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Commission Decision of 29 April 2009 on the clearance of the accounts of the paying agencies of Member States concerning expenditure financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) for the 2008 financial year (notified under document number C(2009) 3219) (2009/373/EC)

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U.K.+E.U.

Commission Decision

of 29 April 2009

on the clearance of the accounts of the paying agencies of Member States concerning expenditure financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) for the 2008 financial year

(notified under document number C(2009) 3219)

(2009/373/EC)

THE COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community,

Having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 1290/2005 of 21 June 2005 on the financing of the common agricultural policy(1), and in particular Articles 30 and 33 thereof,

After consulting the Fund Committee,

Whereas:

(1) Under Article 30 of Regulation (EC) No 1290/2005, the Commission, on the basis of the annual accounts submitted by the Member States, accompanied by the information required for the clearance of accounts and a certificate regarding the integrality, accuracy and veracity of the accounts and the reports established by the certification bodies, clears the accounts of the paying agencies referred to in Article 6 of the said Regulation.

(2) Pursuant to Article 16 of Commission Regulation (EC) No 883/2006 of 21 June 2006 laying down detailed rules for the application of Council Regulation (EC) No 1290/2005 as regards the keeping of accounts by the paying agencies, declarations of expenditure and revenue and the conditions for reimbursing expenditure under the EAGF and the EAFRD(2) account is taken for the 2008 financial year of expenditure incurred by the Member States between 16 October 2007 and 15 October 2008.

(3) The Commission has checked the information submitted by the Member States and it has communicated to the Member States before 31 March 2009 the results of its verifications, along with the necessary amendments.

(4) The annual accounts and the accompanying documents permit the Commission to take, for certain paying agencies, a decision on the completeness, accuracy and veracity of the annual accounts submitted. Annex I lists the amounts cleared by Member State and the amounts to be recovered from or paid to the Member States.

(5) The information submitted by certain other paying agencies requires additional inquiries and their accounts cannot be cleared in this Decision. Annex II lists the paying agencies concerned.

(6) Pursuant to Article 33(8) of Regulation (EC) No 1290/2005, 50 % of the financial consequences of non-recovery of irregularities shall be borne by the Member State concerned if the recovery of those irregularities has not taken place prior to the closure of a rural development programme within four years of the primary administrative or judicial finding, or within eight years if the recovery is taken to the national courts, or on the closure of the programme if those deadlines expire prior such closure. Article 33(4) of the said Regulation obliges Member States to submit to the Commission, together with the annual accounts, a summary report on the recovery procedures undertaken in response to irregularities. Detailed rules on the application of the Member States' reporting obligation of the amounts to be recovered are laid down in Commission Regulation (EC) No 885/2006(3). Annex III to the said Regulation provides the table that had to be provided in 2009 by the Member States. On the basis of the tables completed by the Member States, the Commission should decide on the financial consequences of non-recovery of irregularities older than four or eight years respectively. This Decision is without prejudice to future conformity decisions pursuant to Article 33(5) of Regulation (EC) No 1290/2005.

(7) Pursuant to Article 33(7) of Regulation (EC) No 1290/2005, after closure of a rural development programme Member States may decide not to pursue recovery. Such a decision may only be taken if the costs already and likely to be incurred total more than the amount to be recovered or if the recovery proves impossible owing to the insolvency, recorded and recognised under national law, of the debtor or the persons legally responsible for the irregularity. If that decision has been taken within four years of the primary administrative or judicial finding, or within eight years if the recovery is taken to the national courts, 100 % of the financial consequences of the non-recovery should be borne by the Community budget. In the summary report referred to in Article 33(4) of Regulation (EC) No 1290/2005 the amounts for which the Member State decided not to pursue recovery and the grounds for the decision are shown. These amounts are not charged to the Member States concerned and are consequently to be borne by the Community budget. This Decision is without prejudice to future conformity decisions pursuant to Article 33(5) of the said Regulation.

(8) In accordance with Article 30(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1290/2005, this Decision does not prejudice decisions taken subsequently by the Commission excluding from Community financing expenditure not effected in accordance with Community rules,

HAS ADOPTED THIS DECISION:

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