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Cross Compliance


To receive a payment under the Single Payment Scheme farmers must comply with a variety of regulations on the environment, public health, animal health, plant health, animal welfare and land maintenance. This system is known as cross compliance. The regulations farmers need to follow are called Statutory Management Requirements (SMRs). These are set down in EU legislation Directives and Regulations.

When does Cross Compliance apply?

Since 01 January 2005 it has been necessary for applicants under the Single Payment Scheme, and now the Basic Payment Scheme (2015-2020), to maintain all their land in Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition (GAEC). The current SMRs are in place since the strat of 2015. These have been gradually changed from the original SMRs and GAEC requirements to their current format. Details of the Cross Compliance requirements are available on the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine website.

DAFM publications relating to Cross Compliance are available at DAFM Publications on Cross Compliance.

Statutory Management Requirements (SMRs) – these are existing and already legally binding standards defined by a range of 13 European regulatory requirements covering environmental, public health, plant health and animal health and welfare standards; and standards consistent with keeping land in “Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition” (GAEC) defined by a range of 13 requirements including habitat conservation and soil protection.

SMRs have been in place on a phased basis in Ireland since 1st January 2005. Farmers’ compliance with these requirements can now be checked through inspection visits. Failure to meet the requirements may result in payments being withheld, either partially or fully. In practice this means that farmers need to be even more aware than before of the legal requirements of environmental protection related to Cross Compliance and ensure that they comply.