Minister announces changes to the Cross-Compliance penalty regime

Date published: 06 October 2022

Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots has announced that new legislation will come into effect from 24 October 2022, which makes the financial penalty applied in the event of repeated negligent breaches fairer and more proportionate than the current regime.

Minister Poots said: “Significant changes are being planned to move from a punitive Cross-Compliance model to a simplified set of Farm Sustainability Standards tailored to suit the requirements of the industry in Northern Ireland, while still ensuring an appropriate level of protection for animal and human health and the environment. 

"In the meantime, this new legislation, which I instructed my officials to make, will affect domestically funded schemes such as the Basic Payment Scheme."

The Minister continued: “Under the exiting arrangements, certain repeated negligent breaches can be considered intentional, attracting very high financial penalties. The new regime means that these repeated negligent penalties will be capped at 15%. This is a much fairer approach to our hard-working farmers. This is only possible because we have left the European Union and can now make decisions to suit local needs."

Notes to editors: 

  1. Schemes which are funded by the EU are required to adhere to the current penalty regime.
  2. Whilst this legislation comes into effect on 24 October 2022, it applies from the 2022 scheme year.
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