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IP/09/1375

Brussels, 29 September 2009

Commission to recover 214.6 million of CAP expenditure from the Member States

A total of € 214.6 million of EU farm money unduly spent by Member States is claimed back as a result of a decision adopted by the European Commission. The money returns to the Community budget because of non-compliance with EU rules or inadequate control procedures on agricultural expenditure. Member States are responsible for paying out and checking expenditure under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and the Commission is required to ensure that Member States have made correct use of the funds.

Commenting on the decision, Mariann Fischer Boel, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, said "The Commission is keeping up the pressure to ensure the best possible controls over how this money is spent. The system is working better than ever and we will continue to strive to improve things further"

Main financial corrections

Under this latest decision funds will be recovered from Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, Finland, France, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Slovenia. The most significant individual corrections are:

  • € 48.1 and 22.9 million (for financial years 2007 and 2006) charged to France for w eaknesses in on-the-spot checks and incorrect application of sanctions in the area of cross-compliance;

  • € 31.7 million charged to Spain for deficiencies in key and ancillary controls and wrong application of sanctions in the sector of olive oil production;

  • € 16.6 million charged to the Netherlands for weaknesses in Land Parcel Identification System, deficient administrative and on-the-spot controls and non-application of sanctions;

  • € 12.0 million charged to Hungary for deficiencies in Land Parcel Identification System and other surface control weaknesses;

  • € 10.0 million charged to Poland for low quality and insufficient quantity of checks in two Rural Development measures.

For details on how the clearance of annual accounts system works, see MEMO/06/178 and the factsheet "Managing the agriculture budget wisely", available on the internet at: http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/fin/clearance/factsheet_en.pdf .

Details of the individual corrections, by Member State and by sector, are given in the tables attached (annexes I and II).

Annex I

Clearance of accounts of EAGF and EAFRD

Decision 31: Corrections by Member state

Sector and reason for correction

Amount in million EUR

Austria

Cross-compliance : deficiencies in system of reductions' application. Non-respect of Regulation 796/2004 by cattle and sheep holders.

1.51

Belgium

Fi nancial Audit – certification: extrapolation of random error.

0.36

Czech Republic

Milk powder for casein: wrong time of samples taking and inappropriate product storage.

0.19

Germany

Cross-compliance: non-respect of Art. 47 of Regulation 796/2004 .

0.08

Rural Development: absence of cross-checks with central livestock databank (in case of applications for agri-environmental measures) with livestock density limitation as an eligibility condition.

0.77

Financial Audit: non-respect of payment deadlines.

0.06

Financial A udit: overshooting of financial ceilings.

1.29

Irregularities: reimbursement due to erroneous correction under 50/50 rule.

- 0.10

Spain

Animal Premiums: a bsence of on-the-spot-checks during 1st month of retention period and their general poor quality.

6.10

Olive Oil - Production Aid: weaknesses in key and ancillary controls, wrong application of sanctions .

31.74

Olive Oil for Preserved Food: i nsufficient control instructions and supervision run by Galician paying agency resulting in inappropriate quality and quantity of controls.

0.66

Rural Development: insufficient quality of on-the-spot checks and control reports. Only two Good Farming Practices commitments checked.

1.75

Finland

Animal Premiums: wrong calculation of sanctions concerning suckler cows. Late start of controls in 2003.

0.06

France

Cross-compliance: system of application of reductions and sanctions not in conformity with Regulation 796/2004. Weaknesses in on the spot checks.

70.97

Great Britain

Financial Audit: overshooting of financial ceilings .

5.21

Financial Audit: non-respect of payment deadlines .

5.73

Greece

Fruits&Vegetables – Tomato Processing: w eaknesses in area, accounting and administrative controls.

1.52

Olive Oil – Quality Improvement: overshooting of financial ceiling.

0.34

Public Storage of Rice: i mproper time of weighing the stock and assessing missing quantities which led to undue costs of storage.

0.16

Financial Audit: overshooting of financial ceilings.

10.59

Financial Audit: non-respect of payment deadlines.

4.55

Hungary

Area Aid: weaknesses in the LPIS-GIS system, insufficient control of GAEC.

12. 01

Rural Development: cross-checks with animal data base not satisfactory.

0.14

Ireland

Cross-compliance: n on-respect of article 47 of R.796/2004.

0.71

Italy

Export Refunds – Sugar and Isoglucose: weaknesses in physical checks, undue payments made for sugar imported from the Balkans.

1.34

Fruits&Vegetables – Citrus Processing: v arious control weaknesses comprising insufficient quality of administrative, accounting and on-the-spot controls performed.

3.54

Olive Oil for Preserved Food: Insufficient control instructions and supervision resulting in inappropriate quality and quantity of controls.

0.57

Irregularities: reimbursement due to erroneous correction under 50/50 rule

- 0.04

Lithuania

Area Aid: weaknesses in LPIS system and on-the-spot checks and insufficient control of GAEC.

2.37

Luxembourg

Direct Payments: w rong calculation of the rights for single-area payments using improper regional average.

0.004

Malta

Financial Audit: overshooting of financial ceilings.

0.02

Netherlands

Area Aid: weaknesses in the LPIS-GIS, in administrative and on-the-spot checks and in the application of the regulatory sanctions.

16.63

Export Refunds: insufficient quantity of substitution checks in customs offices in Rotterdam district.

9.74

Financial Audit: overshooting of financial ceilings.

1.87

Poland

Rural Development: n o cross-checks with animal database performed until the end of 2005. Poor quality of control reports. Not all agri-enviromental commitments checked. Lack of sanctions.

10.04

Portugal

Financial Audit – Certification: most likely error of overpayments, systematic error.

8.59

Cross-compliance: controls performed too late.

0.73

Export Refunds – Sugar and Iso-glucose: m inimum number of substitution checks not reached in two customs offices in 2003.

0.04

Rural Development (area-related measures): w rong sample selection for on-the spot checks and their limited scope not assuring minimum 5% of beneficiaries checked annually.

2.66

Slovenia

Financial Audit: overshooting of financial ce ilings.

0.01

Financial Audit: non-respect of payment deadlines.

0.01

TOTAL

214.60

Annex II

Clearance of accounts of EAGF and EAFRD

Decision 31: Corrections by Sector

In Mio. €

Area Aid (Arable Crops)

31.01

Animal Premiums

6.16

Cross-comp liance

74.00

Export Refunds

11.12

Financial Audit

38.29

Fruits & vegetables

5.06

Irregularities

0.14

Milk

0.19

Olive Oil

33.31

Public Storage

0.16

Rural Development

15.36

TOTAL

214.60


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