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Farming Authorisation

What is the authorisation to farm?

It is an administrative authorisationthat is required in order to farm land that becomes available, subject to certain conditions that are specified in each County Structural Plan (S.D.D.S).

Authorisations to farm are issued according to the order of priorities drawn up by the S.D.D.S..

In what cases is it necessary?

The thresholds described below are based on the Unité de Référence (U.R.) established in each county. This threshold varies from one county to another.

The Authorisation to farm must be requested in the following main cases:

If your installation, enlargement or grouping of farms means that you will be farming an area of agricultural land that is greater than the threshold set by the S.D.D.S.

This threshold is included in the following bracket, with each S.D.D.S setting it exactly for each county: 0.5 UR<threshold<1,5 UR.

If your installation, enlargement or grouping of farms results in:
- suppression of a farm whose surface area exceeds the threshold set by the S.D.D.S:
1/3 UR< threshold > 1 UR
break up of a farm, taking its surface area down below the threshold referred to above
depriving a farm of a building that is essential to its operations.

Whatever the surface areas involved, installations, enlargements, etc, in case of lack of professional qualifications

Professional qualification criteria (articles R 331-01 to R 331-4 of the Rural Code): Certificates: BEPA or BPA or equivalent.

Or professional experience:
- 5 years experience of a farm with a surface area >= Reference Unit (U.R.), within the previous 15 years,as a farmer, family assistant, farm partner, agricultural employee or assistant
- 3 years experience for holders of the B.A.A.

If the land that you want to farm is located at more than a certain distance from your farm headquarters (minimum 5km – this varies according to the county).

According to other rules drawn up in the S.D.D.S. for each county:
For example:

* age of applicant > 60 years
* agricultural operation with no farming member,
* in case of multi-activity and depending on the level of extra-agricultural income,
* in case of any change to a company, with the departure of one of the partners,
* in case of creations of non-land workshops or extensions to their capacity.

To find out exactly all the situations for which an authorisation to farm is required, according to the rules in each county, get in touch with the DDAF in the counties of interest to you.

When should the authorisation to farm be requested?

In parallel to signature of a Promise to Purchase or a Promise to lease the plots or farm concerned

Before leases are drawn up or acts of purchase are signed for the land or farm concerned.

What is the procedure for requesting an authorisation to farm?

In the county where the farm headquarters is located you must:

Request and fill out a special form for the county DDAF. You will be issued with a receipt.

It is obligatory to inform the owner of the land or farm concerned that you have submitted a request for an authorisation to farm. You must be able to prove to the DDAF that the owner has been informed (copy of the letter of information).

This form is sent to the Prefect and the file is processed by the agricultural department at the Prefecture (D.D.A.F): it takes the file before the County Agricultural Orientation Commission for analysis and opinion. The answer from the authorities should be received within 4-6 months.

The CDOA takes no account of the owner’s opinion.

The CDOA issues an opinion only, the final decision is taken by the Prefect or administrative court.

Decisions are adapted to each situation, the authorisation to farm maybe therefore be:

- total
- conditional
- partial (on some of the property)
- temporary

This decision is sent to you by registered mail with recorded delivery.

It is notified and publicised.

There is the possibility of appeal: you will have a period of one month in order to appeal to the “Recourse Commission”.

What happens if several requests are made for the same plot of land?

Requests for authorisations to farm may be submitted by different people for the same plot of land or the same farm. Requests are compared and a decision is taken based on the order of priorities published in the S.D.D.S..

What are the penalties if no request for an authorisation to farm made?

  • Civil penalty: the Prefect, landlord or SAFER ask for the lease to be made void.
  • Economic penalty: no access to public agricultural aid of an economic nature.
  • Administrative penalty: formal notice served for the position to be rectified, fine of between 300 € and 900 € / ha.
  • The authorisation to farm is also obligatory for affiliation to the MSA.

Safer operations and authorisation to farm

(Article L 331 – 2 of the Rural Code)

Safer operations for the transmission of farms or property are subject to an authorisation to farm in the following two cases:

  • Those that have the effect of suppressing an economic unit that is equal to or higher than the threshold between one third and once the reference unit (threshold specified in each SDDS).
  • Those that result in encouraging, by the allocation of a pre-empted property, the enlargement of a farm whose total surface area after sale will exceed twice the reference unit.

Other cases

Information regarding other operations carried out by Safer is simply passed to the Prefect in the county where the property concerned is located: information in a letter sent by Safer to the Prefect after validation by the Technical Committee and Board of Safer => not sent to the CDOA.

Safer operations include retrocession, substitutions, rental intermediation and provision of buildings.



Safer benefits

Purchasing with Safer means that you avoid having to carry out the procedure yourself!

*except in specific cases

More information

For more information contact the agricultural department at the Prefecture for the county concerned!

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