Welsh BPS Entitlements User Guide

What is needed to claim BPS payments in Wales?

To be eligible to claim payment under the Basic Payment Scheme a Welsh claimant must:

  • Must meet the definition of a Farmer but “Active Farmer” (see below for details on this classification) rule no longer applies from 2021;
  • Have at least 5ha of eligible agricultural land;
  • Hold enough entitlements to match the eligible land they wish to claim on;
  • Be carrying out ‘agricultural activity’ on the land they wish to claim on;
  • Have the land at their disposal on the 15th of May in the year they wish to make a claim (or the next working day if this is a weekend);
  • Submit an online Single Application Form (SAF) by the 15th of May deadline (or the next working day if this is a weekend)
  • Must meet Cross Compliance rules on whole holding for the whole scheme year.

What needs to be done to qualify for the Greening Payment?

To be eligible for the Greening Payment (approximately 30% of the total payment), a claimant must comply with the greening rules, which are summarised as follows:

  • Farmers with more than 15 hectares of arable land must follow the crop diversification and the Ecological Focus Area (EFA) Greening rules.
  • Farmers with less than 10 hectares of arable land don’t need to do anything differently – they are exempt from the crop diversification and EFA area rules.
  • Farmers with permanent grassland must follow the permanent grassland Greening rules.

What payment can you expect?

From 2019, all entitlements in Wales will be paid the same flat rate. The payment rate in 2023 was £121.85/ha, with an additional redistributive payment on the first 54ha of £111.03/ha. We expect 2024 to be similar, but will not be confirmed until the summer.

Until 2019, payment made on each entitlement was composed of an element of the historic value and element of the flat rate value, with the proportion of flat rate payment gradually increasing until it made up the whole flat rate payment.

Buying and selling entitlements and the National Reserve

All online transfer applications must be submitted using the RPW online system by the 15th May in order for the Transferee to claim on those entitlements in that year.

In order to claim BPS payments, a potential claimant must first acquire the appropriate entitlements for the land they wish to claim upon. Those that meet the criteria for the New Entrant and Young Farmer schemes are eligible to receive entitlements from the National Reserve. Those that do not meet the requirements for allocation of entitlements under these schemes must purchase entitlements privately. For more information on the entitlement trading market and for current prices and availability, please contact Alasdair Squires (email).

Receiving entitlements from the National Reserve

New farmers must be at least 18 years of age, must be in ‘control’ (have more than 50% of the shares and votes) of the farm business, their business must have started ‘agricultural activity’ in 2013 or later and they must not have carried out any farming in the previous 5 years in their own right.

New farmers must make their first successful BPS application within 2 years of the calendar year in which the business started farming.

Young farmers must be between the age of 18 and 40, must be in ‘control’ of the farm business and must have set up or taken ‘control’ of the business for the first time less than 5 years before the scheme year in which they first applied for BPS payments.

In order to prove one’s status as a ‘new’ or ‘young’ farmer evidence of the above must be received by RPW no later than the 15th May.

How do you buy entitlements?

If you are looking to buy Welsh entitlements please see our Buyer’s Guide here, and a list of some available entitlements here.

How do you sell entitlements?

If you are looking to sell Welsh entitlements please see our Seller’s Guide here, and a list of some wanted entitlements here.

Qualifying as an “Active Farmer” – no longer applies from 2021

The recipient of entitlements transferred by sale or lease must be a farmer and meet the Active Farmer requirements at the time of transfer. The Active Farmer requirement does not apply to entitlements transferred via inheritance. If the recipient met the definition of a farmer and met Active Farmer requirements for the 2020 scheme year, the Welsh Government will consider that the requirements were met on the date the transfer took place in order to process the transfer. If the recipient’s circumstances in relation to the Active Farmer requirement have changed since submitting the SAF 2020, they should notify the Welsh Government in writing of the change. Checks will be carried out on the recipient’s 2021 SAF to ensure they continue to meet the definition of a farmer and the Active Farmer requirements. If the recipient did not submit a SAF 2020 or failed the definition of a farmer or Active Farmer requirements, as part of the validation process of the transfer of entitlements they will be sent an Active Farmer proforma. In the event of the recipient of the entitlements (transferred as a Sale or Lease) not meeting the Active Farmer requirements then the transfer will not be valid. The entitlements will return to the seller/lessor and it is their responsibility to ensure that they meet the relevant usage requirements for those entitlements or they will transfer to the National Reserve.

Please click here for more detailed information provided by the Welsh Government.

BPS Transition

The Welsh Government have published a white paper for the Agriculture (Wales) Bill. The Bill is expected to be published in 2022 with the legislative framework coming into effect from 2023. Read more…

The Welsh Government will treat the transition differently to England:

  • Payment for 2022 and 2023 will be made in full.
  • Transition from BPS to a ‘Sustainable Farming Scheme’ will then begin in 2025.
  • RPW have confirmed that moving forward there will be no ‘three crop rule’ as part of the Greening Payment
  • Rules for permanent grassland and ecological focus areas under cross compliance must still be followed.

Still have some questions or queries?

Email entitlements@townsendcharteredsurveyors.co.uk or ring us on 01392 823935.

Alasdair Squires

Alasdair Squires

01392 823935