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Now superseded by Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) since Jan 2015.On 26 June 2003, EU farm ministers adopted a fundamental reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and introduced a new Single Payment Scheme (or Single Farm Payment, SPS) for direct subsidy payments to landowners.
Transitional rules also apply for new member states which joined the EU in 2004 and more recently.
States have a choice of whether to introduce the new scheme at once, or to phase it in over a period from 2005–2013.
Farmers can submit a claim for each year based on their land and their entitlements. In order to gain these rights, farmers had to make a successful claim during the first year of SPS or purchase them from another farmer.
In order for farmers to qualify for payments under the scheme, they have to follow certain conditions and rules; • their holdings must be at least 0.3 hectare (changed to minimum holding size 1.0 hectare and minimum land parcel size 0.1 hectare for claim year 2010 onward) and used for an agricultural activity; • they must meet Cross Compliance standards.
All payments then have a further amounts taken off (EU modulation and national modulation) which are set at the European and national levels respectively.