New regime will reduce impact of penalties on smaller farmers
A new 'yellow card' system for first-time offenders has been introduced as part of a wide-ranging revamp of the penalty system applied to EU payments.
EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan said work was continuing to cut the "administrative burden" for both farmers and government departments.
"With the new CAP, farmers feel themselves faced with new and complex rules and consequently they worry that unintentional mistakes might lead to the application of penalties and thus the loss of part of their income support," said Mr Hogan.
He added that the measures were designed to make it more "proportionate" and to reduce the impact on smaller farmers.
After measures were introduced late last year to reduce the on-the-spot checks, Mr Hogan told a European Parliament Agriculture Committee meeting in Strasbourg that a 'yellow card' system was being introduced.
In the case of a farmer making a mistake for the first time and where the over-declaration is minor - below 10pc of the area declared - the administrative penalty will be halved.
"Farmers having received a yellow card will be registered and where appropriate will be subject to an on-the-spot control inspection the following year," he said.
A system of 'preliminary checks' has also been introduced so that those governing the payments in individual countries can identify problems early with farmers' applications.