own computer generated field data sheets?
For 2007, RPA will only be able to accept field data information submitted on original RPA Field Data Sheets. In previous years, field data submitted on non-original forms caused difficulties and delays as it needed to be manually keyed in, which increased the risk of errors.
4. I have run out of space on my field data sheets and/or my entitlements sheets (SP5 Section C, D or E) where can I get continuation sheets from?
Continuation sheets can be requested by calling the Customer Service Centre on 0845 603 7777, or can be collected from an RPA Drop in Centre 8:30 am - 5:00pm Monday to Friday from 1 March – 15 May 2007. Photocopies and non-RPA computer generated field data sheets will not be accepted.
5. Will I be able to deliver my 2007 SP5 form to an RPA office?
RPA Drop in Centres are open for customers to deliver their 2007 SP5 forms 08:30 am - 5:00pm from 1 March to 15 May 2007.
6. Will staff at Drop in Centres carry out checks on my SPS form?
SPS applications will receive the same check at the Drop in Centre as they would when they are received through the post. The basic check includes confirming that there is an SBI, signature and some data on the field data sheets and/or common land grazing rights. You should note that these are reception checks and their success does not indicate that your application is complete or that it will be paid, you may be contacted to provide further information as we process your claim.
7. Will I be issued with a receipt when I had my form into a Drop in Centre?
When a completed 2007 SP5 form is handed into a Drop in Centre the staff will perform basic manual checks. They will check if the form is signed, if there is an SBI on the form and if there is data in columns C4 & C8 of at least one line or if there is data in part D (Common land grazing rights). You should note that these are reception checks and their success does not indicate that your application is complete or that it will be paid. They will then accept the form and issue the customer with a bar-coded acknowledgement of receipt card.
8. If I send my 2007 SP5 form through the post will I receive and acknowledgement of receipt?
You will receive a personalised acknowledgement of receipt card.
9. Will my 2007 SP5 form be sent to my agent?
If your agent has empowerment for your business they will receive your 2007 SP5 form.
10. How can I get a duplicate of my pre populated 2007 SP5 form?
Please call the Customer Service Centre on 0845 603 7777 and they will arrange for a copy of your pre populated 2007 SP5 form to be sent to you.
11. Will I be contacted if there is anything wrong with my form?
If your form is handed in at one of the RPA drop in centres will open 08:30 am - 5:00pm from 1 March to 15 May 2007. Staff will make basic manual checks, if the form is signed, if there is an SBI on the form and if there is data in C4 & C8 of at least one line or of there is data in part D (Common land grazing rights). These checks will also be made on all postal receipts and you will be notified if there are any discrepancies. You should note that these are only reception checks and their success does not indicate that your application is complete or that it will be paid, you may be contacted to provide further information as we process your claim.
12. What are the English area codes?
England outside the upland SDA – EOUT
English upland SDA – ESDA
English moorland within the upland SDA – EMOR.
13. I would like to include some supporting evidence and additional information with my 2007 SP5 form. Is there anywhere I can indicate what I have enclosed?
Part H allows you to tell us what documents you are enclosing with your 2007 SPS application. Supporting documentation should also be labelled as ‘2007 supporting information’ and either the SBI should be clearly written on the document or if you have received your customer barcode labels you can attach one to each item.
14. What should I check before I submit my form?
Part H provides a check list for customers to follow before they submit their form.
15. I believe that my entitlements statement is incorrect. What general advice can you give me on the completion of my SP5 form for the 2007 scheme year?
In all cases you must complete column E8 of part E of the SP5 form to tell us that you wish to activate your entitlements for payment. You can protect your position by putting a cross in the ‘ALL’ box for each block of entitlements that you have been allocated. Subject to the outcome of our investigations into your case, we would make any adjustments to the number and value of the entitlements you have been allocated.
If you think that the value of your entitlements is incorrect, but that you have been allocated the correct number of entitlements, you should complete the SP5 form using the information already pre-populated on it. You should also enclose a covering letter to the RPA explaining your concerns. We will then investigate your allocation and make any adjustments necessary. You should also indicate in section H of the SP5 form that you have submitted a covering letter with the form. Please remember to include your SBI on the covering letter.
If you think that you have not been allocated the correct number and /or type of entitlements, it is essential that you complete the field data sheet(s) for your holding, entering sufficient area in C10 of the field data sheet (s) to activate the maximum number of each type of entitlements that you expect to be finally allocated and wish to claim payment on for 2007. You should also enclose a covering letter to the RPA explaining what you have done and why. We will then investigate your allocation and make any adjustments necessary. You should also indicate in section H of the SP5 form that you have submitted a covering letter with the form. Any supporting documentation should be labelled as ‘2007 supporting information’ and either the SBI should be clearly written on the document or a customer identification sticker should be attached to each document. In these circumstances there will be no penalty for entering more land into column C10 than you need to activate your entitlements for payment (provided that this does not exceed the total area for the land parcel)
16. I believe that I have been allocated the wrong number of set-aside entitlements. What should I do?
If you believe that you have been allocated too few set-aside entitlements, it would be sensible at this stage to maintain any additional area of set-aside that you established in order to meet your anticipated obligation for the 2007 set-aside period, which commenced on 15 January 2007. This land should be coded as OT2 and managed to meet the requirements of GAEC 12 and set-aside (Advice is available from www.crosscompliance.org.uk on how to do this). It will then be available to be re-classified as set-aside should the need arise, but can otherwise be used to activate normal entitlements for payment.
If you believe that you have been allocated too many set-aside entitlements, or should not have received any set-aside entitlements at all, you may choose to set aside the area you believe to be correct. In such cases you should enclose a letter with your SPS 2007 application explaining why you have set aside the area that you have. However, if it is found that you have not set aside enough land, your SPS payment may be reduced and, if applicable, area penalties will be applied. In order to safeguard against reductions and penalties, you may wish to set aside some additional land as insurance. Such land should be coded as OT2 and managed to meet the requirements of GAEC 12 and set-aside
17. I have not received my Entitlements Statement. How should I complete Part E of the 2007 application form?
Note: If you have an agent, please check whether they may have received your Entitlements Statement.
You should complete column E3 to tell us the type of entitlement that you wish to activate and, unless there is a particular reason why you do not wish to activate all of the entitlements you expect to be allocated, you should also tick the ‘ALL’ box in column E8, to indicate that you wish to activate all of the entitlements that you have been allocated for that particular type. You may also wish to complete column E7 to indicate the number of entitlements you expect to be allocated, based on your 2006 SPS application.
18. If I have 100 entitlements and 100 hectares, but only 95 of those hectares are SPS eligible in 2007 and the areas are marked in Column C10, if I tick the 'All' box in Column E8, will I penalised for the declaration in Column E8, knowing I only have 95 eligible hectares?
No, you will not be penalised under these circumstances, but you will only receive payment on 95 hectares.
19. I have received an Entitlement Transfer notification letter, but it is wrong. The transfer should have been for 30 entitlements, but the transfer notification letter shows 60 entitlements have been transferred to me. If I tick the 'All' box in Column E8 against this new block of entitlements what I am saying to the RPA is that I am wanting to activate 30 not 60 entitlements I have transferred in? Will this happen?
If you tick the ‘All’ box, then as far as the RPA is concerned you will be seeking to activate 60 entitlements. Whether you could activate that number of entitlements would obviously depend on the availability of eligible SPS land. You should apply to activate the number of entitlements that you applied to transfer in, and send in a covering letter with your application form to explain your position. You should also indicate in section H of the SP5 form that you have submitted a covering letter with the form. Any supporting documentation should be labelled as ‘2007 supporting information’ and either the SBI should be clearly written on the document or a customer identification sticker should be attached to each document.
20. I have applied to transfer entitlements in/out but have not received confirmation from the RPA yet that the transfer has occurred. How should I complete Part E of the SP5 form?
If you are transferring the entitlements in, you should complete columns E2, E3 and E4 with the details of the entitlements, and complete column E8 to either activate all, or a number of, these entitlements. You do not need to complete the Entitlement Block ID column (E1).
If you are transferring the entitlements out, you should complete column E8 if you have only transferred out some of the entitlements within that block (if columns E2, E3 and E4 have not been pre-populated, you should complete these as well). If you have transferred out all of the entitlements for that block, you should leave column E8 blank.
You should also enclose a covering letter to the RPA explaining what you have done and why and indicate in section H of the SP5 form that you have submitted a covering letter with the form. Any supporting documentation should be labelled as ‘2007 supporting information’ and either the SBI should be clearly written on the document or a customer identification sticker should be attached to each document.
21. Because of mapping changes, the area of my land parcels has been changed, but this is not shown on my SP5 form. What should I do?
Complete the field data sheets for your SP5 form using the digitised parcel details for your holding. If you believe that the number of entitlements that you have been allocated could alter because of mapping changes relating to your holding as at the date of Single Payment application in 2005, tick the ‘All’ box in the relevant rows of part E of your 2007 SP5 form and attach a letter to your SP5 form, explaining why you believe this to be the case. You should also indicate in section H of the SP5 form that you have submitted a covering letter with the form. Any supporting documentation should be labelled as ‘2007 supporting information’ and either the SBI should be clearly written on the document or a customer identification sticker should be attached to each document.
22. Do I need to submit a sketch map if I am splitting a field on my field data sheet?
Sketch maps are only required where a field is split in 2007 into two or more parts and where one of those parts is:
Growing protein crops for the protein crop premium;
Growing nuts for the Area Payment for Nuts; or
Being used for crops for which the Energy Crop payment is being claimed.
All sketch maps showing temporary splits must be clearly marked ‘temporary split’.
23. I have submitted a RLE1 form, but I have not had a response from the RPA. Will approval be sent to me and the buyer once the 6 week period has expired?
Approval will be notified to both buyer and seller shortly after the transfer of entitlements is to be effected; this would normally be after the expiry of the 6 week period.
24. Can land be transferred using the SP5 form without filling in an RLE1 form?
Exceptionally for 2007, land can be transferred using the SP5 form as long as it is registered on the RLR. To transfer a land parcel out it should be deleted from part C of the SP5 form by marking X in C3 for the relevant land parcel (or not included in part C if the form is not pre populated). To transfer a land parcel in, details should be entered on the SP5 in the next available blank line in part C of the SP5 form. The SP5 form can only be used to transfer land. Land with entitlements should be transferred using an RLE1 form and should be submitted to the RPA by 2nd April 2007 for this to take effect for the 2007 scheme year.
25. I have a common covering 140 hectares, but I have only been given entitlements for 51? How can I check that this is correct? What do I put on my SP5 form for 2007?
If you have a question regarding the number of entitlements that you have been allocated, you need to write to the RPA. If you only have Commons Rights, you should complete Part D of the SP5 application form with details of the Commons Rights that you have for 2007, and whether you wish to activate those rights (column D8). We will activate as many of your entitlements as we can, based on the number of rights that you hold.
26. Do I need to include woodland/forests on my SPS application?
Woodland/Forests are generally classified as non-agricultural land, and therefore would be ineligible for SPS, and so would not need to be declared. The exceptions to this rule are:
grazed orchards/woodland, which may be eligible for SPS (see paragraphs C11-C21 of the SPS handbook for 2006 for details of eligibility), or
forests/woodland in an agri-environment scheme, which are not eligible for SPS, but should be declared on your application.
27. In the Energy Crops section of the 2007 Land Use code list, you refer to colza seeds. What is Colza?
Colza is another name for Oilseed rape.
28. My farm is entirely organic, and I have been allocated set-aside entitlements. Do I need to declare any of my land as set-aside?
No, you do not need to put any of your land into set-aside to be able to activate your set-aside entitlements, as farmers who are entirely organic are exempt. In part C of the SP5 form C8 should be completed with the land-use code of the appropriate agricultural activity you are undertaking on the land and not SA1. In Part E of the SP5 form E3 should be completed as set aside type (SAS) and these entitlements will be paid at flat rate.
29. Do I have to complete an SP9 form for 2007?
The SP9 (Agent Authorisation form) only needs to be completed if there is a change to the details of the person who you wish to be empowered for your business. If an SP9 has been submitted before and there has been no change, you will not need to submit another SP9 form unless you included a 2007 expiry date on the form.
30. If the pre-printed information is correct, do I need to amend the data or reproduce it?
No. Where an answer printed in green is correct, you do not need to alter or copy the information. You can however, change the answer by completing the adjacent boxes, or by marking the adjacent box with a ‘X’ for deleting the line.
31. I want to be sure that I have sufficient set-aside to support my allocation of set-aside entitlements – what should this ‘insurance’ land be coded as?
You should only code enough set-aside land to activate your set-aside entitlements. Any additional ‘insurance’ set-aside should be coded as OT2.
32. If the land use of a parcel changes after I have submitted my SP5 form, yet before the end of my 10-month period do I need to notify the RPA?
If the change in land use could affect the eligibility of the parcel then written notification is required. However, if the land use does not affect eligibility (for example a change from an OT1 code to a TG1) then the RPA does not require notification.
33. I have not received my customer barcode labels – can I still submit my SPS form with supporting documentation?
Yes. Please ensure that your SBI is clearly written on each document which does not have a barcode.
34. I have received two different receipts (with two different dates) for my 2007 SP5 form, which is the one that is accepted as the lodgement date for my form?
A. You will receive two receipts if you delivered your form to one of the RPA Drop in centres, one handed to you by the staff at the Drop in centre, and a second receipt sent through the mail once the form has been received at the RPA office in Newcastle where the forms are scanned. The date on the receipt from the Drop in centre will be counted as the lodgement date for your 2007 claim form.
If you cannot find the answer to your question here, then please ring the Customer Service Centre on 0845 603 7777.
If your enquiry is not urgent please e-mail us at CSC@rpa.gsi.gov.uk or write to us at:
Rural Payments Agency
PO Box 1058
Newcastle upon Tyne
Normal CSC Opening hours: Monday to Friday 8.30am – 5.00pm
Opening times of CSC have been extended in advance of the SP5 deadline, they are:
From Tuesday 10 April to Friday 15 May: Monday to Friday 8.00am – 6.00pm and Saturday 9.00am – 1.00pm.
Also open May Day Bank Holiday Monday 7 May 8.00am – 6.00pm.
Page published: 8 December 2011