The Deputy President of ICMSA, Mr. Lorcan McCabe has said that upcoming changes to existing Compliance Movement Requirements to be implemented from February 4th are unfair, unnecessary and unwieldy. Mr. McCabe was commenting on the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine’s intention to change the validity period of Certificates of Compliance that are issued following a paper or online application from a maximum period of up to 30 days to a maximum period of up to 10 days. In addition to that reduction, it will be a mandatory requirement that all applications for a Certificate of Compliance – both manual and online – must specify the destination herd.
“This change will have a direct effect on those farmers who sell directly from their yard to different herdowners who only choose calves on the day and will undoubtedly slow or prevent these potential sales taking place. The changes are completely contrary to the simplification agenda that we were meant to be seeing and fails to recognise the massive pressure farmers are under at that time of year. The reduction of the days allowed could mean more use of online facilities but for many farmers in rural areas, with poor to non-existent broadband facilities, there’s likely to be a lot more paperwork and delays in selling calves. On top of that, in 2017 over 25% of farmers used the paper-based applications where the destination herd number could simply be written in at time of sale. The new system, by contrast, has the potential to slow down the sale of calves by several days and also increases the risk of errors. The bottom line is that this change puts more pressure on farmers at the busiest time of the year and runs contrary to the Department’s stated agenda of simplifying form-filling and regulation for farmers”, said Mr. McCabe.
“I have to say that I think the Department’s decision to proceed with these changes is completely ‘over the top’ and very unfair on the majority of compliant farmers using this system. ICMSA would ask the Minister to instruct the Department to review its position and allow compliant farmers to continue with the current regime. If the Department is serious and sincere about de-clogging administration and simplifying processes so that farmers can more easily comply then they need to reverse this”, concluded Mr. McCabe.
Ends 22 January 2019.
Lorcan McCabe, 086-3979804
Deputy President, ICMSA.
Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758
ICMSA Press Office