Cross Compliance Penalties

One of the standards which UK farmers must follow in order to maintain agricultural subsidies from the Common Agricultural Policy or CAP is the Cross compliance standards. If you fail to follow the standards, financial penalties will be imposed on your individual farm payment. The cross compliance penalties depend on the extent, severity and permanent damage as well as the intent of violation of the farmer. If you continually commit violations with the cross compliance standards, your penalties will increase and your shares from CAP will decrease. It is very important for every farmer to be informed regarding the cross compliance penalties and standards to know the significance of adhering to the rules.

Cross Compliance Standards
The purpose of formulating the cross compliance standards is to promote environmental health. The cross compliance standards are subdivided into two main sections, the statutory management requirements or SMR and the Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions or GAEC standards. You must comply with each of the focuses of these two sections to maintain your subsidy.

The Statutory management requirements involve issues regarding the environment, public, animal and plants' health. These standards promote the overall welfare of the entire ecosystem.

The Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions or GAEC standards, on the other hand, mainly focus on soil protection. Under this category, the habitats and landscape features are protected. Licensing on water irrigation is also discussed under the GAEC standards.

Key Areas on Cross Compliance Standards
In order to prevent penalties, you must follow the standards in performing several farming activities. These activities include the following:

-Protection of habitats
-Preservation of landscapes
-Standards during and after harvests
-Management of soil, cultivation and ploughing
-Maintenance of livestock
-Keeping a record of activities

Cross Compliance Penalties
Your penalties from the violations you commit will depend on the extent, intent, severity, permanence and repetition of the breach. The amount will most likely be deducted from the annual amount you should be receiving from the Common Agricultural Policy.

In terms of intent, the breach is classified as intentional or negligent. In cases of negligence, only 3% is deducted while 15% is deducted in cases of intentional violations.

The extent of the breach is defined as the amount of damage whether within the farm or to the outside environment. If the entire farm along with the immediate environment is affected, penalties will be higher.

The severity of the breach depends on the importance of the certain standard which was not followed.

As the word suggests, permanence refers to how long the effects of the breach will be experienced within the immediate environment. It can be classified as minor, rectifiable or permanent. Minor permanence violations will most receive fewer deductions than permanent breaches.

A repeat breach is the failure to adhere to standards for three consecutive years. Committing repeat violations can lead to three times the deduction provided during the first breach.

You should always remember to follow the cross compliance standards not only to prevent penalties and deductions but also to help promote environmental health.