Following recent discussion at EU level, the EU Commission undertook to draft legislation in relation to an extension to the deadline for the submission of BPS applications. Any such extension would be voluntary for Member States. Ireland has not requested a deadline extension in respect of BPS applications.
2018 is the first year that all BPS applications are to be made online, and in 2017 114,000 BPS applications were made online.
My Department has also put in place a range of supports for farmers to assist them in making the move to online applications. The Department is in ongoing contact with farmers in order to ensure that all applications are made online by 15 May. As of yesterday 105,000 farmers have already applied online for 2018 BPS, and the overall application rate is ahead of previous years.
It should be noted that any extension to the deadline for receipt of applications would have an adverse impact on the delivery of BPS payments in October 2018.