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What is the SPS?

The Single Payment Scheme (SPS) is the principal agricultural subsidy scheme in the European Union.

Who is eligible to apply?

To claim under the SPS you must be a farmer and you must hold SPS entitlements. You must also have an eligible hectare of land for each entitlement you decide to claim payment on and this land must be at your disposal on 15 May of the scheme year. 

You do not need to undertake any agricultural production in order to receive the SPS payment but, whether or not you produce, you will still need to comply with EU standards covering public, animal and plant health, environmental and animal welfare (known as ‘cross-compliance’) on all your agricultural land (whether you claim on this land or not).

How do I apply?

Farmers wishing to apply to the SPS need to complete an annual application form and should contact the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) - for further information.

Where do I obtain the scheme forms and guidance?

For full details of the Single Payment Scheme please see the Single Payment Scheme guidance which is available on the Rural Payments Agency website.

Page published: September 4, 2009