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Organic Farming Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2008

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Application and agreement

4.—(1) An application to enter into an agreement shall—

(a)be made in such form and within such time limits; and

(b)contain or be accompanied by such information as the Department may require.

(2) Each beneficiary shall for the purposes of the agreement undertake to the Department—

(a)that he will remain the owner or occupier of the organic parcel to which the claim relates for so long as any payment under these Regulations is claimed by him in respect of the parcel;

(b)that he will comply with all relevant provisions of the Compendium of Organic Standards and with the Council Regulation, and adhere, on the entirety of his holding, to the statutory management requirements and standards of good agricultural and environmental condition provided for in Article 4 and 5 of Annex III and IV to Council Regulation (EC) No.1782/2003;

(c)that he will notify the Department within 28 days of any loss or suspension of a Certificate of Registration issued by an Inspection Authority in respect of the organic parcel to which the claim relates; and

(d)that he will complete to the satisfaction of an inspection authority the conversion of the organic parcel no later than the fifth anniversary of the date of his first claim for grant under these Regulations.

(3) The Department may vary an agreement—

(a)at the written request of the beneficiary with whom it has entered the agreement; or

(b)in the event of amendments of the statutory management requirements and standards of good agricultural and environmental condition provided for in Article 4 and 5 of Annex III and IV to Council Regulation (EC) No.1782/2003.

(4) Any variation under paragraph (3)(a) may be subject to such conditions as the Department may reasonably determine.

(5) The Department shall not agree any variation under paragraph (3)(a) unless it is satisfied that the purposes for which the agreement was made would not be adversely affected by the variation.

(6) Where a variation under paragraph (3)(a) reduces the area of any parcel or parcels in respect of which a conversion plan applies, the reduction in area will be considered to have taken place on the most recent anniversary of the date of the agreement.

(7) Where a variation under paragraph (3)(a) increases the area of any parcel or parcels to which a conversion plan applies, the increase in area will be considered to have taken place on the next anniversary of the date of the receipt of first claim relating thereto.

(8) The Department shall notify the beneficiary in writing before any variation under paragraph (3)(b) takes effect and where the beneficiary informs the Department in writing within 28 days of the date of the notice that he accepts the variation, the variation shall take effect at the end of that period.

(9) Otherwise, the agreement concerned shall cease to have effect and no further grant shall be payable in respect of the parcel in question.

(10) Following the termination of an agreement under paragraph (9), the Department shall not seek to recover any grant paid during the period when the agreement was in effect.

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