Inspection outcomes

Date published: 1 January, 2015

Our inspections underpin legislation which is designed to ensure high standards in agriculture.

If we fail to properly implement certain parts of the legislation, the Scottish Government – and by extension the taxpayer – is liable for fines from the Europe Commission, which is why we need to inspect farms and businesses.

If you don't meet some or all of the cross compliance requirements we call this a breach. And if you fail any part of your cross compliance Inspection, you may face a reduction in payments.

When there is a breach the level of any reduction in payments will be assessed against five points (see below).

  • Intent – was it a negligent or intentional breach?
  • Extent – is the breach confined to your farm or does it have wider implications?
  • Severity – what is the significance of the breach?
  • Permanence – does it have a lasting effect?
  • Reoccurrence – have we found this same breach previously?

Usually, negligent breaches result in a three per cent reduction in your payments.

However, depending on how serious the breach is, the penalty can be reduced to one per cent or increased to five per cent. If the breach is considered to be minor, we may issue a warning letter instead.

In most cases, we calculate penalties for repeat negligent breaches by multiplying the penalty by three.

Penalties for intentional breaches are much higher and generally result in a 20 per cent reduction in payments.

However, again, depending on our assessment of the breach, the reduction can be reduced to 15 per cent or increased to anywhere between 20 and 100 per cent.

In most cases, we calculate penalties for repeat intentional breaches by multiplying the penalty by three.

Use the link below to see the Cross Compliance inspections statistics from previous years.

Cross Compliance inspection statistics

The tables below can help you see what sort of penalty would be applied depending on how the breach has been assessed.

There are two tables, one for negligent and one for intentional breach. Each of these shows you different combinations of extent, severity and permanence.

Current negligent and intentional penalty tables, and tables from previous years

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